Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The "Fast Company" Bond Between Playwright and Director

The cast of Fast Company:  Nelson Lee, Jackie Chung, Emily Kuroda and Lawrence Kao
Both Los Angeles-based, playwright Carla Ching and director Bart DeLorenzo wear many hats when bringing the world premiere of Fast Company together.

Playwright Carla Ching
“For me a world premiere is all about the relationship with the playwright and the working together to bring the vision to life,” says DeLorenzo.  Their collaboration comes with both challenges and excitement to create this fast-paced new play.

To become a great team, Ching says she prefers a director who is a smart-minded storyteller, good with actors and able to create a “family” feeling in the rehearsal room.

"You have to be a total collaborator when you’re making all sorts of decisions together, and the entire piece can change at a moment's notice so you have to be ready for anything," adds DeLorenzo. "I always feel a special responsibility because usually how a world premiere is received has a big impact on the future life of the play."

Before the creative and artistic team was chosen for her world premiere, Ching is hard at work to make the script the best it can be. 

"I have an inkling of an idea [for what the world of the play looks and feels like], and then read and watch as much as possible until some disparate strands start to braid together,” she says. “Then, I will probably discover who inhabits the world and just start writing scenes."

Director Bart DeLorenzo
By far the biggest challenge that a playwright faces, adds Ching, is getting the play produced.

"As an emerging writer, it’s hard to get someone to take a chance on you," she explains. "When we are unproven, [producing companies] just have to trust you, and take a leap of faith."

Smart risk-taking is another quality Ching looks for in the team that brings a world premiere to life. DeLorenzo says even during the very first play he ever directed—in 10th grade, Eugene O'Neill’s one-act play, In the Zone—he had absolutely no idea what he was doing but, because he took that risk, he fell in  love with the theatre-making process and has loved the art of directing ever since.

Ching agrees with DeLorenzo about being drawn to the art of theatre-making and for her, the life of a play is never over.

"It's never done,” she says. “I rewrote a play [a play of mine] that already had been produced and published.” Her life experience and growth as a writer all influence how she reviews and revises completed works and approaches new play ideas may that form.

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