Being A Playwright

You're a...what? Did you say 'playwright'? Um...I've never...

I have the best job in the world. Okay, it pays miserably. And yes, it involves being obsessed with what some consider a dying art form. Nonetheless, there's the work itself. Being a playwright involves creating these lives, these people, their loves, losses, yea even their destinies. It sounds pretty darn close to being divinely powerful, doesn't it? Plus, I get to play with words. Having godlike power and outrageous fun at the same time--who else gets to do that? Okay, I'll admit I've tried to be a reasonable normal regular person and quit. It's too late. Writing's got me by the heart, the brain, the neck and it won't let go.

"...the way words swirl in your mouth--like they have different tastes to them. You always liked them--words..." [Hope to William Inge in TOUCHED.]

People often tell me they've never met a playwright before. So here you can. I hereby invite you to peruse my idiosyncratic web site. It's a tiny window into my life, my work, my thoughts, my words.

What do I write?

I write plays for the stage, screenplays for the screen, a journal for myself. I write plays because I believe theater has the power to change lives. The theater is my temple. I write for film because it can reach a wide audience and part of my goal is to communicate. It's also the medium my daughter and her friends relate to the most. I keep a journal because releasing my anxieties and frustrations keeps me sane and it also gives me a place to store ideas, doodles and snatches of dialog.

And why?

Why write for theater?

From its beginnings, theater has examined the ethical questions of our time, celebrated our history, and helped us imagine our future. Theater has provided us with a conscience and a springboard for discussion. In the theater, we can be entertained. But even better, we can feel. We can learn. We can take the extraordinary risk of being in the room with live performers where anything can happen. We can see Romeo and Juliet right before our eyes. Surely, tonight will be the night they choose to live.

"I want a chance at that 'Romeo and Juliet' I've heard about but they tell me I'm not fit to read." [Barbara Johns' monologue in NOW LET ME FLY)

And when you're not writing?

I give workshops, mentor, sit on panels, present talks, pay bills, garden, sleep. I lead sessions on Writing to Heal and journal-writing. I hire out to read and comment on manuscripts of novels and scripts. I give Creativity Workshops to help individuals and businesses expand their horizons and productivity. I daydream. Write myself notes. Chat with my husband. Play with my friends. I can come to your library or school and give a workshop on writing plays. I can entertain your luncheon with the stories of how I went about writing NOW LET ME FLY, my Brown v. Board play. I can read your manuscript and be your cheerleader, your helpful positive critic. I can research the next play, pet my cats, breathe.