There Are All Kinds of Beginnings.
In 2015 I wrote drafts of two full-length plays: The Red Flags and 2Y20M. They are very different plays on very different subjects, but more than that, they are very different types of drafts. The Red Flags is what I call cookie dough. Yes, it’s raw, but already you can tell what kind of cookie it’s going to be. 2Y20M, on the other hand, is pancake batter.
Pancakes are delicious; pancake batter is not.
When you show a theater or potential collaborator your cookie dough draft, people are happy because they have an idea of what you’ve got there. Maybe they love that kind of cookie; maybe they don’t. But what you’re offering is pretty clear and we all like to know what we’re getting ourselves into, yes? Conversely, if you’re going to show people pancake batter, they need to know a couple of things going in: first, they have to know all about pancakes, and second, they have to trust that you can cook. If you’re going to share your runny mess with people, they have to be game and you better preheat the griddle.
So now I start this Sweet ‘16 with drafts in various states: cookie dough, pancake batter,an intricate pastry that is getting stale, a rich stew that needs something (but what?!), and a pan of fudge that seems to have hardened weirdly and is stuck in the pan. I think I will just have to throw that one out.
*A big thank you to Chris Chinn, David Meyers, Stephen Dexter, McKenna Cox, Tessa Borbridge, Jenny Zerke, and Bernard J. Tarver pictured here reading a scene from 2Y20M at ESPA.*