Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

A series of sketches

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Nilo Cruz

I write a series of scenes. Then I look at all the scenes, and then I start sculpting the play. To me, writing is like sketching. You don’t enter the canvas immediately—you do a series of sketches. Picasso did hundreds of sketches before he started Guernica. So I do the same thing, just to find out about my characters. Some of those scenes make it to the play, some of them don’t. So it is a process of search, doing a little bit of research about their lives through actually writing scenes and finding out about them. Again, some of them make it to the play and some of them don’t…

If you think of dramaturgy in North America, which is so realistic and so literal sometimes, sometimes what theaters—especially dramaturgs—ask for is more information, which sometimes can really weigh down a play. There’s only so much information a play can have. If you start putting in so much information, it becomes something completely different, it doesn’t sing…You’re serving this person, but at the same time, you’re not serving the art form. I feel like as a writer, you have to take commentaries with a grain of salt.

Nilo Cruz, to Guernica

Written by nevalalee

March 5, 2016 at 7:30 am

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