2. It's In My Other Coat

How long does it take for a writer to find his or her voice? From my experience, there is no do-this-and-you-will-get-that as a writer. My professional career as a playwright began in the summer of 1997. I was halfway through my graduate degree and hadn't written a play in a couple of years. Then within a few short weeks the germ that would become The Night Before was planted and I began adapting Richard Boleslavsky's book, Acting: The First Six Lessons, for the stage.

More than fourteen years have passed since that summer, I'm still unproduced and I still don't have an original full-length play to my name. The Night Before and Shakespeare Restored were full-lengths when I first wrote them. After 14 years, I'm still at work on these first three plays. If my voice is organic, if it is natural, then it was there at the beginning, when I began those plays.

My adaptation of Boleslavsky has, within the last year, become Six Lessons. It has grown beyond the book for the first time. Shakespeare Restored has, within the last year, been cut down to a shorter play. I thought the topic was large enough to support 90 minutes, but it isn't. The most organic of the three plays, The Night Before, is becoming a new play as I write this. Perhaps I'm stubborn. Maybe I'm stupid. Or possibly I know who I am as a writer is within these three plays. This then is my primary job: to discover my voice by finding my way through to the end of these three plays.

originally posted November 2011
reposted March 2018

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