From SOCIETY playwright Emily Zemba:
ALL CAPS = yelling?
Channeling = real?
Have those been there the whole time?
… if you flip through my notes from Society’s IN PERSON (!) play workshop last month, these are some of the sentence scraps you’ll find.
They refer to specific play moments and rehearsal discoveries (I think…) but for me they also encapsulate something bigger: about this particular play, this process, and what it felt like to finally be in a room together after over a year of Zoom meeting.
Being able to sit in a real room with this play, with real people, and yell, and laugh, and watch this company improvise through time and space was completely invigorating to me. It was a reminder that plays aren’t written in a void. The magical thing I’ve found about playwriting is that the story you want to tell is actually there from the very beginning: fully formed, but hiding beneath a bunch of words. The work of ‘making the play’ then becomes less like writing, and more like excavation, like embarking on an archaeological dig with a team of experts. Not much can happen before you get those experts together.
Another snippet found in my notes from the week: It’s so moving to watch someone make meaning of something.
So, what’s next? Well. We’re going to have to get in the room together again. And again. And again. And eventually, we’ll invite others into the room with us too, to watch us make meaning out of this delightful experiment of a play, and to add their own meaning to the experience.
I don’t know when we’ll get this baby in a theater, but after our July workshop, I can say with certainty that ALL CAPS is YELLING. And channeling is real. And, yes, we’ve been here the whole time. See ya soon.