It was during a staff meeting about a week before Burning up the Dictionary opened that one of our readers brought up The Centipede King by Peter Floyd. The play sounded fascinating and, while everyone else stayed in town to build and paint scenery for Burning up the Dictionary that day, I went home to check it out. At first, the play was a bit challenging. It has a visual and multi-layered style, so simply reading the words to oneself doesn’t do the piece justice. But can anyone say they weren’t challenged by Death of a Salesman or Waiting for Godot while simply reading it? No, because plays are meant to be performed. Not read.
Presenting The Centipede King at TWBW was a unique experience not only for the benefits of both playwright and company, but also for the fact that it was a drastic alternative to anything and everything we had ever done before. It’s a theatrical horror movie! Sure, we could have mounted a reading of The Pillowman, but it’s a much more fulfilling and beneficial experience to workshop a new play with the writer in the room.
It was a pleasure working with Peter Floyd and hearing everyone’s feedback at TWBW (that’s pronounced “tuh-wuh-buh-wuh,” for those who haven’t read my last blog post). We can’t thank you enough for giving Peter a lot of positive and helpful feedback because TWBW’s main purpose is to the benefit the playwright. There’s only so much we can do in rehearsals without an audience, and it’s good to know we have such smart, supportive and helpful people coming to our events.
In other VTG news, we are getting ready to open submissions for TWBW #6 (which will take place March 14 at 7:00 PM) and I’m very much looking forward to reading all of your plays. Also, we’re in the final phases of securing a script for our big July production. Be sure to keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for both of those announcements or you can join our mailing list to have information sent straight to your inbox. Thank you for supporting live theatre, and thank you for joining us at There Will Be Words!
– Zach Winston, Literary Associate