Robert O’Hara used this word a lot in our breakout session, Don’t F*ck with my Play, yesterday at Banff. About we playwrights having the audacity to say to a director:
“No, I can’t work with you.”
To people not in theatre: “No, this is not just a hobby.”
To the director, producer, or actors who want to change what you wrote to suit them. “NO, that is not what I wrote, you’re not doing it.”
About asking the production team what they need from me, the playwright, and informing them what I need, at the start, so that the play doesn’t get screwed up.
And if the situation changes during rehearsal, work to fix it. And if it can’t be fixed, decide if I’m going to shrug, wait for the terrible production to be over and move on. OR, if I’m going to tell the production team I, the person who wrote the play which has given them all work, isn’t happy, and take the crap that comes with being a ‘difficult writer.’
Sometimes, it’s not enough for the show to go on. I did recently pull the plug on a project I was really looking forward to, because it was already making me unhappy. And that’s not the point. I’m still disappointed and miffed, but better that, than insane.
This weekend, an Obie-winning playwright told me I was good. I met Karen Hines and told her about the award I was nominated for and how proud I was to lose to her, and she laughed. I made a whole room of people laugh. I don’t deserve to be f*cked around.