A member of HMTC began telling me something that happened to her. Before she finished, I said, “You can write that into a play.” She laughed and said, “You always see plays in everything.”
There are stories everywhere. Maybe you see it happening and quickly record it on your cellphone. Other times people will tell a story and you listen. Grocery lines are good place to hear a story. I will listen, eavesdropping, until my daughter scolds me for doing so.
Family gatherings are always a treasure trove of stories. This Christmas, families that can get together will have catching up to do and many stories.
Family stories are interesting on stage. "Deeath of a Salesman," by Arthur Miller, is a story about Willy Loman and how his actions affected his family (1949). "Steel Magnolias" was written by a brother about his diabetic sister (1989). The play I wrote, "The Migrant Farmworker's Son," is about a family in Yuma, Arizona (1996).
People will say “I have a crazy family.” I say, write about it. Many of us can relate!
I do tend to suggest others write. Especially if I hear a story that has all the merits of a good stage performance. In defense, I would say it is like a fisherman who wants people to take up fishing and offers to take them the following weekend.
People may be reluctant to take up writing from early school experiences. Teachers ordinarily teach writing skills with footnotes, bibliography, etc., that is required for college papers. Free flowing creativity is limited with these technical requirements. I can see how people have become numb to the idea of writing.
Free-flowing writing has become a newer tool to playwrights. It is helpful to get words on the page. Those that maintain journals or diaries are accustomed to the free-flowing writing process. This free-flowing process is fun and highly productive, and we can show you how to make it work for the stage.
HMTC offers playwriting classes periodically during the year and other classes. See what we offer online at www.HanfordMTC.com.
Merry Christmas from HMTC.