In one important way Harley Granville-Barker and Paul Baker thought the same way about the creative process. The process, with all of its variations, is different for each individual. Both men stressed this. (See DIRECTORS ON DIRECTING edited by Toby Cole & Helen Krich Chinoy p.201 and INTEGRATION OF ABILITIES, EXERCISES FOR CREATIVE GROWTH by Paul Baker) Yesterday, after reading Granville-Barker’s essay DIVERSITY INTO UNITY, when I was very aware of my own limitations as a writer, I overhead a woman talk about how earthshaking the realization was to her that she would never be a great actor or writer (even though she said was “good” at both endeavors). She was very critical of herself. Her criticism seemed to have had an enduring effect on her and seemed to have limited her. This made me feel sad. But I’m afraid she is not alone. I’ve been there and was sympathetic, with my feeling impatient and seeking results, which means if I continue to think this way I won’t get where I want to go. Baker was against quick results. Granville-Barker wrote, “as related alike to the actor as to the play” (and I say playwright/writer), “it will be slow in coming to birth: the more unconscious the process the better…for it does not work alike with everyone, never at the same pace, never to the same measure.” “It does not work alike with everyone.” The phase is worth repeating. And even remembering, while we rush to become somebody. What are we trying to do anyway? Isn’t it enough to be involved with the creative process and see what happens? Or are we primarily after publication, recognition, fame, etc?
It is as mentors I look to Baker and Granville-Barker. And, as a teacher at Baylor University, Trinity University, and the Dallas Theater Center, Baker personally encouraged me, and his philosophy has helped me throughout my life. And it was as an innovator that he most inspired me. I highly recommend his INTEGRATION OF ABILITIES: EXERCISES FOR CREATIVE CROWTH. (Copyright 1972 by Trinity University Press Library of Congress Card Catalog Number 73-169606 SBN# 911536-38-8)
“The teacher is dealing with the god in the student. His creative self is his god, usually never exercised or given a voice. Each god has a different shape, a new sound; expresses itself in a rhythm, movement, color different from those of any other god. It is impossible to understand the mystic depth of that god, its background, its many facets, its beginning before birth, its relationship to the whole anthropological history of mankind. But you can know the student as god; you can enjoy with him discovery of the expressions emanating from that god. You can speak to that creative act with love and understanding. You can keep your own ego out of it. You can encourage when you feel or see a glimmer of something new.” Paul Baker
And that’s what Baker did for me; he encouraged me with “love and understand.” He produced my plays. Thank you.
Hello from StoryCorps! Thanks so much for posting about us; our MobileBooth team is excited to head to and hear from Tucson! For your readers who aren’t able to make it to our MobileBooth stop in Tucson or elsewhere in the country, we are also launching a new initiative to make conducting these interviews easier. This November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps is launching the first-ever National Day of Listening. We’re asking Americans to set aside an hour to record a conversation with a friend, family member, or loved one. We’ve launched a separate website (http://www.nationaldayoflistening.org) with more tools and tips, a downloadable guide, and an instructional video for recording family and friends the day after Thanksgiving and beyond. Thanks so much for helping us build a movement to honor the people in our lives through listening to them.
From Odyssey Storytelling-Up-coming events and THE STORY CORPS is coming to Tucson, 2008/11/26 at 9:48 AMS
November 25, 2008
PF Kicks Off INKubator with Anne Marie Healy’s What Once We Felt
PF completes the 2008 INKubator program with Anne Marie Healy’s What Once We Felt. A pilot program launched in 2008, the INKubator program (INK for short) is a series of one-two week intensive closed-door workshops, safe from the pressures of producers and public scrutiny. INK supports works nearing a premiere production or simply serves as an in-depth collaborative exploration for the development of new work.
In What Once We Felt, Ann Marie Healy creates a dystopian world where untainted DNA is class currency and Eugenics a fact of life. Macy is an ambitious hot author about to close a publishing deal that will catapult her to bestselling author and top off her charmed life as a Keeper. When a meeting with her agent takes a strange turn she is forced to grapple with an inescapable conflict between a flawless society and artistic freedom.
Ann Marie Healy’s play Have you Seen Steve Steven premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 2008. Her latest play When He Gets That Way were recently developed through the support of Soho Rep and MCC’s Playwrights Coalition. Now That’s What I Call A Storm was produced by Edge Theater Company in 2007. Somewhere Someplace Else was produced in 2003 with Clubbed Thumb in New York and with Frontera/Hyde Park in Austin (winner of two 2002-2003 Austin Critics Table Awards).
The workshop will culminate in a reading December 8 at 8:30 PM. For more info, e-mail Sonia Fernandez, Literary Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read a feature on Anne Marie here.
Ken Prestininzi’s Class
Last Chance To Enroll!
Current Nobody Runs Through December 13
Just Theater’s production of Melissa James Gibson’s Current Nobody, a partnership with Playwrights Foundation, continues its run at Exit Theatre through December. The modern riff on Homer’s Odyssey combines the classic epic with an array of technical effects and distinctly contemporary issues to create a fresh but enduring production.
Information and tickets here.
Read an interview with playwright Melissa James Gibson.