The Southern Writers’ Project is intense, to say the least. Actors and directors receive only four days to rehearse for the reading, while collecting new textual material every day. As a winner of the Young Southern Writers’ Project, I am most attentive to the work that our playwright, Lucile Lichtblau, puts in after rehearsal; what needed changing in her script, and how she changed it. The Sorrento crew dove into the script from day one – but I am even more impressed with Lucile for the quickness and diligence of her editing work. We consistently receive new scripts between our morning and afternoon rehearsals, often with substantial changes that reflected our discussions after readings.
The opportunity for a writer to edit and receive instant feedback and analysis is an incredible benefit to the editing process that SWP offers. I was amazed to find in our workshop that our discussions uncovered secrets about the characters that even Lucile did not foresee in the very beginning. Every time our cast reads through new edits, I feel the characters becoming more and more alive.
Lucile once referred to the script as an “archaeological dig,” a repository of little pieces of her life and experiences. I have found “Sorrento” to have universal meanings. The play is relatable to anyone who has asked, “Who really are my parents?” and found surprising answers.
- Sara Kachelman
The reading of “Sorrento” is at 4 p.m. Friday (today!), May 16.