Saturday, February 12, 2011

Failure? Maybe, Maybe Not

So I did something in December that, until right now, only six people knew about, including me. I've mentioned my PP play on this blog numerous times, obsessed over it, finished it, and handed it in. I was very proud of it. I am very proud of it. However, when my professor suggested that I submit it for my school's theatre season, I was a little hesitant. I don't show a lot of people my writing. Besides doing WIP Wednesdays on this blog, there are really only two people to whom I regularly show my writing, and I've talked about them in an old blog post about writing buddies. I find it hard to part with my babies, though I'm getting much better due to writing classes and workshops.
I also didn't know if I wanted to submit it because when I spoke about it with my advisor (who has a great hand in choosing the season, if not the whole hand), he told me that I needed to get it in very fast, as they usually announce the next season in the first week of January. The completed script was due for class on December seventeenth. I had a copy to my advisor by the fifteenth. And while I did hand him a completed script... it was a first draft. Not all of the scenes- some of them were nearly a year old. But others had been completed just hours before. I knew it wasn't ready, but because I had been encouraged to do so, I had enough nerve to turn it in.

I wasn't ashamed of my advisor reading it- I think it's an okay play. But it's not great, not yet. Besides the fact that some of the plot can be fleshed out much further, it would also be a challenge for my school's theatre space in regards to stage size, cast size (we hardly have any boys at my school, and my play would need all of them), and stunt ability (there's not a lot, but it is Peter Pan and since the Spiderman debacle, people are pretty leery about the whole flying thing, no matter how brief.) I didn't know what to expect in ways of reaction. They've set precedent in working with student playwrights after they choose the student's show, and I wasn't sure if that might happen to me. When I would have exchanges about the next season with my advisor, he would be cryptic. I got an e-mail response from him this week telling me that he thought I would be very happy with the next season.

It was announced last night. My play is not on it.

Am I sad? No. Not at all. The part of me that really wanted to have a play I love produced this soon is a little disappointed. But I don't feel cheated or gyped or disrespected or overlooked. I'm not relieved, but it does take a good deal of pressure off of the rewrites I'm doing now, which I would have embarked on either way. I do want to publish this play one day, but it needs a lot of work.

So I don't consider this a failure. I won't lie- there was a moment or two when I thought, "If he hates the play, does that make me an awful writer? What does this mean?" But the fact is, I don't know if he hated the play. He might- we have different tastes in plays and I wrote a play I would want to see. But he might not hate it. There is a myriad of reasons why my play wasn't chosen; dislike could be one reason, but even if it is, there's probably something else too (like the casting of non-existent boys.) Also... the season is freaking awesome. I felt nothing but excitement when I read it.

So no failure here. Not success either, really, but it doesn't lessen my passion for the play and it hasn't slowed my rewrites. I just sent a fresh draft, complete with two brand-new scenes, off to one of my trusty writing partners last night. Hopefully with his edits, I can make it even better and hope to one day see it mounted on a stage.

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