|Yes, I’m back with another book. This one, though, has been many years in the making and is one that initially I wasn’t entirely sure that I could or should write.
During my more than two decades of writing plays and receiving productions, I would, at various stages, document my thoughts and experiences as a playwright with the intention that one day I might perhaps write a book on the subject. When that day finally arrived, however, I found myself rooted to the spot with uncertainty. After much internal deliberation, I eventually decided I would begin writing it, and if I didn’t feel happy with how it was developing I would simply abandon it. However, as is so often the case with writing, once I got the ball rolling everything seemed to flow out onto the page as if it had been just waiting for me to set it free.
I’d purchased a couple of playwriting books myself back when I first started out, but frankly I found them of little real use, as rather than demystify the process, the authors seemed intent on making it more appear more esoteric and impenetrable than anything else – presumably to make themselves appear more erudite. My book would be different.
As to whether I should write it, I suppose I felt rather put off by the idea that anyone who writes any kind of guide or how-to book is setting themselves up as some kind of authority on the subject – which is certainly not my intention. I'm someone who doesn’t come from a literary background; who doesn’t hold a BFA or an MFA in playwriting; who’s never taken a writing course in their entire life; and someone who has no insider connections within the theatre industry.
At the same time, I'm someone who’s written over 40 plays (and counting), the vast majority of which have gone on to receive successful productions around the world, many of them numerous times. I’ve won multiple playwriting awards in New York, Los Angeles and the U.K. I’ve had my work translated into French, Spanish, Persian and Hebrew, and my writing has received plaudits from critics in London, New York, Los Angeles, and many other cities and communities. I have plays and monologues published in dozens of trade publications by some of the country’s leading theatre publishers, and a play of mine is included in the best-selling The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing (10th Edition), one of the foremost academic textbooks in its field that is required reading in many colleges and universities up and down the country.
And that is why I finally decided I should write this book. I wanted to show any young (or old) aspiring or early-stage playwrights that nothing in your social or educational background need prevent you from becoming an accomplished and successful writer for the stage. With aptitude, hard work, and perseverance, you can achieve great things.
Also, while many playwriting books focus solely on stagecraft, this one also examines the nuts and bolts of getting your plays produced. After all, writing a play is one thing, but it won't have fulfilled its purpose until it's been brought to life on a stage.
You won’t find any pontificating over Aristotelian theory or self-indulgent hypothesizing on the meaning of theatre in this book. What I offer here is straightforward, practical advice gained in the real world of playwriting and production. I’ve achieved what I have through doing, not theorizing, and I sincerely hope that I what I share in this book will help others realize their own ambitions as a playwright, however modest or far-reaching they may be.
In short (after that very long ramble), with A Practical Guide to Becoming a Playwright: Real World Knowledge, Experience and Insight I’ve attempted to write the book that I wish I’d had when I first ventured out into the wide and wonderful world of playwriting.
Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2018 09:33 pm by Wrighter