Great teacher, friend, mentor and theatre historian, Dr. Howard Stein, shared a story with his Columbia University in the City of New York MFA Playwriting students at the Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre studies. The topic was eminent actor Paul Newman who was visiting the Yale School of Drama at Howard’s request and he was speaking to the theatre students in a question and answer format. I will share that story with you now.
Today, we are pleased to announce the first volume in the new “Boles Books for…” series of learning precis: Poetics and the Dramatist! This Boles Book will help both the amateur dramatist, and the seasoned professional, learn how to best use Aristotle’s Poetics to build a better dramatic piece!
I recently wrote about a fellow who wanted my Script Doctor services via my Script Professor.com website, and the reaction to that poor guy was so fascinating across all my public and private interwebs, that I decided to offer a follow-up to that adventure. When I do script doctoring, or ghost writing, as The Script Professor, anything goes, and by that I mean, I can fix anything written that is broken — and that includes scripts for television, radio, film and books and scholarly papers and anything else that might be in need of pruning or total rehabilitation.
There’s an old saying in some theatrical circles that a play does not exist unless and until is has been performed on a live stage in front of an audience. You can imagine the heartache that creates for the amateur, but vigilant, Playwright who writes page after page only to have the work discounted in the end analysis by some because there is no final proof of production to validate the effort. Is that a right and fair way to deal with a written Art in Performance? Does the actor exist without being staged? Does the director have a role without filling an empty space?
In the Fall of 2004, I was teaching a course at Rutgers University in Newark called “From Page to Stage” where the idea — as I was teaching the course — was to take original scripts written in class and present them in live performance to learn how the process of active creation worked.
The final project was a series of group presentations where students shared their lives as they were living it — and the alarming result of one racially diverse group was: “Newark in Black and Blue.” That group’s bruising presentation was tough and blunt and dramatic and I decided we had to record that performance in audio so we could preserve the truth of the moment.
[UPDATED: June 26, 2014]
I have been writing and working in film and TV and radio all of my life. I started young and I’m ending old! I recently decided to upgrade part of my Boles.com website into a Prairie Voice archive of some of my previous work so it is more readily accessible and referenceable by collaborators and others.
I have so much film and videotape and audio stored that I didn’t know where to start the archiving process. Then I decided to just get the scripts and other documents online that I had within hands reach — and that included some film and video and audio, too! I contacted Parlay Studios in Jersey City for help transferring all this analog work into a digitized form for web streaming and Parlay pointed me to — DiJiFi in Brooklyn, New York — and that was best piece of pointery I’ve received in the last decade. Read more