View single post by RTurco
 Posted: Sun May 16th, 2010 09:09 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 256
I recently presented my full-length play to Young Playwrights Inc.'s National Playwriting Competition. The theatre is the only one of its kind to produce plays written by young writers. My play was not accepted to continue on, but I received a nice little critiquing. They deemed my play thoughtful, and albeit it being set in the Soviet Union 1938, they noted that "it still resonates with the human condition". They went on to cite outstanding moments in the play, but then they moved to the drawbacks.

I welcome constructive criticism, yet I can't seem to figure out the actual meaning of this one: they comment how the play "takes play in a very specific historical world, but that the rules of the play are kind of 'fluid'."  

There are realistic elements in the play, but then, they are some unnatural points too: the protagonist hallucinates throughout the second Act and visions of his late brother plague him to no end. The hallucination (who I think is the result of the theatre's confusion) also kind of becomes the in-story narrator, as he can interact with all characters without them knowing his existence; he exists only in the protagonist's mind and mocks everyone by stating sarcastic assessments of their state.

In any case, the theatre goes on to mention how they were confused because they could not understand the rules of the play: "Not knowing the fundamental rules of the play left me on muddy ground to decipher the text. It may be helpful to decide a few ground rules governing your play (i.e. It is a heightened reality, therefore nobody will speak realistically). Clarifying the rules of the world in which your play is set and what theatrical devices you will use to tell the story could be a useful place to start revising..."

I don't really understand what it means to say "rules of a play". Is it the things that govern the realism of the work or something else? Others (and Clausey of this forum) had no difficulty in deciphering the text, so it may be just a personal assessment by the reader. Even so, I wonder what you all have to say about these "rules". Any information is helpful to my understanding of this critique.