Well, here I am at the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival on a Playwrights’ Retreat, I think they are calling it. There are ten of us from around the country. We have been invited here as guests of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to have some time to work on our new plays or whatever we feel like working on, really. There’s no pressure, it’s pure writing time. This is what all writers need more than anything else: PURE WRITING TIME.
I have with me my new play entitled “Those White Things in the Ocean.” Today I had an excellent dramaturgy session with my friend/colleague/mentor/dramaturg/director Bob White. I learned a lot about the play. I think I have about a week of walking around with my notebook thinking about it, then I will sit down and create a new draft.
I am also vaguely working on another play entitle “Ham” which is about ham. Turns out that Stratford is not only the Shakespeare capital of Canada, it’s also the place the pork producers call home. God works in mysterious ways.
While we are here, we can see any of the plays that are currently running. I am hoping to see “The Homecoming” by Harold Pinter tomorrow, one of my favourite plays.
Beyond this, I have found a coffee shop I like and a bar that has all the baseball games on.
I have made new friends and renewed old acquaintances. I feel blessed to have been invited here.
It’s a dream gig, being a playwright at a festival dedicated to another playwright, especially a famous one, maybe even the best one, ever. No pressure. The fact that a festival like this has invited living breathing writing playwrights to its facility, and paying us to be here, is really so encouraging on so many levels, I honestly never thought it would happen in my lifetime. But I’m glad it is.
More updates to follow. Thanks for reading. Here’s a wobbly photo of me looking dramatic (almost) on the stage of the Misanthrope: