Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Play's the Thing

Monday I went to Ford's Theatre in D.C. to hear a talk by local playwright Ken Ludwig. Author of popular stage farces like Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, Ludwig was there to speak about his newest play Leading Ladies, now running at Ford's. While I wouldn't call him America's greatest living playwright or anything, he's good at a style of cornball, slightly over the top farces that are generally pretty fun.

Much of the talk focused on the current play, where his inspiration came from, what he tries to do with all his plays, etc, etc. But someone finally asked something that made my ears perk up a little. They asked, quite simply, how and when he decided to write plays over any other form of literature (the below is a paraphrase, not a quote).

My brother's only a few years older than me. We were raised by the same parents and in the same town. But for some reason he has no interest in anything. My interest in writing really comes from a love of the theatre. Like most people, I first got involved in high school in the obvious way of acting. But the more involved in got in theatre, the more I learned about and appreciated the other crafts that go into theatre: set design, lighting, technical crews, directing, costumes, and of course writing. As I got older, realized that's where my talent is. Writing is my way to participate in what I love the most; theatre.

It's a lovely sentiment, and probably why I'll never write a play. My fond memories as a kid are not of theatre, but of sitting in libraries, the back seats of hot cars in the summer, or curled up under a blanket reading to myself. It was, and still is, one of the great pleasures in my life. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute to people's reading pleasure as much as Ludwig has to people's theatre pleaure. Dare to dream, I guess.

My posting will probably be sporadic the next several days; I have a few non-blog writing projects coming due and need to get cracking on them. I'll get a few up here and there, though.


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