Diary of a Play #11: The End

And so, as Spd D8n’s cast took a bow to well-deserved applause from a great final night audience, my colon could at last unclench with relief.

The show’s run was finally over.

For earlier diary entries, go to the Spd D8n page.

Within the hour, stage and auditorium were stripped, tech packed up, and kitchen cleared. The after-show party was had, then one by one, cast and crew departed. Until finally, mysef, via an equally weary Uber driver with suspicious navigation skills on his final job for the night.

So, do I now feel a great aching void?

Nup.

The 2 week run was just right. Better a scarcity of dates to increase the chances for decent clusters of crowds, than spreading thin across a longer period.

In the past as an actor, I’ve often staggered through umpteen performances wondering if a play’s run would ever end. Hopefully Spd D8n never reached that stage for the cast.

Lessons learnt*

*or at least vaguely noticed.
  1. Pitching

    Lesson one: Don’t go out to spooky woods with that odd teacher from school

When approaching a theatre group with a script, you need to describe what it’s about in an enticing way.

I sorta winged it, luckily having been mulling the plot strands beforehand.

Next time, I’d have my 15, 50, and 200 word pitches prepped in advance. It also helps later when publicity kicks in, rather than knocking stuff up on the fly.

  1. Deadlines

Ha ha ha.

Creative Momentum: A load of balls

As this diary proved, at times my main creative momentum was coming up with excuses for the non-appearance of a draft.

Even with an endpoint and scene map, Spd D8n’s patchwork structure was a real headache.

Thankfully Blak Yak supported my wonky tribulations.

Next time, the script would preferably be significantly closer to done.

But then, without a deadline, would I have got the thing finished? Oh self-discipline, thou art a paradoxical mistress.

  1. Read-throughs

There’s only so long you can burble away to yourself with a stopwatch. Read-throughs by fresh eyes and clear voices are gold. Don’t waste them.

Ideally, further read-throughs would’ve led to more streamlining. Looxury! In the real world actors need to get cracking on a finished script. Luckily, cast and director workshopped out the more egregious bits.

  1. Directing

“Perhaps a little less on the smoke machine, luvvee.”

I’m so glad I opted not to direct, being too easily distracted by my next shiny projects, my phone, the wallpaper … frankly, anything really.

Staging decisions like table logistics, cast entrances, lighting cues … I can barely decide what to have for lunch.

I really liked what Therese did with the show, and will blatantly pinch some staging ideas for the rewrite. I admired how she battled through what is the most draining job of all, glad it wasn’t me.

  1. Collaboration

Theatre is a collaborative effort, as opposed to the more solitary avenues a writer might find themselves in.

Statistically speaking, at least one of these people did not adequately wash their hands after using the toilet

It means handing over your baby and allowing other people to do their thing.

This can be a scary thing – terrifying in some circumstances – but the reward is seeing people invest their efforts and creativity in the common goal of making the best possible show.

Yes, your baby changes, but in an organic progressive way, rather than a more insular Bad Boy Bubby sort of thing.

From the focus of the vigilant tech folk watching for lighting and sound cues, the regimental discipline of the stage manager’s props table, the smiling bar and front desk staff, publicity pixies, and various other volunteers, the end product comes from a whole team working together, and that’s a lovely thing to share in.

So, where to from here?

The Baby Turtle of New Projects sets forth on another perilous adventure

“No, there is another”

At one point in this diary, I was suddenly producing two plays.

Unfortunately/fortunately, the stars and schedules couldn’t align and One Night One Day was deferred to next year.

That will be the full-length version of my one-act One Night Stand Off, having finally agreed with various witnesses to the original that, yep, there is more to the story. And a much better title.

Short but enthusiastic

I have one or two candidates in mind for a 10-minute play competition coming up. There’s also a backlog of unfinished/unpolished short stories in dire need of attention.

Diary of a Publication?

Jane Austen ponders her potential next work, “Self and Self-Publishing”

So what was that other project occupying my attention such that I spent Spd D8n rehearsals shrugging my shoulders to script questions?

With writing largely done and beta readers engaged, the wondrous world of self-publishing looms dauntingly in the distance.

A blog diary of that process may well emerge.

Meh, we’ll see.

“Weren’t you working on a novel?”

Shush now.

No, really, shush.

Spd D8n

As for the play itself?

Well, the edit I’ve been itching to do is underway.

Having watched the performance, mulled physical logistics, and gathered feedback, I’m making multiple revisions. Some interest by a different theatre group in performing it next year might be an ideal road test.

Fringe Theatre … because sometimes you just want to see a lady with an eagle landing on her leg

There was also after-show chat about converting the show for the Perth Fringe. Too soon for 2018, but maybe 2019?

Hmm …

Basically halve the play duration, while still resolving five character journeys and without confusing the hell out of audience and cast alike with a ADHD-addled mess?

… Yeah, could happen.

But it would involve significant mulling over, probably involving at least two pints at my local.

 

If feasible, stage-able, cast-able, can-be-arsed-able, perhaps this isn’t the last diary entry after all …

But until then, may the Cosmic Duck of Peace and Happy Waddling gaze favourably upon you all

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This entry was posted in Community Theatre, Independent Theatre, Perth Theatre, Play writing, Plays, playwright, Theatre, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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