"I like how you see the potential in everyone's work," a student says to me today after Play Lab. I've heard this before in previous years from Play Lab participants, and I'm so happy to hear it again. Because what I teach here at the IWWG Summer Writing Conference happens in a different format than any of our other workshops. Participants start with me, often without any experience writing for the stage. But by Wednesday, each will have a monologue draft, a short scene, or a ten-minute play on its feet in our staged reading for an audience. We work swiftly, and participants risk a lot to get dialogue/monologue down on the page that's fit to put in an actor's hands for Wednesdays. I do love this - hearing the rough draft, sometimes a very rough, first attempt, to put a story in a theatrical format - and I do see the possibilities and help them to see them too. Because that is what a stage is: possibility. Surplus reality. Imagine. What if. . . I listen for the heart of the story. Thinking theatricality, is the fun, the freedom, the delight, the magic, the enchantment. I know participants are working their butts off rewriting and revising and learning. They are brilliant at supporting each other - what joy to see how helpful they can be to each other. The camaraderie in the room is tangible. We are working together. We're heading into great performances, I know this, even though some of them have doubt and uncertainty. I love what I get to do here.
And, yes, I also had a walk in the rose garden, of course!
And, as if this wasn't enough: I also got to go to a poetry workshop for myself; go to a board meeting, a committee meeting, have a deep conversation with a dear friend at lunch and dance furiously with a gang of women before listening to brilliant stories read in our All Voices Open Mic. Pretty good day. Pretty, pretty good.