Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saleh: Blogging BLOODWORKS

My Bloodworks play (which is, for now, untitled) is a new piece that grew out of my short play “Home Games” that I wrote for the April Youngblood hometown brunch. I’m tempted to say that this untitled piece is a departure from my usual style, but really, every time I write something new I’m tempted to say this. Which I suppose means that I do not have a “usual style” or that my style is constantly evolving developing shifting… The point is, that this untitled play is unlike anything I’ve tried before, namely it is the most traditional/realist/kitchensinky thing I’ve let myself write.

I had asked to write for the April brunch before knowing what the theme was, and when I found out that it was the hometown brunch I panicked a little. I had never written about where I come from and I was not interested in doing so. I played around with ideas to get around it- I considered writing a silent film play (my hometown, Dryden, lies just outside of Ithaca which had a brief moment in the sun as the nexus of silent film), I considered adapting a John Dryden play (for whom the town of Dryden was named), I considered lying about where I’m from. I did not consider that a two stop light farm town in the middle of New York state could make for good drama. In the end, I printed out a John Dryden comedy “Marriage a la Mode” and went to work to turn this five act 17th century romantic comedy into a ten minute brunch piece. Awesome idea, I know. But as I read Dryden’s play, places and people from the Dryden I grew up in started to take over, started to talk to me. And so I stopped trying to get around where I came from and decided to jump into it. Writing “Home Games” was fast and fun and at the end of the ten pages I felt like I was just getting started with the characters. My Bloodworks play takes the characters and central relationship from “Home Games” and spins them out into a full length drama. The fun of the short version was how many questions it brought up, and the full length attempts to answer some of these questions. I’ve been having a lot of fun writing this play, and I’m hoping this means it will be a fun play to watch. And if not, I’ll rewrite it as a five act silent 17th century romantic comedy. Obvi.


No comments: