Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A RASH rewrite

I'm spending the month of March rewriting parts of RASH. I have now done 7 performances of RASH and received really great feedback from folks from all over. In fact, I can't thank enough friends, theatre folk and audience members who have been sharing their thoughts and ideas on the play. You are helping to make this play even stronger. I am realising the difficulties of performing a play to multiple audiences. The people coming to see my show are a mix of folks - from those who are just curious to see the play, to high school and university students, to human rights and humanitarian workers. And so the types of feedback I receive are often quite specific to the needs of the audience. The general public want to see more photos of Rwanda, aid workers prefer to see less images, students want more details about what the life of a human rights observer is like. And feedback varies according to cultural sensibilities. Americans want the gaps filled in, more clarity, a clear beginning, middle and end. Non-Americans like to fill in their own gaps, and are more comfortable with some things being left up in the air. So now, me the writer, I have to distill all of that, listen to the feedback and then ultimately decide what I want to say and how I want to say it. So that's what I'm doing now. It feels good to be writing again but I'm also looking forward to seeing the changes in action. If there are any other writers out there reading this, I am curious to know how you absorb the feedback you get on your material. Look out for the RASH outbreak in April, there are four performances scheduled.