I just finished doing the Playwrights Festival in Saskatoon. I love doing this festival, it is filled with playwrights and directors, actors and dramaturgs. Now, I understand that for some this could be their idea of a nightmare, but it really isn’t. The thing about these kinds of festivals is that the work being discussed, or worked on is new, fragile, innocent as it were. It can be easily crushed by ego or criticism, so to the best of everyone’s ability, that is kept out of this process.
I worked on two pieces. The pieces were called Popcorn Elder by Curtis Peeteetuce and the other, Text Match by Jason Heit. Both were read, discussed, analyzed, and then discussed some more, finally culminating in a public reading. The purpose, is to give the writer a chance to hear their piece through the eyes of actors and directors, without the pressure of having to be a finished work. The showcase in front of the audience also gives a chance for the writer to listen for an audience reaction. This can be invaluable because, even though us artists may love a piece of new work, it does not always mean the general ticket buying public does.
At any rate it was a fun time, with great people, and I hope to do it again if my schedule permits.