Making “Talking with My Dad.” The writing process

Moving Talking with My Dad from concept to realty meant writing it. As a professional journalist for more than 38 years, writing is second nature to me. I tend to think in headlines and intro paragraphs even in my daily life.

But writing a play is far different from writing a story about heart disease or about the death of a loved one. A play needs believable characters, believable plots and a rhythm and flow to the story, a story arc if you will.

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All of that began in my head. I found myself writing a few pages a day, often on my commutes home from work each day. I knew the story arc and the characters extremely well, given that they were drawn from my own life and my own experiences. But I had to open them up to the world in a way audiences could relate to.

That part of the process involved what is known as a workshop for the play, a bringing together of actors to read through the first draft. While you wouldn’t think such a reading would be much different from just reading my own work when it was done, it is a profoundly different experience.

Other actors bring other perspectives to the work, they are the audience at a workshop. Following our first workshop, I rewrote large portions of Talking with My Dad. A second workshop took place, and more rewriting followed.

The characters and the story have changed in significant ways since my first conception of them. The changes make for a better story and a better theater-going experience for you, our audience.

We hope you will join us at one, or more, of our six performances of Talking with My Dad, Nov. 15-16 and Nov. 22-23. Tickets are on sale now, simply click here to buy yours today.
John

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