THE ESSENTIALS OF A PLAYWRIGHT
Theater is a collaborative act. There are a train of complex elements and craft-persons involved in the creation of a live show. At the helm of this mélange of master builders is the playwright. The architect of imaginative worlds brought to life by a predisposition to a fine madness, and a possession of the soul by the spirit of one’s Muse. The practicum of playwriting was known in the Kingdom of Kemet as well as by the dramatist of the ancient Hellenes; both enhancing theater to its most elegant format.
Despite its most ancient pedigree, theater and the art of Playwriting is neither an exact science, nor a profitable one. It is on the one hand, a baffling and on the other, a strange scheme. No one hires a playwright, (except when set out to pasture in academe to teach) and therefore, no salary is earned. It may and usually does, take years to write a play. It will also take years to find someone to produce it. With the almost certain possibility of many rejections and hurt feelings. Once having successfully done so, one’s audience, or critics may not understand or like the show and overnight, one’s project is out of business. There is also the risk of group trance where all involved in the project, have no idea how bad it is, only to discover in costume, under lights, and on the boards, it’s a turkey.
The term a “play” is itself quite a mystical experience in character and essence. What has been routinely called show business is something more, and exquisite. The essence of the playwright’s task and genius is the excavation of the intimate truths of his or her characters in the dynamic relationships of a compelling story. A story that defies death and lives on as long as humanity itself may exists. In this sense, a play is a living thing, and like life, no two moments are the same. Like life, the play dies when the audience leaves the theater or the show closes at the end of its run. However, unlike life, the play can be reawakened (like a resurrection) and breathe again, through living and loving voices.
Yes, I would say the practice of the dramatist, director, thespians, producer and technicians is a spiritual experience...
Bronx, NY October 21, 2012