This weekend I visited Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, VA. There I had the chance to see a performance of the theater department’s spring plays titled “The Play’s the Thing.” They presented a number of short works directed, performed and generally written by students. My niece Julianna (Toni) Thinnes chose one of my short plays MEETING WITHOUT END as her directing class project. I’ve seen a number of different productions of this work and Julianna’s version differed significantly from previous versions.
That is one reason I enjoy seeing my scripts performed and why I give directors wide latitude in how they choose to shape them. As far as I am concerned there is no “right way” to stage one of my works. Sometimes I learn something unexpected along the way. This particular script is a rendering of a corporate meeting full of trite phrases and business catch words that get progressively mangled along the way. Most directors have played it straight but Julianna turned it into the circus underlying the concept. Interesting.
Staunton itself is a lovely little town but I must admit that it was hard to find a place for a drink when we wanted it and crossing the GW Bridge back home was a nice relief. Glad to visit, happy to live in Manhattan!