Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From Janine Nabers (Superlab #3)

I have been working on my play ANNIE BOSH IS MISSING on and off for a little over a year now. When I got the e-mail from Adam and Maria that the play had been selected for SuperLab I was thrilled that I had been given six days to work with some of the best artists in New York City to get my play into the shape I wanted it. And boy, what a glorious six days it was.

I moved to NYC in 2005 and enrolled as a playwriting MFA candidate at The New School for Drama. One thing that was so incredibly valuable about my experience as a student was being in the room with an amazing director and smart actors as they examine the words I’ve written over and over again. The six days of SuperLab sucked me back into that same creative vortex: rewriting until the early morning, coffee breaks and “aha” moments, living off cough drops and Airborne, throwing a rewrite out and then finding it in the trash and putting it back in, quick food runs to Lenny’s, actors discovering things in the play you never imagined, countless discussions about when and where and if there is an act break, Adam and Maria’s outstanding dramaturgy, director Davis McCallum’s hilarious play reenactments and laughter… lots and lots of laughter.

The week I spent with Playwrights Horizons and Clubbed Thumb was a tremendous one because every single day was devoted to my particular process. I happen to be a writer that puts a ton of pressure on myself so I managed to accomplish quite a bit of rewriting each night when I went home. But then again, that’s how I wanted it.

All in all I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. For a playwright who hasn’t had a production yet, SuperLab allowed me to get a sense of what the early process of that stage would be like. The week went by so quickly yet the work and relationships that were built were extraordinary and for that I am forever grateful to Playwrights Horizons and Clubbed Thumb. At the end of my six days I sat in the back of the room and ate awesome cookies while hearing my rewritten play read out loud in front of an audience. I always twitch when my work is being read aloud. Always. But this time I didn’t. I just ate the awesome cookies and smiled. Both Davis and I did. That’s how happy we were.

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