Archive for February 8th, 2009

picture-11Today, I was walking around the main track at River Legacy. About halfway I realized the absurdity of the trail. It’s a park where hikers are free to explore the entire wooded area and open fields, but I was walking down a manmade cement trail on the rightside of a divider of yellow paint. I had chosen to ignore my freedoms and take the normal boring path.

Frustrated with my lack of individualism, I decided to trek across an open field. Most people bike, jog, and skate the cement trails, and only a rare bunch of people cross the open field. At first, I felt like an individual; I was going against the grain. Then it hit me…

Without purpose, there is no reason to explore.

I might have felt like an individual but I certainly had no reason to cross the giant field. I just got scared of being like everyone else.

I know others, including some friends of mine and myself, want to be pioneers in our fields. We want to explore new terroritories of our crafts and professions. We’re proud of being iconoclasts; we’re proud of our free-thinking. And it scares us to be total conformists.

But trailblazing is about purpose. In playwriting, we have rules. These rules are tested, and we can rely on them to craft a strong narrative with interesting character development. In playwriting, we have rule breakers. Famously, Samuel Beckett plopped the craft on its belly in the 60s. The avant-garde sector of theatre is constantly rethinking the rules.

In fact, my generation is trying to find its voice. At my level, all writers are exploring new territories by breaking the rules. We’re worried that our plays will turn out to be this generation’s Waiting for Godot, Arthur Miller play, or anything that resembles Albee. Most writers my age can’t write a play without being compared to Sam Shepard… And seriously…my generation is tired of hearing that the 60s were so great for theatre..

While we look for our voice, we can learn a lesson from the past (ugh, okay, even the 60s movement.)

That is purpose. Why did each of them break the rules of writing in each of their cases?

I don’t have a full answer, just a beginning of the search…

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