WOS Special Edition: Lucas Baisch

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conducted by mike doyle

md: Why don’t you just talk to me about what the process has been preparing for Wrights of Spring. Feel free to talk about anywhere in the sequence, you can talk about the beginning of the year..

lb: How about the third year curriculum? Third year is very different from second year, because second year we’re just kind of building our playwriting vocabulary and learning skills, but this year it’s kind of set up as an independent study project where we work on one play the entire year in different ways each quarter. It’s different for each person, because Carlos (Carlos walks by) kind of like…

md: Speak of the devil.

lb: (to Carlos) Hey! What?

cm: I just heard my name (continues walking).

lb: He shapes the curriculum for each playwright depending on where they’re at in the process. Like say one person has an entire act the end of first quarter, another person may have the same amount of pages, but not necessarily in such a formatted structure, which is cool because everyone works differently. He’s really responsive to that. It’s also cool, because when you’re in a room with different writers, because everyone writes differently you can definitely learn from the practices of other people. Does that make sense?

md: Yeah. I was at Day of Plays, so how did seeing it, or hearing it I suppose, help you in terms of writing, and how has that changed in preparation for Wrights of Spring?

lb: Well, Day of Plays, just like any other time we would have workshops like intermittently through the year, we were allowed to bring in actors just to hear it read out loud. Any time that happens it just completely alters the way you hear it, because when you’re writing and when you’re sitting at home you hear it the way you say it, so it’s really important to hear it the way other people would say it. I mean, that’s pretty obvious, but it actually does like..it makes it easier for you to pick out what sounds awkward, what just doesn’t make sense, you know? It also helped me a lot in like catching information inconsistencies and putting myself more in the position of audience member rather than playwright––and like how the reveal of information works, how character arcs pan out, you know, how stakes shift, so it’s cool and terrifying. It’s also just nice to see all the work you’ve done in one small setting.

md: In terms of getting everything ready for Wrights of Spring like directors, actors, and all of that––how has that affected your stress levels or even just writing the play itself?

lb: For me stress hasn’t really been associated with actors, because luckily I’ve had my actors since winter.

md: Since Day of Plays? 

lb: No, since January. I had them before that, because I had them like come to my apartment to read and they’ve been pretty much on this with me, which is really wonderful to have a set of people who are just supportive and there for you and also really wonderfully talented actors. I guess my stress just stems more from how is the public going to react, because it’s like the first public reading of this work, you know? It’s hard, because so many people at our school have so many things for other people to judge what they do. They have so much for them to gage. You have all these shows that you dramaturg, all the actors have all their shows that they’re in, all the designers have all the things that they work on, and this is our one, cumulative entity.

md: Yeah, like people getting to see what you do.

lb: Right, which is cool and fine, but it also just like…that anxious part of me is like people are going to directly correlate this to my life and they’re going to think all these things.

md: Well, because it’s personal, too.

lb: Yeah, it’s personal. It’s kind of a nonsensical thought and it shouldn’t be a thing.

md: But, it is. 

lb: But it is. I’m human, I’m worried about how people will judge that aspect of it. But that’s also what’s so exciting about it, because it allows me to be super vulnerable and indirectly open up to all of these people that I don’t even know.

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