Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The sound of magic

Snow Day Shickshinny, PA by Jamie Grace-Duff 2003

      When I call a play a magical play, it feels like this picture to me. Plays that I have loved, like truly and deeply loved down to the bone squeezed every particle out of them and they still take my breath away plays, they are like this. There is a quietness to them. Perhaps it is literally because there is space between all the words, moments of magic in between the talk talk talk, there are pauses where amazing incredible things without words happen. I felt it in 36 Views by Naomi Iizuka - that there were these huge momentous things happening, but happening minutely and silently - like the first green things pushing out of the mud and snow in Spring, like buds on trees so tightly bound and slowly, so achingly slowly bursting forth with green leaves. At the Vanishing Point also by Naomi Iizuka remains one of the most magical plays I have ever experienced and so much of it was silent - just bodies in space and lights and shadows and us choosing to see it. It is there when I read Babel Project by Greg Romero, these long pauses between words where music and motion happen. And I want to read more, more things that are like these things. I thought I had discovered a trick. If I flip through the pages of a script and see no breaks between names and words, then I know there isn't any room for magic. That is not to say that it is not an incredible story, that it is not another Proof or Rabbit Hole, but it is not a play like seeing seeing nature's calligraphy drawn out on snow.
    And then a voice whispers to me that this is how I write plays. Of which there are only two, but both plays contain this feeling of quietness and these large moments of story in between the words. I think this is significant and important, although I cannot think what it is I would want to write. But like I recently discovered in my theatrical work, if I am not being offered the work I want to do, then I must provide it myself. Perhaps I need to write these plays so others can have a space to play and expand. Another theatrical role that I never thought I would play. If it scares me, then I have to do it! Impossible, you don't scare me.

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