Whence comes imagination?

In November 2011 Water Closet was read inNew York at a Dramatists Guild Friday Night Footlights event by the White Horse Theater Company. It was a wonderful experience both working with Cyndy Marion and her company, and receiving theNew York audience comments. Both were critical in my reshaping of the play in December in preparation for a January 2012 workshop and staged reading by the Fullerton College New Play Festival. The FC workshop included an intense (challenging without being destructive) dramaturgical session with festival Artistic Director William Mittler that caused me to take yet another scalpel to the play in an effort to make my apparently sub-conscious intentions more clearly understood on the printed page.

I am only beginning to realize my first writing of a play is one that I do not necessarily consciously control. – Usually when I sit down in front of my computer to write – after the initial spark of inspiration and contemplation about how I might articulate it – I feel like “I” step aside, open a door into my sub-conscious, and wait to see who walks out and starts expressing themselves. In my meditation I do actually “hear” them (not in a pathological sense), although I do not always understand their intentions upfront. It was recently pointed out to me that my work has a sort of dream logic and is not linearly realistic.

This then is my greatest challenge when it comes to rewriting: How do I make the seemingly illogical connections (dreams) I’ve made in a text accessible (art) to a listening or reading audience, so my play might actually find a production? Fortunately I do enjoy the process of rewriting, although the experience of rewriting is completely different.

I am beginning to research and write a new play, We Don’t Serve White Bread Here. However I do hope to return to the topic of what is the source of imagination, as I am curious to discover if there is a sort of communion among playwrights… Today I stumbled upon Dr. Lance Owens Tolkien lectures; fascinating… I would be curious to know what your mind “feels” as you write, if you would care to comment!

Leave a Reply