There are times in your life where something beautiful and unexpected happens, and you’re left in awe as your heart swells with joy and pride for this blessed experience.
When I started back to school in 2014, I’d found the major of my dreams from my childhood that I did not know existed. It presented me with the real possibility of becoming a professional writer. While taking so many fascinating courses thus far online through Southern New Hampshire University, there were three core courses for my major in English Creative Writing from which to choose:
- Fiction writing workshop
- Nonfiction writing workshop
- Poetry workshop
- Playwriting workshop
Considering I had been writing fiction and had felt most comfortable in that realm, it was the easiest choice for me. Nonfiction was more difficult, but I learned more in that class than I did in my Introduction to Creative Writing course the year before. But I will be taking the fiction writing workshop next term that starts in early January, and will see how it compares to the others. Knowing poetry wasn’t a talent I possessed, nor did I completely comprehend all poems, I chose the playwriting workshop. I had no knowledge or experience in playwriting, but I figured it would be easier to compose than poetry.
I completed the playwriting workshop last term (each term is eight weeks long), and it surprised me and intrigued me very much. I’d learned so much about this art. I found writing plays that depended primarily on dialogue at its core came easier and more natural to me than writing a setting in a novel. Many of the very short plays I wrote for this class were born out of my stream of consciousness.
Rewinding in time to two years ago, in my Introduction to Creative Writing course, I produced a screenplay (the first I’d ever done) for the week’s assignment. It was a play about…well…nothing. And it grew out of a stream of consciousness. Nevertheless, my fellow classmates and professor loved it and laughed while reading it. This play is called “Falling Up Stairs.”
Fast forward to last term (September-October), when I wrote, again, from a stream of consciousness, my play, “The Tricker’s Treat.”
In mid to late October, I corresponded with a local theater director via my mother-in-law, who acted there on average, two times a year. Through my husband’s and mother-in-law’s help—husband told his mom about my plays, and she passed this on to the director—the director had told me she would be happy to read over my plays. I was nervous at first…the thought of anyone at that level reading my silly plays…but I managed to get past my fears and sent them to her.
With only a few minor changes (one being changing my screenplay, “Falling Up Stairs,” into a play for live theater), she offered her small theater venue and actors to informally read my plays so I could hear how the words I’d written would be animated with tone and expression and flow.
I couldn’t believe it.
This path of writing began to bloom before my eyes, like a new colorful world opening up to me.
Last night, this came to fruition. Hearing the written words of the dialogue between my created characters in my plays come to life was something nearly inexplicable. It was a euphoric moment that lifted my soul and kindled joy in my heart.
I’m still writing fiction stories and enjoy the cozy feeling of being immersed in my created characters’ worlds, but after last night, the longing to see my plays actually acted on the stage with props and costumes–the whole kit and caboodle–grew exponentially. I don’t know what will happen now, but I’m eternally grateful to Laurie, the director, and her actors for the opportunity they gave me to see my play come to life.
(The actors and me (in the center))