Mr. Excitement News: Richard Nelson's Address to ART/NY:
I sit with young writers and hear how they now leave chunks of their plays purposely badly written - hoping that the 'help' they receive will concentrate on these areas and not on others that they care about. Tricks, games that many a screenwriter has learned over time, but now finding their way into the writing of plays.
Now no doubt many of you are thinking - but the plays aren't finished, they need help, and they do get better.
Again, I am not saying that a playwright should avoid and ignore comments and reactions to his work, quite the opposite. But I am saying that our mindset toward playwrights should be this: 1) the playwright knows what he is doing, 2) perhaps the play as presented is as it should be. So that the onus for change is not on the playwright but on others, on the theater. And the theater is there with a full array of tools to support the playwright as he or she attempts to improve upon his or her play. How to improve a play should be the domain of the writer, with the theater supplying potential tools, a reading say, or a workshop with clearly delineated goals. These are tools that should evolve out of a need, as opposed to being a given.