We all know there are two types of people in this world. Playwrights who by nature would keep a blog, and playwrights who wouldn’t. By temperament, I wouldn’t. I’m a private soul. That is why, up until now, I have only kept imaginary blogs. I have an imaginary blog about lighting design, in which I go see new plays and only talk about the qualities of light. I have another imaginary blog in which I give terrible professional advice to my friends. Do not steal my imaginary ideas. They may someday become manifest, like my imaginary tattoos.
In the meanwhile, though – hello and welcome to my very real blog. The Wilma has asked me to keep a digital record of the ins and outs and ups and downs of my commission process, and I am going to do it because in spite of myself, I think it is a good idea. They can call it my “blog.” I will think of it as my 19th Century diary. Those were simpler times, in the diary world. There were rules. One rule was, “one must not attempt too much.”
Here is an example of an entry that attempts not too much:
Monday. April 4, 2016. A mild rain. Paid no social visits. Did not go to day job because have been postponing writing of blog post in extreme terror. Confronted domestic partner about unusual experience with hair conditioner. He confirmed that he swapped it out with mayonnaise. Dined at Starbucks. It met expectations.
They are not so different from us, the Victorians. Those self-absorbed millennials of a century ago.
“What happenings in your life are worth recording?” asks the 19th C diarist of herself. In mine, yes, Wilma, you are right – it is this generous commission. Why not concurrently open up the strange and mysterious ways of making a play? Why not keep a record of the bits and loose ends that come to add up to a whole? This is a journal about process, manifestos, questions. I may also make note of the weather, lighting design, books started, library fines, social visits, wildlife sightings.
I hope this record will be of use to someone. Maybe you?
- As part of the Wilma’s emphasis on producing bold new works, playwright Kate Tarker has been commissioned through the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation’s Woman Playwrights Commissioning Program to develop a new project specifically for our Wilma HotHouse resident acting company.