Lessons Learned

Katherine’s report on the Fresh Pages 2018 reading series

Confession: I have a habit of doing things at the last minute. I was frantically re-writing up to the day of the reading. I was spending pretty much every waking moment on revisions. Which meant that when the day arrived, the entire script was imprinted on my brain.

As a result, I couldn’t enjoy it. I’d lost perspective. Every line seemed 100% predictable! Couldn’t the audience see that?!

No, they couldn’t. It only seemed predictable to me because I’d gone over it half a dozen times in the past 36 hours.

Once I realized that, I was able to stop cringing and wanting to hide under the floorboards. I got a lot of terrific feedback from the actors as well as the audience, and dove into the next draft.

“A Pornography Play” was a placeholder title; it’s a historical piece about a controversial 1983 anti-pornography ordinance that divided the feminist movement nationwide. It has since been retitled “Us Against Us.”

It’s also a musical. My collaborator, Benjamin Emory Larson, is not only a brilliant composer but also a fantastic dramaturg who has been instrumental in shaping the script. At the time of the reading, we had only one song completed, and we played a recording we’d made with us as the singers.

Our next step is to set up a musical reading with live singers. Well, okay, our next step is to write the songs. Stay tuned…