Mirror Magazine

Dig out those scripts
Many a time an unsure hand has scribbled something down on paper; a thought, a line, an idea. It could perhaps be the beginning of a story. Just as often these moments of inspiration have been put away hastily into a cupboard, into a drawer, or even a word document hidden away in an unnamed folder in a computer. Dramatic though this may sound, the time has come for the original writer to come out of the closet… And produce a play, maybe?

Nobody really thinks, ‘I am going to write a play’, says writer, actor and director Delon Weerasinghe who spearheads the Playwriting Workshop project. He conducts the scriptwriting modules, and later on in the project acts as intermediary between writer, director and actor. Only those who are already involved in the theatre circle in some way attempt writing a play. Facts must be faced. What will the writer do with a play? Produce it? With the cost of producing a play today? And facing the competition of tried and tested plays by established playwrights that most often dominate the local stage?

The playwriting workshop is ready to take the first move to prompt, prod and promote potential playwrights with a story to tell. Cushioning the tumultuous ride of writing a play and ready to financially support producing it, the workshop is geared towards encouraging new writers to attempt writing plays.

For too many years we have been reliant on foreign plays, says Delon. Now, with the copyright issues squeezing us, perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise. Maybe it’s time to figure out whether you can write a play – and the upcoming playwriting workshop may be just the place to do the ‘discovering’. The project will be conducted through a series of workshops, arranged over a period of six months. Writers who apply will be taken through an ‘ideas workshop’ and scriptwri-ting master class. Twenty participants will be chosen for the workshop, of which the five “most ready” scripts will go on to be produced at the end of the series of workshops.

A play is not simply a matter of being just a piece of literature, says Delon. That is only a stage in the life of a play. A play is born in the hands of the writer, the director comes in to nurture and give direction and the actors give it life. Fittingly this workshop series involve the input of directors and actors who are essential to the making of the play.

The project is supported by writeclique.net and the Namel Malini Punchi Theatre. All information about the project and details for application are available online. Visit www.writeclique.net/playwrights for further information and to enroll. Entries close on July 1, 2004. Your future as a playwright is only a click away…


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