Happy New Play’s Eve

Leopard, Masai Mara, KenyaTonight is my last night with sole custody of my newest play.

Tomorrow the Leopards run out in the open for others to see. Tomorrow, director and actors and designers will gather around my kitchen table with the newly printed scripts in their hands and read words I wrote out loud for the first time. Tomorrow, my play comes alive.

But while the anticipation is killing me, there’s also this bittersweet sense of saying goodbye forever to a world that only I knew of, to people that only I had met, to the story that only I knew.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled as hell to hear my play read tomorrow. I wrote it with the intention of wanting to share it.

Playwrights live for this day.

My cast is amazing. My director brilliant. The designer, she’s out to blow our minds with her visual interpretation and mythic space. This first table read is the necessary and exciting step in collaboration as the play moves toward its workshop production in October. The play is ready, so ready to open its borders to other inhabitants.

Still, we never forget, we knew each other first and best. Yes, I’m talking about the play as if it were a “self” apart from myself, at the same time claiming it as a part of myself.

Tonight, I think about those initial inklings that made me write the play in the first place. I think about the hours I spent just staring at it, seriously just staring, staring, god all I’m doing is just staring at it because I don’t know what the hell it wants to be. I think about all the scenes I’ve deleted–in the case of this play, I  think I’ve deleted far more pages than I’ve kept. (The old write 50 pages at night and cut it down to 4 the next morning scenario.) I think of my main character standing in a pool of light in my mind’s stage asking:

“How can I go on?”

All these months writing I’ve been trying to answer that question for her and for myself. And now the day is almost here when we hear that answer.

Tomorrow, I introduce my play, Come to me, Leopards. My Leopards, Jolianne, Sydney, Annia, Evelyn and Sharon will run through the woods together, fleet and strong, calling out to each other with new voices. My job tomorrow is to be the playwright and listen, to keep up with them and figure out exactly where they’re going before they get there.

4 Comments on “Happy New Play’s Eve

  1. Oh, how I wish I could be there to hear it! i’m going to read it on my day off on Monday.

    Every time I read my name my stomach makes a happy-flip.


    • Thank you, Anne! I like to think my plays are out there and might run into an Anne Caston poem in their travels. Happy meeting, indeed!


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