News & Features
08 January 2013
Posted in Theatre
By Michael Ross
Photo: Michael Ross (foreground)with Chipo Chung (director) and Kerry Hood
In October I was one of four playwrights selected for the Plays of Innocence & Experience project organised by the Writers’ Guild and RADA, an intensive two-day workshop collaborating on a play script with a professional director and the Academy’s acting alumni.
In addition, each writer was assigned a mentor by the Guild; an experienced writer who would accompany the playwright throughout their workshop and serve as their ally and confidante. All four plays were workshopped over the two days, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, so if your play was not being worked on you could pass freely between the other two as an observer. This was as valuable a part of the experience as your own workshop, as you were able to see how the process worked for other writers.
Different writers will have different, equally valid experiences. Some may go in wrestling with big problems in their scripts which the workshops will hopefully help them resolve by testing out new ideas, and they may cut whole scenes and write new ones, or it may send them back to the drawing board for a much more radical rethink. Or else they may go in with a script they are tentatively pleased with, but about which they have some lingering doubts, and they just need a runway on which to set the play off and see if it takes flight.