I sat there as the director walked thru my script bit-by-bit asking each actor what they thought the motivation was for the particular action being done. As I listened, I started getting that sinking feeling that the play was headed in the wrong direction and the ending, I thought I crafted, was actually just thrown together and not worthy of the effort everyone was putting into it.
Oh jeepers I thought, this is about to be a mess.
When the director got to within 20 pages of the end, I asked her and the group if we could just stop because a rewrite was needed before we could go any further (or is it father). Everyone said okay and we ended the rehearsal.
I walked out of the door and one of the actors was having car trouble and I ended up giving him a ride home. As we moved from city road to back road George and I chatted about the script problem and I apologized to him for the last minute change.
He told me that since it was a public reading and not a fil production that it was no problem and moreover, as the playwright I had a responsibility to put out the best product I could; it didn’t matter if it was a reading or a full production. I found great comfort in that.
The rewrite went pretty fast. I knew what had to be done and figured out an alternate ending. Eventually “life” got in the way and I was finally able to make copies of the new ending, three hole punch them, and handed them off in the FedEx store parking lot to one of my fellow playwrights. I felt kind of like an underworld snitch giving the goods up to the feds.
I can’t make it to the rehearsal tonight, but I think that’s okay now.