Thursday, August 28, 2003

short time redux

It was the play that kept being produced and performed without my knowledge – flattering and infuriating at the same time.

On one hand, I could not help but feel “Hey, that’s great!”. My plays are not closet dramas – they are meant to be performed (well, except for the musical without a score, but that’s a different banana).

On the other hand, it was like the various bodies that held performances treated me as if I were dead. The Palanca library gave everyone free access after all, and no one is told in no uncertain terms to contact the playwright.

The reason I’m dredging up the past is that there is a chance that “Short Time” will be produced in Hong Kong in the future. Details are still being firmed up, but a request to review the play (by someone who saw the original production in the University of the Philippines) has been made.

If it happens, this time I will be delighted because it is being performed for a new audience, and satisfied that the producers had the courtesy to request permission.

Even if it doesn’t push through, the news put me in the mood to reread the play. How does it read after 12 years? Not bad, if I may engage in a moment of self-indulgence. A bit shrill (I must resist the temptation to rewrite blocks of it) but I liked the structure, the flow and pacing (is this paragraph masturbatory or what?).

It was odd feeling. Parts of the text I remembered almost verbatim. Other portions, lines of dialogue or beats, I didn’t recognize.

Like someone you know who went away for a long time and unexpectedly came back one day. There is that moment of disbelief and quick recognition. “Hey!”

And yet things are not the same.

But the play did not change in any way.

It was me, me that was different.


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