Blog #2; Progress
I feel great right now about playwriting and theatre in general. I recently finished a longer play, which is something I hadn’t done in quite a while and rather a relief — especially since I’m putting it up in November!
I’ve rather liked the plays we’ve been reading so far: I had of course already read Long Day’s Journey into Night, but enjoyed re-reading it and submersing myself into his magnificent character creation. The Humans was also enjoyable, despite being sometimes aware of the ‘strings of the playwright;’ it felt rather like a horror movie, but instead of people getting picked-off one by one, the family just slowly descended into the chaos that is Thanksgiving. Aunt Dan and Lemon may be my least favorite play that we have read so far, but that’s only because the standard is quite high — I did like it, it’s just in a narrative style that I don’t find particularly compelling (at least to read.) I do understand, though, why it was so important at the time it was written stylistically, and I agree that the themes it addresses are still relevant today, if not even more so. Finally, I’m embarrassed to say that The Aliens was the first Annie Baker play that I had read; and, even though I don’t want to get to know any of those characters in real life, the play makes me really want to get to know her. The dialogue was naturalistic in a new and fresh way, and it felt like everything was fake and everything was meant to feel fake — which I love. Zeitgeist is a theme that I am very interested in exploring further; family not as much, only because my family usually ends up reading or seeing the plays I write.
I have found the exercises helpful in a lot of ways — from reading everyone else’s out loud I realize that most people in the class are willing to be incredibly personal with their plays, which is something that I am less inclined to do, although of course every play is personal on some level. It is interesting to get a feel for everybody’s different rhythms. The way we have been running discussion is helpful I think — it allows people to learn from hearing their play read out loud, as well as from seeing what kinds of questions people are asking about other people’s plays.
Perhaps I’ll write my dissertation about her? How does one apply for graduate school? Frankly, I’m taking the GRE on Monday and won’t be able to enjoy anything until after it is over.