Thursday, January 8, 2009

Talk to me, writers

My heart is with the writers. It always is. In some ways the entire festival is about the writers - they create stories overnight. In other ways, the weekend belongs to everyone but the writers. For instance, every non-writer at the Artists Meeting is chatting and laughing - they're a little nervous, sure. But they're having fun. The writers, on the other hand, normally confident, gregarious people, are not having fun. They pace. They glare. They clench their jaws. They laugh loudly and then go silent. They are like spouses in the maternity ward. And in the morning they will deliver the scripts into the hands of the directors and actors and then go home. No one will really want them around. Tonight, while we sleep, the writers will be having their shining moments. Alone. So, I ask the writers to email me tonight - when they're done or as they're working through their plots, developing their characters, struggling with what to say. "Just tell me anything," I say. Paul Mullin and virgin writer Jerry Kraft say they will email me. Brian Neel says, "Sure!" So does his writing partner, Paul Shipp. Anita Montgomery (also a virgin) looks doubtfully at me as I stop her on her way out the door to explain that I'm blogging and I'd like to hear from her - but she takes the piece of paper with my email address. I've missed Louis Broom and Glen Hergenhahn - they slipped out - I'll get them tomorrow. But Celene Ramadan is still here - lingering with friends. She also takes the paper from me. And then all the writers are gone and the directors are still meeting. Everyone else is drinking beer and talking quietly. As I head off to sleep, I'm thinking about our dear writers and I'm wondering what kinds of emails will be waiting for me in the morning. I'll let you know.

Becky Hellyer

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