Message from the President

Hi there and Welcome

 If you are reading this I will assume you are interested, in some way, in theater. Its creation and production. The excitement and the magic. And, quite possibly, playwrighting.

 Old Pueblo Playwrights Mission

 The mission of Old Pueblo Playwrights (OPP) is simple, improve our playwriting skills and help others improve their playwriting skills. We are individuals who share our knowledge, experience and time with each other for this purpose.  I am a member of OPP because of the quality of the other members. Well-read, well-versed, and well-rounded in a variety of pursuits, these people are the crème de la. And ever so helpful! We have had terrific discussions, critiquing newly written, never-before-seen plays as well as reading and enjoying classic and contemporary plays to see what we can learn. These discussions are lively, informative, intellectual and funny!

 Old Pueblo Playwright's Facilitator

 One of the gifts Old Pueblo Playwrights offers is an experienced, non-professional facilitator to lead a rich and topical commentary after the play has been read. The facilitator is chosen ahead of time by the playwright and the playwright is encouraged to provide questions for the facilitator to ask, but it is an essential point of our critique process that, during the discussion itself, the playwright remains silent.

 That the playwright does not talk during the discussion of his or her own play  often surprises newcomers to OPP. We believe that this helps the process in three ways:

 1) It frees the playwright from the need to dispute, defend, or argue the merits of the play.

 2) It maximizes the playwright’s ability to listen and absorb all the information and comments that are made.

 3) It allows the playwright to focus on the essential job of weighing each comment and judging which of the critiques might be helpful during the subsequent rewriting and reworking of the play.  

 If playwrights want to talk in detail about the gritty of their play, they can always invite one of these erudite and thoughtful beings for tea or lunch and discuss the play and its development as much as desired!

 Keeping in mind that "critiques should serve the purpose of informing and keeping membership," we have discussed the need to develop and maintain quality facilitators. To that end, long standing member Gavin Kayner has compiled a nifty Facilitator's Manual full of helpful hints, like the following from the Boston Dramatic Writing Seminar, Summer 2005:

 Bad Dramaturgy views plays as an invalid that is diagnosed and requires prescriptive commentary to "fix" or "make it better.

 Good Dramaturgy focuses on the play's inherent strengths and the laws that govern the world of the play

 Giving Attention

 During one of our group meetings, Kelly Hardesty, OPP member in good standing, paraphrased Julia Cameron's quote, saying, people think they write better if they are in pain but it is paying attention that makes a great writer - pain causes you to pay attention,  but it is not the only way to attention.

 I like the idea of giving attention - to the moment, to each other, to our creations. By giving our attention, we continue to evolve ourselves, our writings and our group. We attend to the needs of our community. Come join us.  We meet almost every Monday night at 7 pm on the second floor of the Temple of Music and Art. I look forward to meeting you. Perhaps you will become a member. You would be welcomed warmly.

 Peace and pleasure,

John Vornholt

President, Old Pueblo Playwrights