Tuesday, June 17, 2008

iowa city

As most of you know, there's been all these crazy floods in the midwest. Iowa City, where I spent four years of my life, is really messed up.


I look at these pictures and think, oh my god, I used to walk there, and there and there, and oh my god, the fountain in front of the IMU is completely submerged! And I think about the theatre building and the art building with the Pollock hanging in it and the library and I just want want to cry.

Why all this over a city?

This is my writing heart, the place the pretty well shaped me into the writer I am today. I know, everything in my life has, but after my father died, it was pretty much the next thing that kept me writing, encouraged me to write. I wrote and performed my first No Shame piece, 'Deep Thumb' , in Theatre B in the theatre building. I went on to write other pieces and to take playwriting classes, and the people and the very city itself helped me to become who I am today.

It's my angel, you know? And to see what the flood has done to the place I love, it's heartbreaking.

I know it will rebound and will fix itself, and this will be forgotten, but it just makes you remember the important angels of your life.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

things you learn

i approach writing my plays from a dramaturgical standpoint. I took a class in dramaturgy when I was at the university of iowa, and I wrote a play, 'Koma', as my final project (or protocol, as it was called in the class). It was awesome to research some varying things and then weave it all together into a play. i very much enjoyed that process. it tied my love for research together with my love for writing.

because in case you didn't know, i'm a giant nerd when it comes to research. Research papers were some of my favoritest things ever in college. i would get a bit of a thrill from having to do one. I loved spending time in the library, looking for the right source, wandering amid the rows of books, inhaling their hoary, heady scent. Awesome. So when I took dramaturgy and wrote 'Koma', I knew I had found my way of creating a play.

So pretty much every play I write has some research involved in it. Some plays, not much, others, tons. The one I am working on right now, I kind of had to create a whole new religious idea (which may or may not exist, possibly under a different name), but I have two characters who are best described a fundamentalist environmentalist Christians.

How about that? That's super exciting.

And I'm also dealing with the element of a character in disguise. This character, originally, I was going to have her just be in the play as herself but with some changes she claims happened to make her more able to fit into the group of people she's with. She's basically undercover, and several people are suspicious of her right away, and with good reason. It all felt predictable and not quite what the play needed.

But then I came up with the idea that she's in deep undercover: new name, look, etc. No one recognizes her, except one person. who remembers her character as one created during high school for a play. But there's no proof. Then another character also becomes suspicious when he full on recognizes her, and these two characters work together to figure out what the undercover character is up to.

And it works better for the play in the long run. It's harder to pull off because I won't have the audience knowing exactly who she is when she first shows up. So the challenge is to leave appropriate clues and see how things go after that. but i think it's going to work better, be less predicable, and more like what the play needs.

it's just funny because i never thought the play would turn out like THIS. it's amazing how those things work.