Monday, October 10, 2005

O'Neill Playwrights's Conference

October 10, 2005 O'Neill & the working class....
C G wrote: O'Neill would NEVER have been able to qualify for the competition named after him!

GLH-- Let's not over-romanticize O'Neill. His father was a tightwad, but a rich one. Gene went to (prep) boarding schools, Princeton (expelled) , and studied play writing at Harvard. His "modest" Connecticut home had at least 2 live-in servants. He shipped out as a seaman, and hung out in working-class bars, yes. But he had no compunctions about borrowing money and labor-- and not paying back either-- for important things such as his scripts and binges.


I was at Rosanna's for a rehearsal today and saw her dining room table spread over with pages and envelopes and notes and.... stuff. She was trying to prepare an MS package for the O'Neill. She was frustrated about how difficult it was to print out double-sided scripts, and also b/c she couldn't figure out how to copy her play to the required cd.
I struggled with her MSWord and windows, finally figured out how to make it happen-- hope she took good notes!-- while kvetching about the time trouble and money it takes to enter a script in the "open"-- is it really?-- process. Among all the instructions on the guidelines email (we all got one, yes?) was an invitation to call and share our reactions to the process. I said why complain to each other: let's complain to the O'Neill! So we called James White. I left a message on his machine.
Amazingly, he called back! Spoke passionately for more than 1/2 an hour-- I couldn't get him to stop. He swears that 4 or 5 of the 8 last year were chosen from "open" submissions. Pointed out that double-sided copy was an option, not a requirement, and that -- wonder of wonders!-- they don't give a hoot about which format a writer uses as long as the script is readable. Swore that the goal of his life is to get funds so the program is free.
I still don't know if it is worth the time trouble and money it takes to enter a script, but I do feel better about the process now. -- GLH


Post a Comment

<< Home