Sunday, April 03, 2005

"THE PLAY'S THE THING" Shakespeare "Hamlet"

"In the creative process there is the father, the author of the play; the mother, the actor pregnant with the part; and the child, the role to be born."
Konstantin Sergeevich Alekseev Stanislavski 18630-1938

I attended an interesting play last night, "The Waiting Room" by Lisa Loomer. A friend of mine was directing it and except for three equity actors, it was performed by students of Studio 58, from Langara College's drama department. One of the lead roles was played by the actor who played Sally, the street kid in my play "The Street" when it was produced four years ago. It was lovely to be back in a theatre setting among actors again. I went with my pal Cliffy, and afterwards (my director friend Di and her husband and friends) we went to a local pub for further stimulating conversation.

"The Waiting Room" deals with the issues of women's quest for beauty, linking past and other cultures to the present and examines the balance of power between men and women, eastern and western cultures, and conventional and unorthodox medicine. Beauty Comes From Within. Something important to remember!

It seemed a day, yesterday, to visit my own interest in plays and playwriting. Earlier, I'd gone with my friend Ingrid to pick up our plane tickets and shop for travel items. As well, we stopped in the Greek supermarket to get a taste of Athens, and then went for late lunch at a Greek restaurant. Of course the talk was all about trip plans, where to go, what to do. One of the places we've decided to visit is Lefkada, in particular, Cape Lefkas, where the famous "Sappho's Leap" cliff is located. A few years ago, while lazing on the beach beneath the cliff the ideas for my play-in-progress House of the Muses was born. I had to set the script aside a few months ago, discouraged and disheartened by poor critiques in the playwright's workshop, and decided to leave it awhile while I worked on my novel instead. I am hoping that a return to the place where the kernel of the idea was first planted in my mind, will encourage the idea to grow and develop. House of the Muses has the potential of becoming an excellent drama if I can ever sort it out.

Seeing my young actor friend playing a lead role in The Waiting Room, talking to my director friend Di, and being back in a theatre setting, reminded me of the wonderful success my own play The Street had. Di asked what I was doing with it. Well, I had waited (in vain) for another theatre company to do a reading of it and had sent out several scripts to theatre companies around the Province, but no responses. I had a short, successful reading of it two years ago, and my dramaturge said with another full production I should easily be able to get it published. Since then, nothing else has happened with it. I guess I should just go ahead and send the script to a play publisher (with the reviews from it's one production) and see if I can get it published. It seems a shame that it's lying there in my files without a performance place.

Meanwhile, I have been focusing all my writing attention on my novel. It's almost like writing a play as I see my character's actions as if they were performing on stage. And it is very much a Greek tragedy (just as the story of Sappho in House of the Muses is a tragedy. The Street is a modern tragedy.

My next theatre events will be attending The Tempest at the New Globe Theatre in London on May 26. And some time during June, I'll take in a Greek drama at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus in Greece.

For now, it's back to the world of Alexander, setting the stage for the finale of the tragedy of Shadow of the Lion.

"Players and the painted stage took all my love,
And not those things that they were emblems of."
William Butler Yeats "The Circus Animals' Desertion" II st 3


Sam said...

Oh wow -
The Tempest in London and theater in Greece - sounds like a lovely plan!
Plays are so much fun. I can even usually drag my husband to one - the best time I had was at a showing of "A Midsummer's Night Dream" outdoors. It was in the garden courtyard of a museum and quite lovely.

Wynn Bexton said...

I usually make a point of going to at least one drama at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus when I'm in Greece, and one event at the Herod Atticus Ancient Theatre in Athens. Here at home, we have "Bard on the Beach" where Shakespeare is performed, an out-door theatre built similar style to the Old Globe with a natural background. They had two theatres, one for larger productions, one smaller for the lesser known plays.