Graphic by Raquel Villalobos
By Rachel Perzynski, Associate Editor
As someone who has had experience as both a dramaturg and a playwright, Kaysie Bekkela brings a different perspective to how the two roles intersect. Bekkela is one of the playwrights involved with the Wrights of Spring festival, an annual two-week celebration of new plays by The Theatre School’s playwrights. Her current Wrights of Spring project is titled, A Work in Progress.
Rachel Perzynski: During this process, what kind of feedback did you find helpful? Who did you receive that feedback from?
Kaysie Bekkela: During Playwriting class, you mostly receive feedback from your fellow classmates and the teachers (Carlos and Dean). And that’s pretty helpful. It’s honestly amazing how just hearing your play out loud serves as a form of feedback. And it’s always nice when we have actors come in to read for us—since they haven’t seen the script before, anything they bring to the table is always highly valued. This quarter in Playwriting, we’re mapping our plays. Which isn’t necessarily feedback, but it allows you to see so many things about your play that you had never seen before.
RP: What kind of dramaturgical work have you done for this play?
KB: To be honest I don’t do much dramaturgical work as a writer. At least not research wise. Especially with the play I’m writing, I never felt the need to do much dramaturgical research. Which has now created some wonkiness in my script that I need to fix. But even for fixing that aspect I won’t be doing all the work. I’m outsourcing the work to someone else who is more experienced in the topic. I’m too connected to my play to look at it objectively all the time so I rely on others to help me out. And that’s what your classmates are there for. We all serve as in-house critics to help each other reach our visions.
RP: How do you think doing your own dramaturgy as a writer differs from having a dramaturg to help you in the development of your play?
KB: I think doing my own dramaturgy would be impossible. Not the research aspect. That’s easy for me as a writer to do. That can inspire me. But there’s no way for me to look at my play objectively. I need someone else. I think if I wrote a play and served as dramaturg, it would be a pretty bad play. Because I wouldn’t be able to see all the flaws. Or there would be questions from the audience I had never thought of before because I knew what was going on.
Come see a reading of A Work in Progress!
Where: Healy Theatre, The Theatre School
When: Saturday, May 28 at 5:45 pm