In between the two matinee performances of my children’s musical “King of Chelm” at lower Manhattan’s Abron Arts Center on Sunday, June 21st, I was eating free tuna salad when Ziv, one of the members of the ensemble cast, asked me what it was like to see a play I wrote come to life.
Which is a great question. Although this isn’t the first play that I’ve written that’s been produced, it IS the first play that I’ve written, and that’s been produced which I haven’t also acted in. In other words, I was able to sit in the audience along with the rest of the crowd (mostly families with young children), and experience the work for the first time as an observer.
It was incredible to see, but surreal. Of course, when my work, my ideas, my stylings get put on a stage and presented to people as A PLAY THEY SHOULD see, in other words, as a thing, as an event, as a true occurrence, that’s fantastic. It’s a chance that a lot of playwrights don’t get often, so I cherish it, and love it, and think about it before I fall asleep at night.
BUT, I also found that by the time the actors, set designers, and composers did their thing, it felt almost disingenuous to take credit for any of it. What I did was write words on paper, and what everyone else did was internalize those words and make them fly, baby.
So how’d it feel, Ziv? I suppose I can tell you now since I was eating tuna salad when you first asked. It feels like this: I wrote a story which these wonderful people took and made their own in unexpected, thrilling, and familiar ways, and which the audience, especially the kids in the audience, genuinely seemed to like. What more could you want?
Oh, photos? Well, I can do some photos for you:
All photos courtesy of Nikita Yurenev.