The Playwrights Forum Home 
 

SEARCH STAGEPLAYS.COM
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PLAY DATABASE

  STAGEPLAYS BOOKSHOP NEW CYBERPRESS PLAYS PLAYWRIGHTING BOOKS PUBLISH MY PLAY AFFILIATE PROGRAM THE THEATRE BANNER EXCHANGE  
The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Work-in-Progress > How to move forward

* STAGEPLAYS WANTS TO PUBLISH YOUR PLAY *
click here for details

 Moderated by: Paddy, Edd
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
How to move forward  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Tue May 15th, 2012 02:07 am
  PM Quote Reply
1st Post
RTurco
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 254
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Evening all,

So I recently heard back from the Young Playwrights Theatre in New York, and as is custom for their national competition, I recieved a 1-page critiquing of the play. It's called "The Vacuous Case of Mister Um" (it's on the forum if any of you care to look for it). They had some interesting things to say, mostly good and a lot that was constructive. I just am not too sure how to move forward in revising. Some comments they made included noting that thematically, they didn't know where the play was leading them, especially because this play revolves around absurd themes. They also reccomended that I try and tighten the scenes with all the banter. Hmmm. I don't know. Maybe I'm just venting. Any of you ever gotten a critique and never knew what to do with it?

The only thing I started doing is going through the play literally phrase by phrase and analyzing what the it all means thematically. This gets a bit tiring but I'm sure what else to do. Ugh. Revising nebulous, absurdist fiction is hard work.

RTurco

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Tue May 15th, 2012 01:05 pm
  PM Quote Reply
2nd Post
Paddy
Moderator


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2152
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Sometimes, I've seen playwights get lost in critique. in a playwright's group, you learn to take advise from some, and not from others, mostly because you come to learn who's tastes are more like yours, etc. There are playwrights I've been in groups with who will never like my work. Thing is, you don't know where this is coming from. My suggestion, is just look at the things that resonate with you, and ignore the others.

Shrug.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Tue May 15th, 2012 03:13 pm
  PM Quote Reply
3rd Post
RTurco
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 254
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Hmm. Good advice. It seems that, while I like what this theatre does, they never seem to understand my plays.

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Tue May 15th, 2012 03:38 pm
  PM Quote Reply
4th Post
Doug B
Member


Joined: Thu May 20th, 2010
Location: Eastsound, Washington USA
Posts: 94
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
A few thoughts from a guy who stopped writing plays for several years after getting several bad critiques on a play:

Not having read the critique all I can offer are some generalizations. The first is a quote from Marsha Norman that addresses the thematic direction:

“I’m convinced that there are absolutely unbreakable rules in the theatre, and that it doesn’t matter how good you are, you can’t break them . . . You must state the issue at the beginning of the play. The audience must know what is at stake; they must know when they will be able to go home: “This is a story about a little boy who lost his marbles.” They must know, when the little boy either gets his marbles back or finds something better than his marbles, or kills himself because he can’t live without his marbles, that the play will end and they can applaud and go home. He can’t NOT care about the marbles. He has to want them with such a passion that you are interested, that you connect to that passion. The theatre is all about wanting things that you can or can’t have or you do or do not get. Now the boy himself has to be likeable. It has to matter to you whether he gets his marbles or not.”

As to tightening scenes: I continue to be amazed at how tightly written good plays are. In a great play, there is not a single sentence that can be cut because it affects the play somewhere else. Even the initial exposition must refer to something later in the play.

I suggest you go through the play one sentence at a time. Why is that sentence there? Why do we need to know what it says???

There must be a place later in the play where that knowledge will will affect the outcome of the play. For example, you might tell the audience that the character is very tired. If that knowledge does not directly affect another point in the play, cut it.

Hope this helps

Doug

Last edited on Tue May 15th, 2012 03:42 pm by Doug B

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Tue May 15th, 2012 03:49 pm
  PM Quote Reply
5th Post
RTurco
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 254
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Thanks Doug! I will definitely keep going through the work, analyzing it bit by bit. I'll let you know how it goes.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

Current time is 11:12 pm  
The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Work-in-Progress > How to move forward Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.1912 seconds (15% database + 85% PHP). 26 queries executed.