Getting to the End; Five things that helped and five things that stopped Katharina Hone
Getting to the first draft … five things that held me back.
“Each decision spawns a different universe. Not chance, but meaning. We are making meaning, we are creating the universe.” One of my characters discussed the multiverse theory, which is the idea that there are parallel universes. Some similar to ours, other very, very different. The question is: what do we decide? I found this a bit scary. Every change in the script creates a slightly different play. But was this change the right decision? Should it be another change, another play, another universe?
“Monsters of meaning.” One of my characters prefers facts to interpretation and the meaning we give to these facts. Meaning also followed me throughout the writing process. Does this play mean something? But wait, what is it that I actually want to say? Will the audience get it?
“Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one … and …” And then nothing, because blank pages are evil. They stare back at you without mercy.
“Madness, when we are merely faking it?” Am I a playwright or am I faking it? Self-doubt is not a friend.
“The fear?” “The fear!” “Yes, tell us about the fear.” “Excuse me?” I guess this one is self-explanatory. Fear is also not a friend.
Getting to the first draft … five things that helped:
“To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.” It’s one of those famous sci-fi quotes that still resonate with me from my childhood. Two of my characters mention it at the beginning of the play. One of them even mocks the unmitigated spirit of exploration and progress that the quote exudes. Yet, the quote really touches on something. This is my first play and the excitement of exploring something new and to boldly go where I have never been before were incredible. Theatre is a strange new world for me and I didn’t have any pre-conception or expectations, nothing previous to compare myself to. And I found that’s the best possible situation to be in. So, I boldly explored.
“I am still trying to find my bearings. At least gravity is holding me in place,” says the main character who has just returned from Mars. For me, PlayPen was a bit like gravity: a constant providing certainty and holding me in place. I don’t think I could have done it without the programme. To have workshops with the other playwrights, to get guidance on the play, to have actors spend their time on reading the script, and then to see everything on stage has been indispensible and incredible.
“Failed again? Try again! Fall six times. Get up seven.” This is what one of my characters says when he tries to be encouraging. It’s almost too cheesy to have an effect. But there you go!
“It’s like circling a planet without ever landing.” To keep sane, you simply have to declare yourself finished at some point. At least temporarily. Everyone has to come down from orbit.
“Too late. There is only one way to go now.” Deadlines. They are your friends.
Space Oddity is written by Katharina Hone, directed by James Baker and performed by Catrin Fflur Huws, Darren O’ Connell and Jason Philpot. It will be presented as a rehearsed reading at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Tuesday 23rd January 7.45PM
Tickets for Space Oddity are available through the box office 01970 623232 or https://www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk/theatre/playpen-space-oddity
The final two PlayPen Get to the End projects will be presented as follows
13th February 7.45PM 2018 – Blinds written by Caroline Clark, Directed by Roger Boyle
13th March 7.45PM 2018 – Death Comes to St Michaels written by Tom O’Malley, Directed by Caroline Clark