The (W)hole Shebang

The (W)hole Shebang

380 Ed. note: TIO's Denver-based contributor Tracy Shaffer muses about the play she has written, which is being performed this week by the Paragon Theatre Ensemble.

After years of living with these characters inside my head and seeing them come to into two-dimensional existence with various staged readings, my play (W)hole is finally on its 3-D feet in Paragon Theatre Ensemble's World Premiere production. I sat down for lunch at Cholon Bistro (more on that) with Telluride Playwrights Festival Director, Jennie Franks, who came to town this week to see my play, discuss our new Colorado playwrights group, Collective 7, and brainstorm about the 2011 Playwrights Festival. As Denver Post Theatre critic, John Moore, wrote in his advance press piece, (W)hole was started years ago and has been the beneficiary of input from various theatre companies along its way.  I wasn't writing or shopping the play around the whole decade, but revising drafts and submitting as time allowed.

In 2008, (W)hole was one of two plays work-shopped in Telluride giving me a writer-centered experience which allowed me to find the bones of the story and re-write the entire script. It was this script that was subsequently selected by Paragon for their 2009-2010 season. This summer, I brought that script along to the Playwrights Festival for an informal salon reading with the playwrights and festival participants. This intimate, post-dinner setting allows for a lot of open, honest, and sometimes lively (as was the case with (W)hole) discussion between professional peers. Taking lots of notes and continuing to receive feedback, the dialogue continued through the week and the result was the draft you see come to life on the Paragon stage. My two experiences in Telluride were seminal to the play's production, giving me clarity of thought, space and the support I needed, and I feel good about the production. Now that it is open and the Mile High Critics and Denver Post reviews are in, I can relax a bit. Or can I? It is both strange and familiar to see the world of the play fully fleshed out by such talented artists as the Paragon Ensemble: a luxury to be able to see the piece over and over, not for vanity reasons but because this is where my real work starts. Unlike other media, theatre is a collaboration with a major component being the audience. Sitting among them, invisible in the dark with my note pad, I am ready to improve from a more objective vantage point, and one that is more (w)hole.      





No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.