New Play Expedition
Hello Momentary world!
My name is Grace Grindell, and I am thrilled to be embarking on Momentary’s New Play Expedition. I will be the dramaturg for both Caro Macon Fleischer’s and Nahal Navidar’s new plays-in-process. A big part of my role on this project will be to share with you the truth about being a playwright as these women open up their processes to me. I’ll be acting as the archeologist of the process; closely observing the ephemeral art of writing plays and trying to bust its myths with what I dig up. As a playwright myself, I often find writing to be mysterious. Playwriting is not like filling an empty canvas with physical paint and color; it’s unknowable. It’s haunting, and alluring, and compulsive. Its patterns are ever-changing, and it doesn’t follow any rules. Playwriting is slippery; you can grab it, and grab it, but it gets away again and again.
Yet somehow, plays come to be. Their writers are compelled, and through some great force they write. And we get to have plays.
Plays live such huge lives before the words on the page or a production in a theatre. They start in a myriad of places; deep secrets, weird impulses, angry rants. They come from everything and everywhere and live only in minds before they turn into conversations, diary entries, songs, photos; somethings.
They take a shape, and that shape is eventually molded into something theatrical; lived and embodied stories, movements, and images performed by real people for real people.
Or maybe the journey looks completely different, and the play begins its life as a line of dialogue or an image on stage; it’s theatrical from the start.
Or maybe it’s somewhere between, a combination, or something else entirely.
No matter how it comes to be, a play always has an existence far greater than that which is typically shared with audiences. Plays are secrets that playwrights keep, and with the New Play Expedition, we are asking our writers to let us in.
I get the exciting opportunity to be the conduit between Nahal and Caro’s playwriting secrets and all of you. These two phenomenal writers (and phenomenal women, I mean, seriously, they’re so cool) will be generously sharing their playwriting lives with me; the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’re going to have honest conversations about what it’s like to be playwrights, and welcome you into the discussion. You will get the rare chance to bear witness to process, long before rehearsal or previews. I’ll be sharing my findings through the Momentary website as well as our social media platforms to keep you all up to date with the latest discoveries. I can’t wait to see what we discover and to celebrate the beautiful, complicated, challenging creatures that are playwrights. Stay tuned to see what our first deep dive reveals…
GRACE'S FIRST PROJECT
Every Friday, I receive the culture writer extraordinaire Ann Friedman's weekly newsletter. My favorite part is always her signature hand-drawn pie charts, which feature everything from her take on the latest political scandal to how she feels about crafting (examples on her website). I challenged our playwrights to observe their writing this week and share their very own Ann Friedman style pie charts inspired by the question: How did we spend your time writing this week?