On Writing : Writing for the stage by Gavion E. Chandler

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Gavion E. Chandler

Writing for the stage

I've have noticed that most here at Stage 32 either write for, produce or their energies are directed to film and television, and not so much the live stage of theatre. The contests are geared that way as well. Most of my writing is geared towards to the play and live works, and once in a while I run across playwrights, and they are here, but it seems to me that stagecraft and live works really don't get allot of play here. Stage 32 is a wonderful place to network, but any suggestions on how to create more platforms for stage productions here? I know that film has its advantages. The artist is able to create and store his or her art on film whereas play productions are very specific and temporary because you have to have the space, and create the set and costumes and the actors for a few weeks you put on the play. So there is a short window in stage productions to get your work out there and know whereas in film the artist has the advantage of distribution as well as having the ability to rent a theatre and show his or her film. So I wondering if there are parties here at Stage 32 who are interested in discussing live productions.... things that they have done and/or things that they have tried or are attempting to put on. Gavion E. Chandler~ 'Man is his own devil.'

Allen Clark

Do you have Facebook I am in a playwrights group on there. Like you I am interested in theater and yes the majority of the networking and opportunities here are heard to those in film.

Amanda Toney

Hi Gavion, I wish our playwrights would chime in more in the lounge! I'm glad you're taking the first step to provoke great conversation. Maybe network with Talesha for some great theater conversations: https://www.stage32.com/Twallace

Gavion E. Chandler

thank you and yes I am on facebook Allen and Amanda I agree as well. Film is a fantastic medium, but I love the rawness of live productions. I watch stage plays that are youtubed and some are good, and some not so good, but it's nothing like close and personal like a live production.

Marc Morrow

Live theatre is a great grounding for screenwriting, at least when it comes to character development and interaction. The logistics of writing a story that needs to sustain itself with minimal scene changes, minimal cast and confined space, makes effective storytelling a real challenge.

Gavion E. Chandler

How my plays would transition to film, I don't know, My stage plays are more avant-garde and very surreal and existentialistic that engage the audience with their humanity, the question of it, and what and who we are. I just watched LAST WORD with Edward Albee , him and Samuel Beckett who sparked the fire to do plays and everything that he said strike a particular cord with me. He talked about "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?" play and how emotional violence shocked the audience and then he goes on to talk about the film adaptation with Liz Taylor and Burt Reynolds. In the final scene he loved it without the music, 'It was cold, and hard and it was beautiful' and then they added the soppy strings that made it sentimental and it ruined the whole thing.' Here's the link http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/17/arts/edward-albee-playwright-of-a-desp... I like the fact that Stage plays engage the audience directly with no sense of apology and the director has the ability to make the play his or her own and delve and explore the ideas and questions of the play. The producer gets the house and tells that he or she wants to produce a play, and the house gives them the go or not. But when the director has the go, there's no big industry machine telling that he or she can't do this scene. Much like Alfred Hitchcock who had to fight for the shower scene in Psycho I wouldn't mind doing film, but I want to do Live Stage first because that's where it is raw, and dynamic and comes alive. A play you can see five or ten times or more if it's a really good play,.A movie no matter how good it may be, you can only watch it so many times. Maybe you might be in the mood for it, but the ending is always the same and you know what to expect, In live stage it's a live performance, and every time a director or new cast takes it on they give it a new life. How many times has Hamlet been done, and how many different ways has it been approached. In Stage it's the human story unfolding right before the audience who helplessly watch as their own humanity is being engaged, questioned and challenged. Gavion E. Chandler~ 'Man is his own devil.'

Marc Morrow

There's definite advantages in both mediums. I've written for stage and love that the script is a tool that can be used countless times to create something fresh with each production, as a result of the interpretation of each director, even if there are explicit elements that are intended not to vary. I see a screenplay as a blueprint for a very specific outcome, and with my short film scripts at least, I don't see any option beyond my having control over the project and being very pedantic about getting it just right. I think at heart I'm a bit of a control freak, and I suspect my writing is better suited to screenplays. But I stand by my previous comment, in that a story is far more satisfying if those traditional disciplines of playwriting are used as a foundation for characterisation and economising the use of setting and action.

Gavion E. Chandler

I understand that but how my ideas would translate and would the public go for them is another question. I wrote a play THE PROBLEM WITH GOD where God, Man and the Devil (who is a woman) discuss the problem with God. It is about how every religion thinks that they tap on what God is and what God isn't and what what Man makes God into and what Man blames the devil for all that is wrong with the world and his life. Now I have several interested parties who loved the concept and the idea of the play but when they read it and God throws it out into the audience and the reader they become uncomfortable because that's what the play is made to do, to question their humanity and their personal sense of accountability where they can to hand off play to God 'Here you handle this.' mentality or point a finger at the Devil and curse 'It's all your fault! you made me do it!' In Stage these thoughts and questions are able to engage and challenge the live audience, in a film setting, well I don't think it would last very long. To make my point 'Pretty Woman' with Richard Gear and Juliet Roberts paralleled to 'Other Peoples Money' with Danny Devito and Penelope Ann Miller are very much the same story line. Both Richard Gear's and Danny Devito's characters buy up business and sell them off for profit. The lawyer is the prostitute except she is brass and feisty and is trying to stop Devito's character from gutting her father's business where as Juliet Robert's character merely entertains dear Richard and they fall in love live happily ever after. Danny's character gives her father a choice, a few actually. He explains that one portion of the company the coil is a cancer in to the business. Simply make it make money, sell it, or I will buy you out. Unlike Richard Gear's character who is more like spoiled brat Genghis Khan who goes around and buys up companies and plays economic operation. But then they have a Proxy Blood Bath, a hostile take over where the father tells when the bridges go up and the yen rises we will survive we are here for the people, and points at Danny calls him a murderer of dreams. Danny's characters stands up and says 'Amen. Amen. Amen. I don't know where you people come from but where i come from that is called a prayer, when they yen goes up and .the bridges start to be built. I have one simple question for you, Who here invested money to make money? 95% of the peoples' hands go up. "Then I'm the only friend that you got here.' At the end of the movie he wins the proxy blood bath and the Penelope's character comes in with Japanese Suits and tells him, 'Guess what air bags are made out of , Coils and ends there. Now I know that's a long trip down the rabbit whole, but "Pretty Woman' soared and I think it got awards, 'Other People's Money' didn't do so well because it was real and made a point that most American's didn't want to think about. "Sum of all Fears' is another one that talks about how our Government plays Big Daddy, giving weapons and training and how it could come to bite us in our ass. Again not too popular because that addresses matters that most don't wish to consider to be true. i have plays that talk about four men in room discussing methods and means of war and the forth gentleman is Death. I have plays that address the plight of war and the inhumanity of it, one about women and beauty with an understory of rape. They are surreal, bizarre and edgy. So how do you make that into the big screen so that it is palpable? I raise thoughts and questions that most wish not to consider thinking about. Perhaps I will put my hand to it. Maybe adapt some of my novel ideas to them. Gavion E. Chandler~ 'Man is his own devil.'

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