May 25, 2008

Feedback (Stuff I Can Answer Now)

Now that I've had time to think about it, I'll clarify and articulate some of the feedback I'm looking for.

I pretty much take Matt Freeman's stance toward playwriting and feedback. Blogging my process is NOT my natural way of doing things, but because this is an experimental piece, I think an experimental approach to process is appropriate.

In my previous post I described at the kind of environment I wanted to foster. Now let's talk methods.

I like the "Yes, and..." concept:
As I post my ideas about theatre tribes, I get many comments that seek to knock down some idea, or seek to applaud it. But what I wish for is someone who wants to extend it. Someone who wants to build on an idea, strengthen it by adding a support beam, illsutrate it by providing a personal story or some other example.
Why not apply something similar to feedback for works in progress? Without getting too technical, the general idea is to do 4 things:

1. Describe which part(s) resonate with you and why.
2. Follow up with a question (or questions) related to that.
3. Share an observation about the style/content.
4. Follow up a question (or questions) related to that.

For example . . .

Sample Poster said:
"I was really enchanted by how you describe the trees. I guess it's because that's so different from how we usually conceive of the natural world. [snip explanation]

Several times you reference the audience when you describe what happens. That's not something you usually see in a script. What was the idea behind that?"


  1. Hey, RVC, I'd be curious to read about why the fairy tale concept inspired you. My follow up question (which I actually don't want you to answer yet, because I obviously haven't read the whole piece, but which I've been thinking about a lot) is what is the new viewpoint on these fairy tales you're leading us towards? I am enjoying the very visual storytelling style and imagining dozens of iterations in performance. But am anxious to read the rest, as I'm sure that will give me a better picture of what would best serve the piece, as opposed to just what are all the different cool things I can think of. If that makes any sense. At any rate, I would love to hear a little bit about your fairy tale inspirations...

  2. Laura,

    Thanks for being the first to try this out! It's a great example of what I'm going for.

    To answer your question, though, I've always liked fairy tales. What resonates with me about fairy tales is their enchantment. It's difficult to articulate, but I will try. Enchantment is a process and a state of mind that sees ordinary things as endowed with mystery and power. People, items, creatures, landscapes, events, etc. A simple and prevalent example is a mundane item that possesses extraordinary abilities.

    Enchantment is a realm of twilight straddling light (where all is clear and known and knowable) and darkness (where all is hidden and unknown and unknowable). This in-between place is where they talk to each other in the language of dreams.

  3. Do you see enchantment in the mundane objects in the world around you, or do you think the idea of enchantment is about escaping from the real world?

  4. I'm of a mystical temperament (in the truest sense), so I can experience enchantment whenever I'm free to do so. It's not an escape - at least, it doesn't feel that way to me - but an engagement with a deeper reality.