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Lost Apollonia by Rob Novak

January 11, 2012

Play by Play is a program that gives playwrights the opportunity to refine and develop one of their original stage plays, culminating in a rare opportunity to have their plays read and discussed by theatre professionals and audience members.  We are proud that this round of Play byPlay will culminate in a workshop production by New Village Arts,  January 13-15.

Below is an interview with Rob Novak, a current playwright taking part in Play by Play.  His script, Lost Apollonia is a mystery and a noir love story. Tangled in between is the history of the movies, the melding of stagecraft and magic, and unique energy of life in Los Angeles. Lost Apollonia will be performed in a workshop production this weekend, directed by Chelsea Whitmore. Order tickets here!

What attracted you to further developing your script (LA: Lost Apollonia) in Play by Play?

I had been working on this play for almost two years, but hadn’t done anything with it for a couple of months. I realized that with the type of guidance I had received on an earlier Play-by-Play project, Weekend in Iowa, I might actually be able to get the thing finished. When I heard that there would additionally be a workshop production, it was a huge motivational factor in actually finishing the play. The only thing that helps more than hearing your play read, is seeing it performed.

What aspect(s) of Play by Play have you valued the most?

Anytime a writer gets support for something they are working on, it’s like fuel on a fire. To know that someone is going to be reading what you are doing, helps to motivate; to know that someone is going to have to memorize it and translate it to an audience is even more inspiring. To be given the space and time to write is a blessing that can be hard to come by. Playwrights Project helps you fill up your writer’s toolbox.

What are your future plans for LA: Lost Apollonia?

I’ll be submitting the play to a number of small theatres around the country- there a lot of wonderful festivals and new play series out there. I want to see how some of the stage directions/magic tricks/special effects turn out, to see if some of this stuff is even possible to do on stage, and then try to do it again.

Are you working on another script? If so, what is it about?

There are usually a few projects going on at any given time. I’ve been going back to a play for young adults called Coyote Bluebird. It deals with border issues, and the story weaves in lots of Native American legends.

What have you learned about yourself as a playwright since taking part in this program?

That you can keep writing, even if you aren’t in school, even if you aren’t currently “working” on something. You can always develop your ideas, and put them out there, and you never know who is going to want to help.

Is there anything else that you would like to impart to the readers of our blog?

Keep coming to Playwrights Project events. Theatre is an important way of telling stories, and teaching people how to tell stories is an important way of teaching them how to communicate. Playwrights Project does that, for older writers, sure, but especially for the kids in the classrooms. Keep helping them fill up those toolboxes.

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