On Saturday, I attended a designer meeting for Rivendell Theatre’s production of Psalms of a Questionable Nature which will be going into rehearsal in a couple weeks. The decision to produce this play was relatively last-minute; a confluence of circumstance, really. There are a few writing issues I left for when/if the thing is produced again. Nagging little things I would get to in the event of a next time. I am often unprepared when next time becomes right now. How it goes: I’m done and I dust my hands and the sod is years growing on the burial plot. Then years later the phone rings and a voice says: “yeah, your play? Has risen from the dead and would like to talk to you.” Oh, jesus, okay, put her on. Hello? I’m in the middle of other writing – can we – no? You need to talk now. Okay. Go ahead. (checks watch) Uh huh. Uh huh.
So you can always (or almost always) rewrite if someone wants to produce the play again. It’s an opportunity (or curse), part of the fun (or headache). The parentheticals get out of hand. (Clearly). You move on and become a different person and a better writer. Or maybe it’s a better person and a different writer? Or maybe you’re a few years older, a little brain damaged, and you live dangerously close to a liquor store. Once you have left a script behind, going back to it becomes a cold, clinical assessment. You are an editor on a script written by a person who just happens to have the same name as you. Then, on a beautiful Saturday, you find yourself sitting in a room with people who are talking about the play in the present tense and you can’t remember why or how you wrote this line or made that choice or what you were thinking and now you feel caught in a time-loop.
Doing what I can to get my brain back into the world of Psalms. Going back to some sources of inspiration. Tin Hat Trio’s album Helium. Richard Selzer’s essay “How To Build A Slaughterhouse” in his book Taking The World In For Repairs. Some new photos – unearthed by the design team looking for their own source of inspiration: http://www.oboylephoto.com/chemistry_lab/index.htm