David Blakely encourages storytelling for all the right reasons... and some nefarious ones... Hi Friend, Welcome to the blog and show notes for Episode 36 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast, "Storytelling in Plays". Today, I talk with HTC’s Playwright in Residence, David Blakely. Every week on the SallyPAL podcast I talk to people about original storytelling for a live audience. Send an email anytime to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every week.
Check out sallypal.com/join for a cool free theatre resource. It’s never too late to sign up for access to the Creator’s Notebook. I want to know what you need as a performing arts storytelling resource. If there are things you want in the Creator’s Notebook, let me know by sending an email to Sally@sallypal.com! I read them all. If you're listening to the podcast, be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.
I’ve known David Blakely since I was 15 years old. I was a theatre club member at Tulsa Memorial High School. (Shout out to my Masque & Gavel buddies). In the intervening years, David got a law degree from Duke University, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. Now, 40 years later, David is the playwright in residence for Tulsa’s only all-original works company, Heller Theatre (or HTC). He's also a playwriting professor at Rogers State University. David Blakely is a prolific playwright with performances of his works in various locations around the country at any one time.
Most recently, David's been in rehearsal at HTC for his one act, “Four Ways to Die”. The play is based on Dennis McAuliffe’s 1990 nonfiction, “The Deaths of Sybil Bolton”. “Four Ways to Die” follows a journalist uncovering what exactly happened to his grandmother during the systematic reign of terror that killed dozens of Osage people in the 1920s. The play features Steve Barker from Episode 17. The play can be seen at the Tulsa Nightingale Theatre April 6 & 7, and April 13 & 14, 2018 at 7:30pm. For information on this and other original works of storytelling, as well as the Second Sunday Serials, visit HellerTheatreCo.com. We discussed David’s work, “For Your Examination” in which he and his co-writer, Anna Hudson, gathered monologues from homeless Oklahomans.
We also talked about Francis Ford Coppola, Samuel Beckett, PDQ Bach, and "Oh! Calcutta!" In addition, we mentioned Ernie Kovaks, and Saturday Night Live. And we talked about language including the use of American Sign Language in theatre. We also discussed Will Inman’s play, "The Lesbian Exhibit". Storytelling was at the heart of our conversation. If you listen to the podcast, be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.
Today's Concise Advice from the Interview includes nine bits of advice from my SallyPAL podcast guest, playwright David Blakely.
9) Nurture storytellers
8) When appropriate, ask those you mentor to give you advice for your work
7) Don’t be afraid to try new things
6) You have a vision and a voice and it’s important to discover it
5) You need to get the audience’s attention to tell the story
4) Get inspired by supporting young artists
3) Allow the subject matter to dictate the form of your work
2) Mine situations in stories for all their potential
1) Allow your characters to face complicated issues. Write the tough scenes
Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. And sign up for a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join. Thank you for following, sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, & thank you for listening. Thanks to Hannah for emailing me, it was awesome to hear from you!
I want you to pursue your dream share your stories. Storytelling through plays, dances, music, and other types of performances is the most important thing we do as a culture. That’s why I encourage you to share your stories because you’re the only one with your particular point of view. And SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of storytellers. I want to help you tell your stories… All the stories ever expressed once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now… go write the tough scene!
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