WTF Blog #3
Good morning, Campers! And don't forget your booties 'cause it's COOOOOOOLD out there today! It's cold out here every day ;)
No, but seriously, it's freezing here in Pennsylvania today. Hello, all! I hope this installment of “Maribeth Tries To Adult and Get Her Play Published” finds you well. Things are going great here—especially if you love snow-shoeing. Hmm...actually—I do not. Oh well.
I know for my last entry I spoke about going through comments everyone had given me about how “Sweet Tea And Baby Dreams” could be improved upon. I actually spent a couple of (LONG) days going through everything that was said, both the good and bad, complementary and cruel.
I used the comments to honestly ask myself things about my play: “Was this needed? Was this situation clear? Was this relationship defined enough?” So with that in mind, I spent the last couple of weeks weeding through my show, defining and cutting and even adding (though a note I got from a few people was that the show was a bit long). I'm hoping these changes will make the piece stronger and more enticing to theatres.
The first thing I had to do was work on the opening scene between Nora and Quinn. It's a long scene and it sets up a lot of the show, so for me cutting any of it was very hard. But I tweaked here and there and in the process of doing that I even asked myself some new questions about the characters and their relationship. And from THAT came something amazing—an entirely new backstory and reasons as to why Nora and Quinn do not yet have children. I LOVED their new story and I wouldn't have ever thought to put it in had I remained in my cozy mindset of “My play is perfect.” I also cut some redundant dialogue, and added stronger connections between the characters.
It still wasn't perfect, but I wanted to hear how the changes would sound, so I invited some awesome theatre friends over to take part in a new “reading” of the script. I won't lie—it was really strange. Some people in NC had been involved with “Sweet Tea and Baby Dreams” from the very first night, workshop to production. And now to hear it with entirely new voices...yeah...it was weird.
Only one person at the reading had ever read the script, which was good in a way—this allowed me to hear how easily everything would flow without really anyone having prior knowledge of what it's “supposed” to sound like. By the end of the first act everyone had gotten comfortable and we were having a great time. I loved that feeling of an entirely new group finding entirely new things about something I created. Nothing will ever beat my first cast, I know—but it is REALLY amazing to see for the first time that your play will have a life outside of the comfort zone you've placed it in.
I still have some more edits to go, but I'm filled with so much hopeful energy that I'm actually excited to DO them! I've also submitted it to a couple of theatres (with the proviso they understand small changes may still be coming) and am looking into playwriting contests, which are a beast of their own.
So yes, lots of work, lots of reflection, and sadly, lots of saying goodbye to the version that started all of this. I don't know what's to happen, but I have hope that it will at least be a pretty sweet adventure. :)
All the love, darlings! <3