Ty Newydd. Photo by Touchstone.
It is a cliche, but it is true: if you are immensely fortunate, mentoring and teaching can be a symbiotic experience. I’ve often seen books about creative writing dedicated to the students of the tutor/writer, and I fully understand that compulsion. I have just worked alongside eight playwrights over six months on the mentoring scheme at Ty Newydd, the National Writers Centre of Wales. Our final weekend together looms and I feel I have probably learnt as much as I hope they have from our interaction and process together – if not more.
Dramaturgical work brings you to the heart of creating and constructing. I am constantly aware of the form, the medium, questioning and querying how it works, and how I can communicate that understanding to less experienced dramatists. The effort of engaging and trying to diagnose dramatic ills, to offer potential solutions or ways forward for the playwright to explore and decide what works best for her ambitions and intentions is edifying; to find the language to clarify rather than mystify during the process is challenging but improves my own articulation. To advise the playwright on his script whilst in the process is exhilarating and a privilege. I feel like a visitor in a photographer’s dark room – observing the characters and world of the play as they magically form in the developing fluid.
So this weekend brings the end of this most recent mentoring scheme, and we are keen to celebrate and share the evolving scripts. I also want to give the writers a taste – however briefly – of the rehearsal room and the revising process that may follow from that, so we are Doing It Ourselves. We also want to invite any interested parties who may be in North Wales this weekend along:
Saturday 13th October 2012
Lloyd George Museum, Llanystumdwy, Cricieth, Gwynedd. LL52 0SH.
We will be reading excerpts from eight new plays by
Anne Marie Durkin
The Ty Newydd Mentoring Scheme is led by playwright/dramaturg Kaite O’Reilly. Over a six month period the eight selected writers on the course are supported throughout the process, from initial pitch to polished second draft.
A new scheme, for writers young in career will commence in December 2012, also led by Kaite. For further details on this course, please go to the Ty Newydd website or see: https://kaiteoreilly.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/mentoring-project-for-new-and-emerging-playwrights-working-with-kaite-oreilly-dec-2012-april-2013/