Saturday, December 21, 2002

Thespians on the Town


 
Clearly, we've left the pub. Or the theatre. Or both. Or not. Thespians, all. Irish, at that. Either we're in San Francisco, at ACT, or in Piedmont—ca. Xmas 2002.

Kate said:
that is me in the back row after a game of pool!
I don't remember a game of pool... Who is taking the photo? Lucy Faulknor?

Clearly, we're all introverts, shy as wallflowers, as well. 

Johnny Mac and Kate Perry both moved back to Ireland. 
We lost touch with Joe Hakik and Owen Murphy.
 
Back row, left: Joe Hakik, Owen Murphy,
Kate PerryMaureen Hurley,
front row:
Neil O'Neill, Johnny Mac


added 4/2016

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Short Plays angst emails



Great class once again last night.  There's been so
much excellent work in this class.  Best part of my
working week.  Thanks.

Just a reminder to send along notes for last night's
readings to me at this address.

Also, here's the line-up for the last two class
sessions.  Please let me know if there are any
problems with this:

December 12th:
Doug
Laura
Nicole
Diane
Elizabeth Creely

December 19th:
Karen
Sean
Chris
Maureen
Evelyn

That's 5 pieces a night, so please try to hold your
reading to 20-25 minutes.  It might be necessary to
skip over scenes we've seen before, and give us an
overview, instead of a complete look.

If there's anyone who feels they won't be prepared to
have their work read, just let me know, okay?

Also, I have a couple of slots left in Directed
Writing for next semester, so anyone else who's
interested, please let me know soon.

All best,
Roy

If there's anyone who feels they won't be prepared to have their work read, just let me know, okay?
> >>

you mean this is an option? I've been so stressed getting my MA thesis together, and 2 papers, that I'm unable to make much headway on my Irish piece...both (older) Lizzes and I are trading plays and making comments directly...so that's fine with me not to read if you need the extra time.

maureen

Yes it's an option if you don't feel prepared.  I'll
take you off the list.   Anytime I can be helful with
the writing let me know.

I've been thinking about the note you wrote on your
summary of your project.  Sometimes it's just not
possible to bend our minds around forms that don't
work for us.  I've yet to get very far in the pursuit
of fiction.  But just in case, here's a simple
exercise to try to touch off some dialogue:

Take two of your characters together, give one an
opening line that's accusatory or argumentative (short
and sweet like: "You're wrong!" or "I can't believe
you said that.").  Then just let them fight it out. 
The only rule is make each of them fight as hard as
they can (short of killing each other and getting out
of the combat the easy way.)

All best,
Roy




Re: Short Plays angst

thanks for the triggers and the advice. I've a whole week to hammer on it. My thesis is damn near done and printed out on 25% rag, thrice vetted & signed, etc., it goes in Fri. the 13th (who could resist such a date?); the 2nd draft of my really really big paper (32 pp) where I didn't know what the fuck to write about on creative process (with all my flailing, I think I came off sounding like a megalomaniac), it was accepted as done by Maxine! (Other than bibliog.); my Stanislavsky paper to Brian is in, so the slate's somewhat clean, so to speak. (BTW, his was a dynamite class...) I've got 2 more CPITS kid teaching days to do and a kid art/poetry show to mount by next Tues...

Now that we're at the end, I must confess that I think I'm suffering from some sort of crisis of identity (or lack of) in your class...as I never felt quite welome or accepted, and I can't quite put my finger on it...something didn't quite gel with the group. 

At first, it was really tough for me just to keep showing up (Nicole & Evelyn kicking my ass ever forward). There were times it felt a little like high school....I kept trying different ways of improving the group dynamics—short of demanding that someone let me read a part....there were about six of us who were ignored, then as pieces developed, no one wanted to change readers...so there were vast tracks of time during rehearsal when we had little to do. It drove me nuts.

Ultimately, you were right, there were far too many people in the class and I'm sorry I was one of the extras clamoring to get in and now I'm suffering from Catholic guilt...mea maximum culprit. However, lest you think I'm not engaged, there are several people with whom I am reading and commenting upon hard copies of their plays and vice versa.

When I take stock, it's hard to believe that it was only last Fall that was the first time I was exposed to play writing (many, many thanks to you!)...I can really feel the difference in my mindset...and in my writing. That quantum leap--the whole reason why I came back to school in the first place. Playwriting somehow made it a LOT easier for me to edit my poetry MS; I was no longer attached to the preciousness of words in the same way because I'm beginning to think in terms of characterization. But I still write blind, and then get stuck.

I'm not sure how best to keep involved with playwriting next semester, but I do know that I want to stick with it. Greenhouse seems like too much of a time committment... unless I can do a directed writing and sit in on some of the Greenhouse stuff..any wild ideas? The person who's teaching playwritng..was she the one who started to teach Greenhouse last semester but then got called away (if so, I wouldn't go near her class with a ten-foot pole, she was that insulting last semester!!!) Sorry, but she was awful! Several of us older types wanted to lynch her up after the first session. Unfortunately, I dropped the class before Brian took over.

I'll shut my gob now...

Maureen

Thanks for this message.  I'm sorry the class hasn't
worked out so well for you.  My apologies for that. 
And for not being able to do more about it.

Yes, the class is too big, which makes my chaotic
organizational style not work so good,, but I can't
blame it all on that.  I'm going to have to rethink
some of the ways I approach organizing the scenes in
class, as well as different ways to maximize
interactions.  Though hopefully I won't have the big
crowd problem again.

GreenHouse is a big time commitment so it might be
better to avoid.  The woman who you speak of isn't
around anymore.  Anne Galjour who's teaching the MFA
workshop is a solo artist and playwright who's
well-known here in the City and beyond.  I've seen her
do excellent dramaturgical work at the Bay Area
Playwrights Festival and other places.

My Directed Writing list for next semester has gotten
very full very fast, but we might be able to do an
independent study or some such thing if you're
interested.

Roy

Roy,

No need for you to apologise, (but thanks...perhaps I should also apologise for bringing it up? I just thought you might like to hear my 2 cents' worth... By the time I got any clarity on it, the group dynamics were already set...and then you changed the format (thank god). 

Post Mortem: I think it was mostly a weird case of disembodied group dynmics (or cliques); one idea would be to put people up into arbitrary groups and do some theater games in order to create tribal mind, safe haven, so that there's a safety net in place. Then the larger class size wouldn't have mattered so much...I get slammed with class angst all the time with teaching kids poetry...the ones that want all the attention...

At first, I thought it was just me, it was MY problem, and I tried to work with it (or around it), but...and I certainly didn't want to say anything to you as you seemed to have enough on your mind w/ the (fabulous) play and your kid (how is he, by the way?), w/o a whining student saying how come they won't play with me? 

Maybe I'll check out the other playwriting class...thanks for the info!