I was at a theatre festival last night where one of my plays was being performed. I was not in any way connected to the production, so I’m always a little apprehensive when I go and see one of my pieces, not knowing what it might ultimately look like. I’ve had a variety of experiences in this regard, some great, some less than great. But I always appreciate the director’s and actors efforts.
This production took me off-guard a little bit. My personal belief is that my script was not a match for the director’s style. The director is experienced with comedic, Chinese theatre where large, farcical expressions and movement are requisite. My piece was a satire with a lot of heft to it. It was a political satire on the nature of progressivism in America. The actors clearly had trouble with the language of the piece, and so decided to ramp up the farcical aspects of the script which, frankly, weren’t there to begin with.
But part of being a drama writer is just putting your work out there and letting it be interpreted however the director sees or whatever goes with the director’s skill set.
It’s also a reminder of why I like to direct my own pieces. Call me obsessive, if you will, but I clearly have a dramatic vision of all of the pieces I write. Of course, my dramatic vision is just one of many possible ones, but I always love to finally see a work of my on stage using the original vision of the writer himself. That oftentimes only happens when I produce it myself.
I once again applaud the effort of the director and actors. Their time and effort is appreciated. I do look forward to one day putting this script on myself. Until then, it’s fascinating to see what others see in your script which you yourself do not see.