Monday, April 30, 2007

April Madness

"April Madness" was the challenge given to Boston area playwrights to finish writing a full-length stage play by the end of the month. I took up the gauntlet, and resolved to have something resembling a completed product by the end of the month Today I printed out my first stage-ready draft to be submitted later this week with the hopes of having it work shopped with a director and a cast of actors.

I had been carrying the story with me for many years, having told it many times. Often friends have suggested I write it down. After trying to write it as a memoir, a short story, even a narrative poem, I committed to writing a full-length play (just under twenty-thousand words, according to my computer.)

The subject was how the campus community of a Catholic university is impacted when the student newspaper publishes a Holocaust denial ad. Interestingly enough, I had begun my work before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial conference in Iran or the recent flap about some British teachers selecting not to teach the Holocaust for fear of conflicting with students and families with strong anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial beliefs.

It has been a more difficult project than I had imagined when I set out to begin, and my respect has only increased for the professional historians and the hard work they do attempting to reconstruct and make sense of the past. I am confident in my artistic vision, but the reality is that a script is only good as good as what a good cast of actors and crew can present on stage. So I am certain I will continue to revise it as it comes in contact with the reality of the theatre.

So maybe, I will never feel compelled to tell the story again.

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