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With my final project, I decided to do something that was not new to me, but that I had not attempted to do in around two years: write an approximately 10 minute play. I wanted to see if I was still capable of producing a quality piece, within my self-imposed page limit.

The most difficult part was, as it usually is when I start a creative writing piece, was deciding what to write about. My script went through many incarnations before I even opened a Word document to begin. I started off thinking that it would focus on the first meeting of a boy and a girl on a train. Then I was inspired by the real-life (and, frankly, hilarious) friendship between two people in my class at Macaulay-Hunter. I worked with the second idea for awhile, but it wasn’t until our class’ discussion on the last day that I was struck with inspiration. Up until then I’d been trying to find a way to incorporate what we’ve been learning about in this course so far into my final project. I wanted to write something that would encapsulate my Arts in NYC experience. The discussion we had was like a gift, and it also reminded me just how much of my inspiration tends to come from my real life. I’ve found that, unfortunate as it can be when one is working with a deadline, as I was, sometimes you can’t force creativity. While I would certainly have been capable of writing a play without that inspiration, it would have been much more painful, less enjoyable process.

The other major issue I had while writing was that of the format, particularly when it came so stage directions. I found that in the two years since I took my playwriting class in high school, I was no longer confident that I was using the correct format for plays. Beyond that, I was concerned about stage directions. I had been taught in high school that with playwriting, unlike with screenwriting, you shouldn’t restrict the actors with the stage directions. This intent, compounded with everything I’d learned in Rodney Cottier’s workshop (i.e. that stage directions are one of the actors most important tools when developing a character), made the writing of stage directions one of the most complicated parts of the project. Even though I knew that this play would never be performed, save for in front of my classmates, I wanted to be as true to the form as possible. I believe that I was fairly successful with the end product, but honestly, I felt hat I would have to see the piece performed before I felt comfortable making a judgment about that.

My presentation went fairly well, which I wasn’t expecting. I was nervous about having my piece performed in front of the class, because I am still just getting to know my classmates. In my creative writing classes in high school, I became comfortable over the four years I was with those kids, because I knew their tastes, and how they would react to something I wrote. This was entirely new territory, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well my work was received.

In conclusion, I’m happy with how this project went. I was able to scrutinize my writing process a little more closely than I am used to, and found some flaws in the way I normally approach a piece. I also feel that I got a better understanding of just how many different things a playwright must keep in mind while they are writing that a novelist, poet, or essayist does not. But I think that the most important thing I learned from this piece, however, was just how much I actually appreciate what we’ve been discussing and experiencing in this class.

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