CREATIVITY #39 - It is a Process!

One of the stumbling blocks of new playwrights is that new playwrights often don't understand that creating a play is a process.  It doesn't manifest overnight.  Play creation is an on-going process.

You write and write and write and sometimes it just sucks.
That is part of the process.
You feel like you will never finish your play.
That is part of the process.
You find yourself on Facebook, when you should be writing.
That is part of the process.
AND YOU QUESTION YOUR TALENT.
That is part of the process.

A big distinction that I think is important to GROK is that a finished script is not important.  WHAT?  Yes, it is not important.  You have to remember that you will continue to be in process on the script once your play is in rehearsal.  If you worry about FINISHING your one great play, you will drive yourself crazy.  THERE IS NO PERFECT REHEARSAL DRAFT.  Know that.  Own it and you will have more fun in the writing phase of play creation.  And it will limit self-imposed stress.  So limit EDITING again and again and again!

Once in rehearsal, you should be there watching, listening and experiencing the process. You will learn about your characters from your actors. Take what you learn and put it in your script.  

Make sure you have good director on the same page as you, if not you are in for trouble. Set up chain of command where you have the last word on changes and choices about your play.  Most directors will not like this, but you should not EVER give up control of your play in its first production.  So have that conversation with your director and even get it in writing setting up the Chain of Command. It will make a world of difference in the process.

At a certain point in the play creation process, usually about 2 weeks to opening, you should stop rewriting so that the actors can get comfortable with the script and the show.  Many productions will change stuff up until opening night, and little things are fine, but big scene rewrites the day before opening is probably not a good idea, unless it HAS to be done for the play is a mess and you are opening!  It is a fine line to walk.  Changes sometimes need to be made, but you can't throw too much at your actors late in the game for they won't be able to own it and it may hurt the overall production.

You will hate your play.  You will love your play.  That is part of the process. You will never want to work with a director ever again.  That is part of the process. You will love colaborating with your director.  That is part of the process. You will develop a love/hate relationship with your actors and you will feel like the actors are your FAMILY.  

And all that is part of the process.

So when things are crazy, frustrating, nutty, bad, dramatic offstage and more, just remember that it is part of the process.  

And finally, when your play opens, and it is amazing, it is so worth it.

Posted on March 20, 2015 .