Friday, February 19, 2010

Writing is Theater, Theater is Life

Monday night's launch for the latest anthology from San Diego Writers, Ink, A Year in Ink, vol 3 was a surprisingly good time.
Why surprising? Because book events tend to be quiet, intellectual pleasures--an eager-to-please author drones on too long, to a score of "bookstore" music and quiet snores. This event was both lively and enlivening. The venue was a local theater, and the readings took place on stage, with the audience in their place, watching and listening. Judy Reeves introduced Roger and I, we both said a few words, and the entertainment began.
What a night of theater--better than any night of one-acts in memory. (Why did not any theater producer think of 5 minute one-acts? One is instantly intrigued, and never bored.) Each voice seemed an ambassador from another world--mothers, students, husbands, widows, teachers, children, robbers and con men...The range of world-views, races, and ages was wonderfully unsettling, unlike most plays where people who look and sound alike discuss a difference of opinion in strained tones.
Last week, I saw a high school play (my niece Emma gave an excellent performance in a forgettable musical) and was reminded of why we go to the theater. Everyone in the audience was rooting for the performers. Not a cynic in the house.
The anthology reading created the same result--all of us cheering our fellow writers on, waiting with held breath for the final word of the story. Find A Year in Ink here on Amazon, or explore the SDWI website to hear about classes and workshops.
I sit in my cozy boat this morning as the masts of neighboring boats, barely visible out my porthole, wave lazily against blue sky. Sunshine is welcome today: We're off to a binational communications meeting over in Tijuana today--hasta manana!