Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Outrageous Fortune

Sadly, it's been a year since my last post.  It's difficult for me to keep on top of this for a number of reasons, namely time and commitment issues.  But now that I have been blessed with a regular playwriting schedule (thanks to my mother for watching my youngest child two days a week!), I can no longer use time as an excuse, until I get down to the final days of freedom before summer camp starts, and I'm in a crunch to finish the play.  My commitment issues - well, there's a seperate beast all together.

This year's play is entitled "Outrageous Fortune."  The tragic characters from several plays are in group therapy together and vow revenge on those who wrong them.  I'm about a quarter of a way in, and I must say, this is probably the easiest writing I've done.  This play is writing itself.  I'm being a little ambitious with the language, including entire scenes from the original plays.  But over the last five years that I've been doing this (writing a Shakespeare-based play and directing it at the Arvada Center) my students have proven to me time and time again that they are entirely capable of handling Shakespeare's original language with style, ease, and acting ability.  So I'm not worried.  In fact, I'm greatly looking forward to delving into this stuff with the younger set (8-13 year olds for this camp) and seeing what they come up with.

I will also be directing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the 13-18 year olds.  Our maiden voyage of a full original Shakespeare production last year was a beautiful success.  Producing "Romeo and Juliet" was not only a long lived dream of mine, it was a very valuable learning experience.  I'm not sure I could put my finger on, if asked, how it changed me, but it changed me.  It made me a better director, a better writer, and a better person.  It helped me see teenagers in a fresh new light - not only from working with the characters in the play, but from working with my students as individuals.  I've always been empathetic to them (I remember the pain, the sadness, the delight, the joy, the anticipation, the frustration, and the excitement of being a teen clearer than any of my students can imagine) but my experience with "Romeo and Juliet" deepened my understanding of young people further than even I thought possible.  Of course, I'm still expecting to hear "You don't understand me!" from my own daughters when they come of age.  I wonder if I'll ever be able to convince them that yes, in fact, I do understand them.

And so I look forward to "Midsummer" with great anticipation, and every Tuesday and Thursday until then, I will be seated here, at my computer, looking out the window as winter changes to spring, and writing "Outrageous Fortune."  I'll be updating this blog on a more regular basis, too - you know, in case anyone is actually reading it.

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