My co-writer Jovanni Sy and I have had two extraordinary opportunities in the last month.
The Stratford Festival Writers Retreat
In September, we were welcomed by the Stratford Festival as part of its annual Playwrights Retreat. Led by the distinguished director and dramaturg Bob White, this collection of writers from across the country was offered an ideal environment in which to create. We had opportunities for meaningful exchanges with our insightful and supportive fellow writers; carte blanche to see the shows; a guided tour, and offers to make use of, the archives; special guests from the company at our shared meals; pizza night with the whole company; and most of all, the blessed freedom to skip all of the above and go and write. (The only challenge was that we wanted to do all of it at once.) Thank you Bob, and Antoni CImolino, and thanks to our cohort of writers for your fellowship and generosity. We are rooting for the success of all your projects, and that we will meet again soon.
On Oct. 9 and 14, Jovanni and I had a closed reading and discussion at Playwrights Theatre Centre with our dramaturg, Kathleen Flaherty, and a very accomplished and articulate cast. This was extremely encouraging. As co-writers who have never collaborated with anyone on our writing before, we are finding this shared process remarkably positive… and it was great to hear that others find the story of Ying Ruocheng and Arthur Miller’s transformational partnership as compelling as we do! We came away with the first half of the play in reasonably good shape, and a much clearer idea of where we need to go from here.