Such a ‘Bler: How I Cried During My First Playwriting Workshop

Such a ‘Bler: How I Cried During My First Playwriting Workshop

And so it was my turn in THTR 204: Playwriting, to present my heart on the pages as a livewire of nervous hormones of an aspiring playwright. I raised my hand to go third, and as nervous as I felt, I was ready. 

I have always struggled with feeling too abstract in my approach to art, yet this was my most abstract piece yet. The assignment called for a five to seven-page scene focusing on character and plot. I wrote a conversation between a seventeen-year-old girl and her imaginary friends about her mental health. I decided to not reveal the aspect of the imaginary friend in before the reading to see if the scene’s clues spoke for themselves. Honestly this was a make or break moment for me, and well here’s how I ended up crying.  

The reactions I received were beyond anything I had ever imagined or frankly, could wish for. This was the second time in my life, presenting my work to such a diverse audience (the first being fall of freshman year during THTR 100: Introduction to Theatre Experience) and I am nothing but grateful for it. To my surprise, they were moved. They listened closely but were still left confused, hungry and disturbed which is everything I was trying to achieve. I feared my work was too abstract, too specific, too minimal – like the critic I’d always often receive. But everything I feared turned out to be everything they loved about the scene. 

 They just wanted more. And as I listened to their curiously tongue-tied feedback, I was inspired all over again. It was the exact hug I needed to trust myself as a playwright. One thing that I think I will always remember is how they touched on this fear I had been expressing since day 1 of the course. The encouragement was heartwarming, and I am now more confident in my difference than ever. 

 As I write this, a classmate just came up to tell me again how much he was moved by the reading, and I am still speechless. I have a lot to say and a lot of things I want to thank the group and our professor, but I honestly have still yet been able to find the right words. I guess I will keep on writing, I guess that is how I’ll thank them for their support. 




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