Monday, March 7, 2011

Actually, I May be Class of ‘71...But I Didn’t Graduate

For all of the bragging Ohio University used to do (before they became a Party School), it was quite disorganized, especially in the Theater Department. I was allowed to transfer into O.U.  my Junior year as a Playwriting Major. I believe there were 9 of us and one by one they defected to the English Department. It was about the time that they required us to take a Theatrical Construction course. (Set building 101) and while I am proud to have the ability to build a wall from boards and canvas, I haven’t had much call for it of late.

While Shakespeare was reputed to have done everything that needed to be done to get his shows running, from sweeping the stage to running the concession stand, (“Mead! Get your cold mead and hot pasties!”) the more modern Bards considered themselves AUTHORS and INTELLECTUALS...not carpenters. Fortunately, I saw the metaphor of it and loved getting my hands into the casein buckets, although I was less than thrilled crawling around the flying areas fifty feet in the air. Yeah! O.U. had THEATERS, baby!

I returned for my Senior year and just before Christmas was called into the Head of the Department’s office. It seemed Captain Crackerjack had forgotten to tell me about certain requirements for graduation that were now too late to sign up for. And even more fun...they were canceling the Playwriting Major as I was the only one left. I would have to return for a FIFTH year of college. Now, think about it. I don’t act, I don’t direct. I write plays. I can’t change to a different theater major and I was about 93 required classes short for an English Degree.

This was complicated by the fact that the guy I had had a fling with in Atlantic City the summer before was dating a virgin and let’s just say that when he realized I to approach, he showed up in Athens, Ohio and decide we should get married the following October, and me, being provably to this day, an idiot about Love matters, said “Yes!” It was years later that I realized that he had never said “I love you.”

So, therefore, I dropped out of college, wrecking my parental relationship and all possibilities of being taken seriously as a Playwright. No matter how many classes and workshops I took in New York, I couldn’t be a real playwright. And when I realized the producers preferred college professors because the schools will pay for the first production, I realized that I doth hath screweth the pooch for a marriage that lasted 7 years.

And now, in this economy there is no point in going back to school and little money to pay for it. I have the time because I am disabled, but being on get the picture. All I can do is write and say that I am Ohio University, 1971. Not necessarily graduated with the class, but I did make it from 1967 to 1971. And remember that Shakespeare wasn’t an academic either, so there!

1 comment:

  1. i think i recently heard they've got a playwri(gh)ting major now. don't know when they reinstated it. guess it doesn't matter, does it? your last sentence is key: some academics will only take each other seriously, but only a few believe someone else wrote shakespeare's plays, and he'll outlive them all. you can too.