Thursday, March 24, 2011

Workin' 9 to 5... and writing plays

This New York Times profile of Sharr White, who has a play opening at the MCC Theatre this week in New York is interesting considering all of the discussion around Mat Smart's post on the Howl Around blog this week.

Practicality is a common theme for Mr. White, who lives in Cold Spring, N.Y., with his wife and two young sons. When he’s not shuttling around to see his works produced in cities like Chicago, Louisville and Seattle, he works full time as a fashion copywriter, an occupation he credits for keeping his wordsmith skills up to speed.

“Sharr’s not isolated in a room with a candle,” said Hal Brooks, who directed Mr. White’s Iraq War drama “Six Years” at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville in 2006. “He gets up, writes, goes to his day job, comes home, raises a family and writes some more.”

Though I am an artist/writer who for most of my life has had to work a 9-5 or more, I have never really thought of it as any type of distinction. I think that there are great plays written by people that have other careers (W;t) and obviously there are great plays written by people who are solely writers.

If you read on in the article you will find that Sharr has an MFA, but it is NOT in playwriting.

1 comment:

Ian Thal said...

Mat Smart's post is a bit of a rorschach card for playwrights at the moment and each of us are seeing our appraisals, anxieties, and insecurities reflected in it. I simply took it to mean that we should work hard and not be satisfied with what is simply "good enough." It made me ask myself if I'm working hard enough or not-- and that's a good thing to ask oneself from time to time.

However, because I'm of the opinion that in the arts, there is no sure-fire technique that works for every practitionerI feel free to accept suggestions that make sense to me and reject those that don't and save being offended for those things that really matter.