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"The mistake in Vivat Regina"


When I was in graduate school studying playwriting and screenwriting, one of my mentors, the great Boston theater artist Kate Snodgrass, said that everything that in the text of a play is intentional. Whatever writing choices made it into the final draft have to be treated by us, readers and critics, as specifically included on purpose by that writer. It’s all part of the world of the story, and nothing can be chalked up to as accidental, or a mistake.

With all due respect to Kate, I don’t always agree with that. As a writer, I find that the process isn’t always one smooth delivery of brainchild onto the page. I do tend to be a very intentional writer. It’s just my style to do a lot of advance planning, and I always have a motivation for why I made the choice that I made. Doesn’t mean it’s a good choice, of course, but I did it on purpose for a reason!

But even I end up with stuff in my finished projects that weren’t part of my grand design. Sometimes I have a really good part A and a really good part C, so I end up hacking together a part B because it gets me from one to the other. Or sometimes I include something that struck me on a whim at the moment, when if I’d considered it a little more deeply, I might not find it consistent with the overall vision.

One such small moment exists in Vivat Regina.

Read the rest of the entry on Mrshawking.com!

Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 15th-18th at the Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2016.

Posts from This Journal by “vivat regina” Tag


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2015 05:29 pm (UTC)
I like the tea biscuit thing! I feel like it paints a vivid picture of Mrs. Hawking as eccentric and sometimes irrational, which is characterization in itself. Anyone can develop an aversion like that for any reason, so there's no reason for someone to say, "Oh, no, clearly that's about Phoebe." And in a play that is serious, sometimes we need to poke a little fun at the main character.

Incidentally, while I think intentionality is important, I do a lot of writing by instinct. I can edit out stuff that didn't turn out to fit, but I often find my instincts are surprisingly good. And if I'm writing something *I'm* finding fun, I would hope that would translate to the reader having fun, too.
Nov. 8th, 2015 12:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I actually really like that interpretation!

Intentionality has advantages, but it's not inherently better. I think sometimes I cut myself off from truly natural development because I go in with such a firm plan that I don't often deviate from. I could probably stand to incorporate more discovery in the process into my work.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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April 2017

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