Fringe Fest '16

I'm in the middle of the craziest week of my school year -- the week that precedes Fringe Fest. Every spring semester for the last 11 years, I have produced staged readings of new 10-minute plays written by my Introduction to Playwriting class.  

This year, I have a very talented group of young playwrights who have been working diligently on revision through the rehearsal process.  It's really fun for me to watch them go through the ups and downs, the rush of working with collaborators, and the stress of trying to juggle all of it in their last week of a semester full of other classes and deadlines.  That sounds a bit cruel on my part, but really, the fun is that their growth as playwrights becomes so evident in these last weeks.  They're learning more than what I have taught them in the first 13 weeks of the semester by actually doing the collaborative process.  And that's so rewarding.  

During the Fringe process, so many of the plays in past festivals come to mind.  I really have been fortunate to teach some talented students.  I know some of them are still writing plays.  Many have chosen other outlets for their writing, and that's okay too.  But I hope Fringe is one of the transformative writing experiences for them.  I hope they learn that they can make theatre and art if they're willing to put in the time.  It's so worth the sacrifice.  

Maybe the most important thing I hope they learn is that it's not about them, but about the work and the people.  It's about bringing together an amazing group of collaborators to work toward a common vision.  And it's about the audience coming together to share in the experience.