Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank God for Fantasy and Idealization

Pure, bitter reality is never the goal in writing a play. Playwrights are leading you to an insight, dragging you through the briars or dancing you over parquet . I suddenly think of “Moon for the Misbegotten” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”  The symbolism is obvious to the hypersensitive and blissfully absent to those who just enjoy the show. To me, of course, Blanche DuBois is the outcast gay man, hoping for a ride with the closeted He Man. “Moon” is more than an ode to O’Neill’s brother. It is an elegy for the suffering borne by the sensitive, who do not have an outlet like his Playwright brother, who sings a song and suffers equally, if not more. I know Williams would issue a horrified denial that his play is anything but a fiction, with Miss Blanche being the dying South and Stanley the new, lower class, conquering generation. O’Neill would just smile at me and turn away.

I took 3 facts to create my leading man in “Amour Americaine” and thankfully, mercifully for both of us, left the rest behind. The lead female is beautiful and successful, i.e., nothing at all like me, except that she fantasizes and idealizes the man, which ultimately leads to her death. Homey don’t play that scenario any more, but I came damned close a few times.  Not this time, because this is a truly good, if tragic, man. His friends, who will not read the play, are not ready for either the happier or the grimmer aspects of the script (or his life) and I don’t give a shit. I know what I have and I’m going to try to get it produced. He said to me “For God’s sake, let it go.” Well, this is how a Playwright does it. It has gone. It has flown. It will circle my head for decades to come. And I will, alone, deal with it.

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