Monday, February 9, 2009

Birds Do It, Bees Do It... Playwrights Do It?

Inspired by yesterday's Vibrator Play post, an incident from my past...

(Blog readers who are offended by unmarried young ladies with saucy senses of humor are advised to click away now.)

In the summer of 2006, I got to spend 10 days in New York City with seven other teenage writers, my fellow winners of the Young Playwrights Festival National Competition. We were largely unchaperoned (to my pleasant surprise) and though we didn't get up to any real mischief, we had lots of good conversations about writing and about much less highbrow matters.

One evening, we were riding the subway back to our hotel, and got on the topic of "do it" jokes. Maybe one of us mentioned having theatrical friends who owned "Actors Do It On Cue" or "Techies Do It In the Dark" T-shirts. We quickly realized that we'd never heard a "do it" joke for playwrights, so naturally, we had to remedy that. We started tossing ideas around:

"Playwrights do it with--with..."

"Playwrights do it with all the right words..."

"But that works for any kind of writer..."

"Playwrights make you follow their stage directions..."

I bit my lip and thought about playwriting, the workshops we'd been having to learn about our craft (one was with Sarah Ruhl, in fact), and the buzzwords our teachers used... Then, when I knew I had a winner, I announced:

"Playwrights Do It with a Dramatic Climax."

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