Stage and Screen

scripting a future

Scripts Anticipate Collaboration

when you are not in charge, admit it

One of the aspects I like most about writing is the opportunity to do most of the work in solitude. I write while I sit alone at my desk with a notepad or on the couch with my laptop computer. Writing a script is different because unlike a novel, short story, or essay, the work is not finished when the last word is written or typed. The solitary act of writing might not even constitute a tenth of the total effort with a script.

For more information about my scripts, see:

Unique Nature of Scripts

I love classic films, great theatre, and old-time radio shows. These media differ from reading, each in its own way. Scripts, and the resulting performances, are not inferior to reading. There is a reason most cultures embrace shared stories via theatre and storytelling: shared emotions are stronger emotions. Group experiences reinforce community values.

Special Stages

Theatrical productions are an ancient tradition, yet the modern stage might be the most compelling form of entertainment in existence. I write for stage because it is an emotional medium. The actors and the audience find themselves “caught up” in the moment. As a writer, I want the audience to experience the emotions of characters.

I do not write “wordless” plays; I love dialogue. As you read about my plays, understand my emphasis is on character, not situation. Other writers address situations more broadly.

Silver Screen Magic

The silver screen is magical. From the earliest silent films to the latest 3D blockbusters, movies have exploited not only the power of images, but also the latest in technology. I started writing screenplays in 2010 while completing my doctoral dissertation. I definitely enjoy the form and hope to achieve some success with feature film scripts.

Audio Dramas, Old-Time Radio

Radio is like oral storytelling or reading, with the imagination of the listener creating a personal experience. You can have a silent film or a play without words, but you cannot have an audio drama without spoken words. Old-time radio captivated a nation in the decades before television, and still captivates fans today.

I would like to write an audio drama, most likely a mystery. Not every classic radio mystery series featured a hard-boiled detective. Several programs featured reporters and one series focused on the exploits of a crime photographer. The most unique series, The Whistler, was narrated by an unknown observer, but The Whistler did not solve crimes — the stories began with the crime. It would be a great challenge to try to emulate the format of these shows.

Compromises

Every medium has limitations, which artists learn to overcome or even exploit. The audience knows the limitations as well as the artist does. A movie audience can experience The Sixth Sense in a way no book could offer readers. A musical like Hair is also something a book could not duplicate.

I do pause audio dramas and DVDs to review the content, so the ability to pause is dependent on the setting — you cannot pause a film or play in a theater!

I disagree with those who claim watching or listening is passive when compared to reading. Performance media are different, but not inferior. They work in different ways to achieve a desired result.

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Why Surrender Control?

If I like working alone, why write scripts? The honest answer is that more people see a low-rated television movie than are likely to read any text I write. If I want to reach the greatest possible audience, that means writing a great script and hoping a talented production team makes it even better.