“I love new plays,” says a friend and colleague. And, so do I. So, I drove west to the Kirk Douglas Theatre today to witness the work-in-progress Throw Me On The Burnpile and Light Me Up, written and performed by Lucy Alibar. I attended with a friend and another fan of Beasts of the Southern Wild screenplay that Alibar adapted (from her play Juicy and Delicious) with the films director Benh Zeitlin.
As we took our seats, we remarked over the scenic and lighting design from the charming string lights, to the (overly dense) Spanish moss, to the lovely antique twin bed insignia. And, I thought, “look at all those props,” and remembered those words coming at me from my last director, and grinned.
I settled in, and then I remembered the time I unwittingly ridiculed the “swap meet” design of an Americana exhibit I’d seen, within earshot of the colleague who had designed it. And, I felt ashamed. Lights dimmed, and I was perfectly primed; a tremulous mess (ready to feel).
The play is filled with wonderful language told by a magical, gentle-voiced performer who deftly painted her stories in the air for us. But, it was also a lesson for me, as a playwright. I realized tonight that I wished Ms. Alibar had let us see more of the moments, like when Daddy got mad, rather than tell us about them after the fact. Because, it was those in-the-moment moments, that kept me enthralled today.
And, this brings my realization earlier in the week that a play is about Action full circle.