April 11, 2013
This weekend is the second AlterLab retreat of the year. They’re quarterly this year, as opposed to monthly which was the format last year.
At this second retreat of the year I will hear my second draft of Wolf at the Door read aloud. And, as was the case when I brought in the first draft of The River Bride last year, it’s underwritten. I tend to do that, underwrite my plays that is. I flesh them out over the course of subsequent drafts. But when it comes to this fairy tale cycle, so far the plays are right around the one hour mark. All my other plays wind down around the 90 minute mark, which is what I would hope the fairy tale plays would be. But they aren’t. And I’m not going to try and drag out the narrative for 30 more minutes just for the sake of making the play longer. I’m a big believer in form = content. And if the narrative is over, it’s over. Meaning, if the story has been told in 60 minutes then that’s all the time it needed.
Wolf at the Door is currently 50 pages. I imagine another 10-15 pages will surface in the next draft. What I need to get out of the read through is a sense of what’s missing and where are the places in the play–its crevices–where I can open up the world and flesh out the narrative.
It’s slow work. Lately, anyway. The day job stress has been on the increase ever since October and my free time for writing has been whittled away. And I am tired of it. Tired of the day job draining my energy, tired of the stress, tired of having to choose between friends and writing. I want a change and need to figure out how to engineer it.
But that’s another topic entirely. I was talking about AlterLab.
I am looking forward to spending the weekend with the other artists all talking about our work. Ann, whose play The Dead Girl, is in rehearsal. She wrote it last year in AlterLab and this year AlterTheater is producing it. Bravo! So I’m sure Ann will give us the inside scoop about all that’s going on.
Larissa is bringing in pages for the play she’s writing for the AlterTheater ensemble and I have no idea what Denmo is working on, though at the last retreat she and I discussed her amazingly vivid dreams which I secretly hope she’ll turn into a play. I’d love to see that as her dreams had a surreal MirrorMask quality to them.
Keep an eye out for AlterLab highlights early next week.