When to do the opposite of what people tell you

So. Here’s the thing.

Sometimes, when people give you feedback about what you should do to your play, you can actually solve the problem in a different way.

At rehearsal Monday evening, the first act seemed too long. I got impatient, and it wasn’t just because I know the play so well. The actors and the director thought so, too.

We all agreed that the first act needs trimming.

But as I was working on it this morning, I remembered something I’ve learned. Yes, if the scene is boring, or too long, you can edit it.

Or you can try something else:

  1. You can up the stakes.
  2. You can add more obstacles.
  3. You can have the characters try new tactics.

After all, we’ve all seen long plays that don’t drag. That aren’t boring. That keep us riveted in our seats.

So I’m editing the first act. And I’m also finding places to up the stakes, add more obstacles, and give the characters new tactics. Because the director and the actors were right.  The first act dragged and wasn’t always interesting.

Next rehearsal is on Saturday.

And if they still say the first act is too long, I’ll trim it some more.

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This entry was posted in How to Edit, How to find Theaters who will Love your Plays, How to get Good Feedback, Reading of "Transplanted in Mississippi," November, 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

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