I like writing these little blog posts. They more reminders to myself about how and why to write plays than prescriptions for a playwriting populace. When I find myself doing it wrong or for the wrong reasons, I straighten out by writing to myself as a student. Thus, Bad Shaw Syndrome.

The playwright's job is to ask certain, complex questions of himself, others, the world. These are suppositional questions, often taking the phrases of "What if?", "What could happen?", "What could be?", "What could have happened here?", or often, "What's the worst that could happen?". The playwright tests the world, and more directly, the people in the world. And because we're playwrights and of the theatre, we turn these tests into public trials, not too unlike a witch hunt, public hanging, or televised celebrity trial (Hi2U O.J. Simpson).

I hope it's not sadistic or voyeuristic to do so in the playwright's capacity, as the playwright doesn't test people to get off. We make the choices we make and script the public test of ourselves, our families, friends, communities, nations, etc.. to discover, reveal, and realize who and what we are, the edges of our humanness. I don't use the word understand because that's too mental and passive for theatre--that's not our medium. I'll give George Bernard Shaw a pass because he's GBS; as for the rest of us, to understand simply won't do.

A playwright comes upon something, encounters it, maybe runs away from it, wrestles it down, and eventually, when successful, realizes it in the body. Then, and only then, the event that the play will become with actors, director, and audience, can become a community realization, that fucking thing we call "theatre" with an "re" at the end.

When we don't write this way, we write Bad Shaw Drafts. My antidote? Apparently, plead guilty on your own website.

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