charles mee

the (re)making project

The Plays

The Life of a Playwright [sample]

by Charles L. Mee

To Full Text


The playwright enters carrying a portable computer
and a pile of papers and a couple of pencils.
He goes to a table downstage center
or off to one side
and sits.

During the play he never speaks.
He thinks
and he writes some things from time to time on his computer
and makes notes and writes things with pencil and paper
and thinks.

He walks out once and returns with a cup of tea
walks out second time later on
and returns zipping pants, having just peed

when he walks out
the rest of the cast stands around with nothing to do
wondering where he has gone
and if he will come back.

With lots of doubling and tripling,
the cast can be 8 or 10 actors.

Or the actors could change their names and costumes now and then—
or some additional actors could be cast in the production—
so there would be 16 or 18 characters in the piece
since it’s clear the playwright isn’t writing a single coherent play.

The characters in the play should be
straight, gay, lesbian, multiple races, old and young,
able and disabled, and……..
All the scenes and physical performances
in this script can be cut or replaced
with other scenes from the Re-Making Project
and other performance pieces.

And the director and actors should feel free
to cut 10 or 20 pages of material that they
don’t feel is working wonderfully for them.

So, in the beginning,
after the playwright has sat down and begun making notes
two actors enter,
find a place to locate themselves,
and speak.

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