Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Moon for the Misbegotten

Last night DH and I went to see A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill. It was the last play he wrote and apparently written as a coda to his most famous work A Long Day's Journey into Night. I believe the works are both based on the life of his alcoholic brother. It was excellently preformed by a cast of four people, and the leading lady was on stage for 2 hours with enough dialogue to confuse a priest.

Anyway, the play got me thinking about theatre as opposed to novels and how theatre relies on nothing but the dialogue (and the odd facial expression) to tell the story.

The props in this play were a chair, stick, pretend rock, and some stairs. Nothing else.

In our books we use descriptive details (maybe too much in some cases, cough), narrative & dialogue to tell our story, but on a stage all the internalization and all the interaction is essentially dialogue. I like to think I'm pretty good at making the dialogue between my characters realistic, but maybe I need to try and add a little more depth to it--see if I can get in another layer of meaning.

Another special thing about last night was it was a gift from our friends Ted & Deanna. Everything from babysitting to tickets, to the leading lady (their daughter Stefanie) was from them and I can't thank them enough. What a great gift :)


  1. Yes it was a wonderful gift (and I think you're right about the alcoholic brother, but then I could be wrong).

    Not just the dialogue, but the props AND we have to fill in the facial expressions ourselves which is where I get caught up - how to write an expression that is so easy to make - and have that description be fresh and not cliched - like "he smiled, she frowned, ..."

  2. What a great way to spend the evening!

    And good luck with your dialogue/wip...make each word count.

  3. I love theatre. It's a great form of expression. I also agree you can learn a lot from it as writers.

  4. Eve, sometimes it is Ok to say smiled, frowned ect. Writing fresh can only go so far. You should take Margie Lawson's EDITS course--she is awesome :)

    Meretta--back at ya!

    Peggy, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it until I was sitting in the seat. I think my eyes are open to things differently now--like you write for so long and eventually start to 'get it'.

    Not that it means anything ;/