View single post by in media res
 Posted: Mon Sep 24th, 2007 04:03 pm
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in media res


Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Posts: 1941

(When I CAPITALIZE, it is not internet "yelling." It seems italics does not work on my "reply screen," so please understand it is only for the reply to STAND OUT - not a chasitsement. I apologize in advance.)

I love the “log line.” I have no idea what the title means, which is okay, and it sounds unique. I think the first line of the actual synopsis is also terrific - just terrific opener. We get a tone of what the play’s style will be like through the log-line immediately followed by the first line of the synopsis, which is excellent. Has me intrigued from the outset. And giggling. I'd want to read it on the first line alone!

After that first line, however, I get confused on a first read - WHICH MAY BE THE ONLY ONE YOU GET - by the relationships you try to establish.

I also love the last phrase: “and Ruth dares the chickens to piss her off again.” Great “grabber opener.” Great closer. But I got lost in the short middle and I might not want to, nor more importantly, would I have the time to figure it out considering the volume of plays submitted to the O’Neill. NEVER MAKE THE READER HAVE TO DO ANY “CONNECT THE DOTS” OR MATHEMATICS ON A SYNOPSIS.

I want to be intrigued on every line as I was on the brilliant first and last lines. This can take as much exhauting work as the play!



I am lucky (CUT "LUCKY" - YOU ARE NEVER "LUCKY". IT SELLS YOU WORK SHORT. JUST SAY "I HAVE HAD." DID YOU EVER HEAR A DOCTOR SAY "I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN FOR AN INTERNSHIP AT SLOAN-KETTERING HOSPITAL? NO YOU EARNED IT.) to have had a number of readings of Vermipostal, each at a different location and with a slightly different cast. I received feedback at every one. STOP HERE WITH A PERIOD. - NOW I RECOMMEND CUTTING EVERYTHING THAT IS IN PARENTHESES (tried to sort the good from the totally off-base and applied what I thought best when rewriting. The last feedback session went so far astray one gentleman suggested “good writing would help” and another woman hijacked the session to discuss her pedophile step-father, keeping me well into the evening to provide more details. The rewrite that session created was an entirely new play almost, and it was instantly rebuked by my husband, who directed and stepped in for Kelvin twice. He, of course, was right and it went back to the play that it was, with some minor changes not involving pedophilia or “good writing.” Clearly I need help from an experienced Dramaturg. I am essentially untrained as a Dramatist, operating mainly on instinct and my experience as an actor.) FIRST: GET THE HUSBAND/WIFE/MOTHER/RELATIVES OUT OF IT - NO ONE CARES. WHAT DOES THAT ADD TO THE STORY? Second, your tale of readings is unique to you, but is not unique to anyone in the theatre. It happens everyday. It is an unneccessary diversion and it shows you were willing to be swayed by feedback from a looney, and also willing to be held hostage by one!

And never undersell the value acting brings to writing. I have seen far more good actors clean up bad writing than writers clean up bad acting!

THE FOLLOWING IS CLEAR AND GOOD: What I feel the play needs most is clarification of Kelvin’s character, his intentions and his reasons for taking an interest in Betty and the others. I also want to help clarify the farm as another character for the audience - who is MOST LIKELY largely unconnected to the earth as a food source. Ultimately, I believe the play is all about composting, finding the right mix in order to grow. (WE KNOW IT IS A METAPHOR) It is a metaphor. I need to find a way to make the audience understand that, in order for those trees (THIS IS THE FIRST TIME YOU MENTION TREES AND THEY HAVE NO SIGNIFICANCE IN YOUR SYNOPSIS. IS IT A PLAY ABOUT PEOPLE OR A PLAY ABOUT TREES? ) to grow, “the event” must happen the way it does…that’s the way composting, and life itself, works. (WHAT IS THE ESSENTIAL EVENT?) If I am given the opportunity to work on this at The O’Neill Center I know the play would benefit from the experience. I would also grow as a playwright, without the aide of compost. My husband thanks you. (SEE PREVIOUS COMMENT about relatives)

I also love the line "without the aid of compost." Get me back to the tone of the original line of the log-line and synopsis.

Pet peeve time: I do not like the phrase "O'Neill Experience." "Experience' is much overused. I would mention something like "the professional, focused work my play would receive at the O"Neill" or something like that.

I think your story is far better and more intriguing than your objectives statement. Make them tie in more securely with each other.

Once I took the time to try to figure out the synopsis, I liked the possibility of the story. However, you may not have someone read it who is willing to take...or have that time.

Again, I apologize for the capitals.

And I have enjoyed my "internet experience" with you.


in media res

Last edited on Mon Sep 24th, 2007 04:07 pm by in media res