Saturday, November 14, 2020

Process IX

Here’s a thing: if everything were normal, I would be getting up every morning at 5:30 AM. So there’s that. We're all getting more sleep.

Thursday night Chennelle came over, she’d signed up for a playwriting workshop sponsored by The Playwrights Realm in NYC: Writing Impossible Plays In Impossible Times. To remain socially distant, I lit the fire bowl and we had Christmas ale and made smores and collaborated with some fifty or more other theater artists from my laptop, set on a small table.

This is now. Interacting with artists around the country. Spending more time than usual out of doors. The Zoom phenomenon is wearying, but it has made us do, by necessity, things we may have chosen to do before, but did not.

We used to be so tightly focused on here. Without the pandemic I may not have been offered the opportunity in this manner with writers far and wide. Having been offered the opportunity, I may have passed on it. Would I prefer to be delivering a curtain speech at the Hanna, attending a concert at the high school, going out to dinner and a show with my wife? Of course, no question. But it is worth noting what is here, and what we have, and what we have chosen to do in this situation, with this situation.

Asking Julie to participate in my reading, two weeks ago, was dreamlike. I haven’t seen her perform since 1990. Thirty years. It was like a joyful moment from the past, made real. Like no time had passed. So that is something that would not have happened otherwise.

There was a high school which obtained the rights to perform one of my plays. It’s always fun to see the sets and costumes for high school productions of my plays, so I do a little creeping. It’s a school in the Midwest and so I checked out their website and sure enough, they have by all accounts done little to protect their students. Lots of photos of students in class, at social events, holding parades. I think I saw one mask below a student’s chin, like a neck-warmer.

A notice was posted a week ago suggesting the fall play may or may not be live-streamed. It was supposed to open last night, and there was a new notice that it has been postponed. Cases are spiking there. They are spiking everywhere.

Okay homework. I must facilitate a roundtable discussion on an essay by Ralph Ellison. And I will be mapping out my next horror story. As usual, there is too much I want to say with it. I think the challenge is to compose a brief jump scare. Wish me luck.

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