I am filled with gratitude tonight. For David Snider, who agreed to let me write a play for the Hubbard Hall Winter Festival. I am especially grateful to the seven members of the cast, who performed my play, "Last Day At Maple View Farm." I appreciate Maria, as always, who encouraged me and listened to my first drafts. And to Carol and Ed Gulley of Bejosh Farm, who read the script and guided me in my language and terminology. They have become valued friends.
I was very happy to see friends and neighbors in the audience, including Tyler and his brother Matthew and father Justin. It was so good to see them there. The play is taking shape, the dialogue is leaner and more efficient, the actors are comfortably with the story, adding their own stamps, ticks and mannerisms to the characters. David did a great job, trimming the script, tossing out repetitions and strengthening some of the scenes.
I think I want to expand and complete it.
This weekend, three more performances, two on Saturday (2 and 8 p.m.) and one on Sunday (2 p.m.) There will be other plays and works performed as well on those days, looks like the festival is a hit, new people are coming to Hubbard Hall, people who have not been there before.
I think people liked the play, Ed Gulley said that I "nailed it," great praise coming from a farmer. Tomorrow, there will be talk-back discussions with the audience about the play. Writing a play is so different than writing a book, it is a collaborative experience involving many people – a director, stage manager, lighting specialists, actors. Everyone puts their print on the work in one way or another, and I like this process, the play keeps getting stronger and more focused. I'm eager for this weekend, I have been thrilled to see the play begin to take shape and come of age right before me.
And we had a good crowd tonight, the snow let up early this evening, tomorrow a clear, sunny and frigid day but that does not usually slow people down up here. My bronchitis seems to be easing, still some coughing, but i am getting stronger. I am grateful for new experiences, for creative challenges, for things that stretch me and make me think.