My last major writing project before the summer was the WAD fest (Writers, Actors, Directors), a 24 hour play festival in which writers have 12 hours to write a script based on a randomly selected theme, and the director and actors have 12 hours to learn their lines and stage the play. The writers get the night shift (from 8 pm. to 8 am.), so pumped with coffee, my co-writer, Paul Kubin, and I set upon the task to write a 10 min. play on this year's theme of "Travel". You can view the play here: "The Future of IPLA"
or on my website.
It was a blast! Who needs drugs? Caffeine and pure adrenaline is a potent mix, and inspite of some uncertainty over role distribution (how do we split the writing? Do each of us take one of the characters? Do we write different scenes? etc.), Paul and I had fun, especially in the brainstorming department. In the end, for consistency and continuity, it was best that only one of us was at the computer even though the other threw out ideas for dialogue and scenes during the collaboration process.
The main thing I learned about the art of collaboration, especially when you only have 12 hours to complete the project, is:
• Check your ego at the door -- it doesn't matter who does what, it's about the finished product
• Play to your strength -- the dialogue flowed out of Paul's fingers onto the keyboard, whereas in the few moments I tried
to take over while Paul took a break, I froze (I could never write well under pressure). I had a much easier time with
brainstorming and that was the fun part for me.
We finished the play at 7:45 am. with 15 mins. to print and get it to the director and actors, then off to catch up on some sleep. It was thrilling watching all the plays performed and marvelling at what some of the other teams did in 24 hours. Our actors and director did a fabulous job with the time they had -- what an immensely talented group! I'm looking forward to next year's WAD fest and with any luck, I'll be able to work with the same team.