Most of today was taken up with a very demanding, yet very satisfying reading-and-workshopping of my full-length play The Death of Albatross, through the generous support of Merrigong Theatre Company's script-development program (that particular program, alas, has no further funding luckily, I got in under the wire).
The day begain with a reading by professional actors, who did a great job, particularly as most of them were reading it cold (a couple had been involved in its first, rather more informal, reading at the Illawarra Performance Writers Group a while back). Thanks for getting so involved, guys! The energy was high, most of the jokes got laughs*, and the actors were very positive about the play itself and about its possibilites for improvement. They had a lot of great thoughts it was intimidating, actually: how come they can come up with all these ways that might improve and enrich it, ways that I never thought of? Why had I not thought of them? Is there something wrong with my understanding of playwriting, that I had not thought of them? But one must push these thoughts aside, for they do not serve one at all well.
Then, after a much-needed lunch break (for my brain was full), I sat down one-on-one with the program's dramaturg and we discussed the feedback, identifying which of the comments reflected major areas for revision, and which were less crucial or even just something to file away as a useful perspective that need not be incorporated into this piece. I have two weeks to redraft, then she has a look at the next go-round between then and the second reading, a week after that. I am both dreading and looking eagerly forward to having a bash at the next draft can I truly make it a whole lot better? I kinda like it now; will these suggested changes make it fabulous?
Then this evening was the awards night for last year at Margaret's school, and I am very happy and proud to report that she came first in her year in German. This is one of the top schools in the state, if not, indeed, in all of Australia, and even to get in is a huge achievement. And then, to get an academic award why, you're the best of the best! (But we all knew that about Margaret anyway.)
*The one joke nobody laughed at and this crushed me, for I love it was the line, "People will flock to Albatross!" Nobody, but nobody, got it. Or maybe they got it and just didn't think it was funny. Either way, I'm crestfallen.