I don't think I've ever written so much or worked so hard in a development process. I just managed to get an enormous amount of work done. I felt so relaxed in the process and you can see it in the rewrites — they feel so organic and alive, and I'm really proud of that.
Working on a SuperLab of my new play Honey Drop has been the most productive development week that I have ever participated in as a writer.
During the months from first reading to opening, Playwrights provided me with unprecedented (in my experience) dramaturgical wisdom and support including one crucial, insightful note that I loved but found hard to execute. Not only did they provide me with a physical space to rewrite the relevant two scenes (my apartment was under construction) they also brought in two actors to work the various versions of the text so I could be sure I got it right. I have never worked with smarter or kinder people and hate to imagine working with anyone else. They are magic.
My day at Playwrights working on Charles Ives Take Me Home was much like the productions I've seen there over the years — satisfying, high quality, full of humanity and generosity. It was truly a delightful experience.
I was able to configure the rehearsal time in the room vs. writing time off-site in exactly the way that worked best for me, one of the most important elements of a development process — and not always something institutional theaters are able to be flexible about. …It's this approach to development that makes Playwrights Horizons truly a writers' theater. The time that Seven Homeless Mammoths... spent in the Playwrights Horizons dramaturgical day spa proved to be crucial to its future life. …The play's journey strikes me as emblematic of the overall generosity of the Playwrights literary effort: like many theaters, they develop more plays than they can produce, but unlike any other theater, the staff at Playwrights seems to understand this as part of their mission, not a collateral effect of having more funds earmarked for development than for mounting shows. Whatever their stated motivations for developing such a diverse, challenging palette of plays, I can't help feeling like Playwrights has a stealth goal of improving the vigor and health of the American theater as a whole. It's as if they know that their own theater will thrive only if it sends as many rich, curious plays as possible out into the world in all directions.
The time I spent at Playwrights Horizons developing The Big Meal was invaluable. The Big Meal is a cross-talking, character-swapping, time-leaping family epic, the kind of play that would flail under standard development conditions. But Playwrights Horizons understood this and so afforded us the unique support we needed. It was one of the most successful and useful workshop experiences of my career and I can safely say the play would not be what it is today without it.
The week I spent with Playwrights Horizons was a tremendous one because every single day was devoted to my particular process… All in all I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
It was a great level of support, offered at exactly the right time in the play’s development and in a very nice spirit. …It very much felt like a level of development which was to the benefit of the play, and not in the interests of the theater. It was a good move forward for the project, which very much needed a period of being on its feet, and a warm and good experience.