Sunday, July 18, 2010

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six-hundred minutes…”

My husband directs theatre in real life. For the past several weeks he’s been in rehearsals for RENT, one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals. He works with Geneva Theatre Guild in Geneva, NY and their performances are at the Smith Opera House, a nineteenth century structure that came alive in a very different way this past weekend.

Several things struck me as I watched, enjoyed and participated in the performances of truly gifted singers, musicians and technicians. One, I love live theatre even more than I love the movies. Two, the struggle of life – of love and friendships – is a timeless theme that never grows old. And three, I really, really, really want to write a play that speaks to an audience the way RENT spoke to me.

Caveat: I am not a RENThead. I saw it on Broadway with my husband about three months before it closed and the show was dated and tired. I saw the movie in the theatre and enjoyed it; we bought the DVD and its still in the plastic, unopened. So my comments are not based on a fanatical devotion to one musical but rather based on the ability of theatre to teach, to entertain and to broaden one’s philosophies.

As I sat in the audience last night (Saturday) and watched the “family” break apart, I found myself thinking about what makes one play better than the next one and realized it’s the same elusive, amorphous “thing” that sets one novel over others. Every one of us has a book that we read again and again, finding new “stuff” each time until we know every character, every word, every theme. I’m no closer to determining what that “thing” is now than I was before, but I can tell you RENT has it. So does ROMEO AND JULIET. And PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. And FRANKENSTEIN. And…you fill in the blank with the novel/play that spoke to you.

Several years ago I wrote a short scene between John Adams and Private White of Boston Massacre fame. A few months ago I dug it out and re-read it. Concept is great, execution? Not so much. Needs work. A LOT of work. This morning I started the scene that would need to precede that one and found myself digging into 1770 Boston and the men whose opinions helped to form our country. They had a lot to say and some of it bears repeating in these unsettled times.

So, I have the inspiration (thank you to my husband and his cast and crew of RENT), I have an outline (thanks to the work I started years ago) and I’m ready to give it a shot. A new medium and a new experiment…but isn’t that what makes life worth living?

And, if I’m being honest with myself, listening to Roger sing “One Song, Glory” struck a chord so deep inside me I don’t look very often. “One [book]. One [play] before I go…Find glory in a [book] that rings true, truth like a blazing fire, an eternal flame...”

Maybe its time I wrote from my heart again…

Play safe,

Diana

3 comments:

冠宇 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
錢靜怡錢靜怡錢靜怡 said...

世間事沒有一樣沒有困難,只要有信心去做,至少可以做出一些成績。..................................................

玉苓玉苓 said...

來拜訪你囉~期待你的下次文章~加油^^..................................................................