Thursday, August 30, 2012

WOF playwright Diane Exavier on the Transparency of Process

When I was nine, I remember Sister Lynn or Miss Toomey or Mrs. Wilkins—one of those fine ladies—teaching our fourth grade science class at Little Flower School that photosynthesis is the “process by which plants make food.” That’s basically where my knowledge of botany and horticulture ends, but I always think of that definition when it comes to playwriting.

Playwriting is the “process by which wrights make plays.” Something that is really important to me is the transparency of process, because, kind of like photosynthesis (watch me try to build this bridge), it’s almost as if something chemical happens between what I’m writing on all of these crumpled pieces of paper (that are then transcribed to various electronic devices) and what an audience is seeing and hearing in those words. The result is so filling, so necessary, so real.

And maybe I’m really impatient, or maybe I’m super needy, but I do look for that sustenance, which only the interaction with an audience can offer, during different phases of my writing process because I need to make sure I am constantly breathing life into my work; and my lungs are pretty small, so I need all the help I can get. *

This is why I wanted to get on board with Write Out Front: because playwrights make plays like plants make food; and we all need to eat, eat, eat, and breathe, breathe, breathe. So it’s my job to write, write, write.

*I totally have normal-sized lungs.

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