Kevin Mandry, playwright and long time member, on what Player Playwrights offers to writers and actors
Writing a play isn’t easy: there’s so much to consider – structure (single act/three act/multiple scenes?) characterisation, dialogue, subtext, timeframe, setting, size of cast, plot...they all have to be juggled and kept in the air in a way that keeps an audience interested engaged - and ideally entertained - for a couple of hours!
Small wonder that in the past even Literary Giants as Tennyson, Henry James, Virginia Woolf and Iris Murdoch have tried to master the form...and failed.
But you can succeed! Because it’s a craft (that’s why you’re a playwright) that can be studied and learned. What’s the difference between mere conversation and true dialogue? Where should you place the most important revelation? Is that a stunning plot twist up your sleeve – or is it just an implausible coincidence?
For over half a century Player Playwrights has been meeting regularly to teach that craft, by reading, analysing and assessing new writing - for the screen, the stage and for radio.
Scripts are rehearsed and performed by professional casts in front of an audience of fellow writers directors and actors, who are listening hard to pinpoint problems and suggest solutions through honest but constructive criticism.
Sometimes it’ll seem harsh. Sometimes you’ll be delighted. But either way, it’s all about learning. And by regularly attending you can gradually acquire a whole repertoire of writing insights and skills. You’ll become a better critic – and by becoming a better judge of other people’s writing, a better writer yourself.
In fact the whole point of Player Playwrights is to provide mutual support in an atmosphere you can trust and enjoy – that’s why we need writers to come regularly and share their own wisdom and insights. It’s a feedback loop – we listen, learn and share.
If you’re a writer reading this for the first time, come along to a couple of meetings and see for yourself: once you’re a member you’ll be eligible to submit a script of your own for consideration.
If you’re an actor, we need you every bit as much – not just to perform, but to offer the kind of insights only an experienced performer can share. Either way it’s all about having fun and learning while you do….and you can get to feel superior to some Literary Giants!
To find out more about Player Playwrights and how to join us go to www.playerplaywrights.co.uk