GOING GOING GONE that opens Oct. 1 (with two previews beforehand) at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood.
We’ve just had the “Table Work” phase.
Directing in half-hour television where everything has to move FAST, I never get the chance to do this.
Table Work is the part of the process where the actors and director sit around a table for several days and really examine the script. In some cases going line by line. What is this character actually saying? Why is he saying it? How does this argument track? Is the play’s theme being served? In my case, do any of these jokes work?
As the playwright, my feet are really held to the fire. I have to be able to justify every line. And sure enough, there were speeches that were a little confusing, thoughts that could be taken two ways, etc. I’ve since gone back and addressed them. Or clarified things that stuck out to me. And changed a few jokes I could just tell weren’t up to snuff.
At times it’s not pleasant but writers should be put to that level of scrutiny. Every line should have a distinct purpose. I know it’s a cliché when actors say, “What is my motivation?” but that’s a valid question that deserves an answer.
Serious playwrights I know say that when their dramas first go into rehearsal the director and cast will take a few days to “investigate” the piece and their characters. That sounds a little scary to me, but to tackle that kind of material and really get to the emotional truth I can see where that makes perfect sense. Maybe it’s because my plays have serious themes but are dealt with comedically that I like to think I did all the “investigating” for them already.
The Table Work has gone fine. Now for the next test: Blocking and staging. Stay tuned.
For tickets, you can go here. Looking forward to meeting all my readers who support my insanity.