Thursday, October 11, 2007

History of Dara, part 7

Once upon a time, a long long time ago -- a little over thirteen years, to be exact -- I was eighteen years old and living in London for the summer. Well, not just living there -- studying abroad -- which basically constituted taking a bunch of art history classes and a playwriting class.

I lived in a flat -- with four other students -- in a historic building that -- according to rumor -- Shelley had lived in at one point in time. I drank beer, at pubs. I went to lots and lots of plays, and the opera, and the ballet. I shopped in the open air markets. I went to Paris. More than that, really -- I went to so many places, it would take more than a whole blog entry to catalogue the whole thing. But that's not what I wanted to write.

I was recently reminded that, in my playwriting class in London, I wrote a one-act play as an assignment. Actually, each and every member of the class wrote a play, and then, the class voted for the top three, and staged them. Mine was selected.

In retrospect, it's not exceptionally good -- but I was eighteen. And, at the time, my class compared it to Pretty in Pink, which is a compliment. (If it had been written after 1997, I would think that Dawson's Creek would have been more accurate, but whatever.)

Anyway, here's the play, such as it is.


Chaim said...

I have been in writing classes and the live before, with that age group, and older. I have no doubt that your play was truly among the best, regardless of how it may measure up today compared to professional work.

For what it's worth, I liked it. It actually hits really close to home for me. It's funny how when you are a teenager you feel like your experience is this amazing unique thing that only you are having. Then you get older and find out that you were just one of a billion others, that every single person your age went through roughly the same thing, only the names were different.

The older you get, the more your experience gradually diverges. Nowadays, even at 24, I find it very difficult to find anyone I can relate to. I do find myself wondering if it swings back eventually, or if everyone just keeps falling away...

dara said...

I was, by far, the youngest in my playwriting class, and I think that I was going through that realization -- that my teenage experiences were not unique -- in the midst of writing the play. It was intended as a slightly wistful glimpse into all of the overly dramatic conversations I had with my best friend sitting in the lifeguard stand at the beach (while our other friends were below us drinking beer).

But yeah, as you get older, your experiences become more different. Sometimes it helps you to relate to people better, sometimes not. Mostly, you learn to compartmentalize it better. And fake it.