Shakespeare & Co.

I’m about halfway through writing a full length play. Unfortunately it’s not my own. Although I’ve had three plays produced, they were one acts, and I’m far from confident about my ability to write something longer.

I remember, years ago, reading that Sean O’Casey learned to write plays by transcribing Shakespeare. I don’t know if he copied all the plays, but I figured if it was good enough for O’Casey, it’s good enough for me.

I take a scene a day, two if they’re very short, and I find myself thinking about the characters differently than when I simply read the plays. More than that, I’m thinking differently about a play I’ve been trying to write for ages. In fact I’ve abandoned three plays because I couldn’t see how to make them longer than 30 to 40 minutes, even thought I know the subject matter can handle three or four times that length.

I’m on The Merchant of Venice now; I’ll do two more after that, and then give my own work another go.