In The Daily Drool on July 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm

It never ceases to amaze me that no sooner do I speak the words “Every play must have a beginning, middle, and end.” someone thrusts their hand into the air, fingers waving, challenge poised on the tip of their eager tongue.  It seems everyone wants to break the rules, and I’m merely there to set up the hurdles.

In a way, it’s kind of cool – here is a room full of hungry young people, eager to bring the theater world to its knees with their words – but what is fascinating is their passion to buck the trend, deny the basics, and break all the rules… rarely are they able to see that only in learning them first (and why they work) can you really seek to write a play with such purposeful dissent.  Of course there are playwrights who break rules in their own right, but they generally have a mastery of the craft of storytelling that allows them to bend and play with the dramatic form.

But what fiestiness must there be within these young writer’s imaginations to motivate them (so strongly) to want to laugh in the face of the “Tried and True” before even trying their out their first word.  But isn’t that the thing about learning?  You plan a course, raise your hand, and before you know it your hock deep in something you barely understand, only to come out on the other side of the experience a bit weightier from the knowledge and kind of surprised at how you digested it.

And of course, when push comes to shove, I find that many of them end up walking the line in spite of themeselves… but walking it with purpose.

It’s really a gift to be there as they begin to figure it all out… thing called “Play.”


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