Scripted: Between the Page and the Stage

Written by Elise Lockwood

I think there’s a false idea that Indianapolis is a boring town where Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Bye Bye Birdie are performed on a continuous loop. (Both musicals I love, by the way, but, you know, there’s a time and a place.) I also think there is a false idea that in order to be a place where exciting new theatre happens, we have to emulate what cities like Chicago or New York have done. I also think it’s an extremely false idea to think that Indianapolis is a place where exciting, new theatre isn’t happening, because it is, in so many places. But I also believe we are on the cusp of building something amazing, something that is very uniquely us, but we aren’t quite there yet.

And that’s an unhelpful, vague thing to say, because Indianapolis as a creative community is rapidly growing and every new work that pops up becomes part of the collage. And there are a lot more puppets than I expected. So if you asked me what the “feel” of Indianapolis theatre was, I don’t think I could tell you.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And as an individual, in my own way, I want to contribute something to the theatrical community I love and grew up in that, yes, provides something I want as a writer that I feel is missing, but can also help many other people to discover the essence of what we’re trying to do.

I’m making a place for new works. I’m making a place for local playwrights and local theatre companies to do a reading of new works at any point in their process from hearing it out loud for the first time to ushering it through that awkward teenage phase where everything is a revision but you need to keep hearing it out loud to previewing a final draft a few weeks before it goes onstage.

Right now, in Indianapolis, there is not really a development pipeline for playwrights. It is extremely difficult, especially for emerging playwrights, to get new works out to the public in between that first reading in your living room and the opening night of the production. Theatre can’t exist without an audience, and I think more of the process deserves one.

That’s why I’m starting Scripted. New works, written by local writers, read by local theatre companies. I’m hoping they will be everywhere in the process – so we might hear some things out loud for the first time and hear others a few weeks before they open onstage. So if you’re a writer, a theatre company, or whatever else and want to be involved, let me know.

Second Sundays at New Day Craft, starting November 13, 2016.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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