How to Find a Line

My next play “Francesca, Isabella, Margarita on a Cloud” began with a childhood moment of euphoria.

My plays are not premeditated. I never begin with an outline but let the outline develop from the lines and characters that evolve. Each play is a different process but there are some common starting points. I am interested in finding story, but it’s more unique for me to find that story from the interior rather than from the exterior.

A line and a title are intertwined. The line informs the title and the title informs the line. The inception of a play is a flash of a word. That word is a feeling that drives you to write the play. The word cloud came to me one day when Jerry asked “what’s the name of your next play?” I thought for a moment and I remembered a recurring image that never left my mind. I was lying in a field that had just been cut with hay scratchy on my back. I was dreaming while the clouds in the sky passed over me and I thought “This is the happiest moment in my life.” I was six. The play began here but I didn’t know what it would become.

A word clicks in my head. The word starts a sentence. Sometimes I write from the mouths of the characters that begin to evolve.

I try to write dialogue that is quotidian and misdirected. This later finds the meaning in the story and drives it from there. I avoid expositional dialogue early in the process.

I remember moments in a conversation and those small moment spur ideas. I write short phrases of what I remember. This is the starting point for character chat.

I read a book. I see a word. I like it. I write the word down and file it away. Later I write what comes after the word. Eventually sentences form. From sentences come dialogue. From dialogue come characters. From characters come situations. Then the long search begins for outline.

“Francesca, Isabella, Margarita on a Cloud” plays May 20 to June 19.

Photos click here

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