Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Playwright's Objective

No matter what you want to achieve as a playwright, you must have one primary objective. You must learn how to elicit emotion. People do not go to a theatre to watch people on stage sing, dance, talk and laugh. They go to have emotional experiences themselves. The goal of every one working in and for the theatre, actually the goal of every one in the entertainment business, is to elicit a positive emotional response in the audience.


  1. Even theatre had its eras of naturalism, realism, dadaism, expressionism, surrealism, absurdism and postmodernism. As a consequence many playwrights have been complying what´s up to date in structure and presentation, while forgetting emotional response in the audience. That’s part of the reason for empty theatres.
    After rereading your objective I would like to add, that this should be the goal for a musician as well.

  2. Every artist, I would even say - also in literature, poetry, cinema, scupture, painting,... - should be aware of his responsability. The greater his talent, the greater the responsability.

    Life is a metaphor for stories.
    It is a cherry with sweet flesh (the emotional experience to elicit) and a hard stone (the sense of something to realize in the story and in history).

    Every audience is searching for harmony.
    Harmony is an adequate balance of pain and joy, of truth and dream. Sometimes harmony can be represented only as existential syntony with disharmony.

    The meter is truthfulness.

    One can say everything and the opposite of everything about reality.
    The more a work of art is realistic, the more it will be possible to say everything and the opposite of everything about it.

    Shakespear wrote tragedies with a lightness that other authors enabled to write only comedies.

    I love Zeffirelli's movy "Romeo and Juliett". It moves to tears, it is full of action like "Indiana Jones", it is full of life, and a great Mercutio made me burst into laughter. And it is a great picture of the past.

    I love Bergmann's movy "Smultronstället". The english title "Wild Strawberries" is disorienting, with its evocation of eros and sin. Smultronstället idiomatically means an underrated gem of a place (often with personal and sentimental value). The movy describes the tender return to this little place of childhood during a cathartic voyage of an aged man.