Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Message discipline.

It’s not that I would have made a good soldier. I wouldn’t, not really, not in any military worth the billions of dollars poured into it. I too fiercely value my individuality to indoctrinate into the conformity necessary for the armed forces to function. I know that soldiers do eventually get some of themselves back after they’ve been through the breakdown of training; I know myself well enough to know that I would never be satisfied to get only some of myself back, to have the empty space filled with reflex response to authority and regulations. I respect those who can go through with it. I just know that I, who I am now, could not.

But I do value protocol. I appreciate that sometimes it is important to have something occur via a certain specific set of channels, even when I might desperately want them to happen right now. Or a month or so ago when I first found out.

(And I apparently need to make this clear: I’m not talking about a pregnancy. I wouldn’t announce something like that on the Internet without telling most of the people who read my corner of said Internet in person, first.)

And it’s not that others didn’t already know. The involved parties, obviously; but the information had also leaked, one way or another, to all sorts of people. To people I don’t know. To people I do not otherwise speak to regularly.

But I decided to go ahead and follow the protocol on this one. The official announcement was the domain of another and as such I kept my lips and my fingertips sealed.


The official announcement was made this afternoon at a brunch in Lincoln Park, so I’m finally free to talk about something I’ve been internally buzzing about for what seems like years.

New Leaf Theatre, with whom I’ve spent several of my best months as an adult artist in the city of Chicago, will be producing as the first show of their ninth season The Man Who Was Thursday, my adaptation of G.K. Chesterton’s 1908 philosophical espionage farce thriller. Directed by my Vox Pandora and The Final Night of the First Intention director Jess Hutchinson, designed by the crazy gifted team New Leaf calls their own, performed by what I am assured is a glowing cast of energetic actors.

I am terribly excited. I have loved this book since I first read it back in college, literally on a lark from the intrigue of the title, which I first encountered via a throwaway reference in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I’ve been having all these great conversations about casting and visual design and dramaturgy; about the nature of adaptation and the question of how a century-old work speaks to who we are now; about the walls between actor and character and actor and audience and audience and production and how to topple those walls over and use them as dance floors…and I wasn’t talking about them in any specific terms except between those of us meeting in the coffee shop or diner.

It’s been building up inside me for so long now that you may not be able to get me to shut up about it until the show opens in October. And since there may be talkbacks throughout the run, no, you might not get me to shut up about it until the show closes in November. You might not get me to shut up about it ever, now that I can talk about it. C’est la vie.

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This entry was posted on August 22, 2009 by in Books, Marketing, New Leaf Theatre, Plays, Theatre, Writing.
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