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Beginner’s Heaven

July 17, 2012

We invite you to Beginner’s Heaven a new play by Tim Jones, produced as part of Playwrights Village.  Playwrights Village, a partnership between Playwrights Project, New Village Arts Theatre and you the audience, is designed to enhance the playwriting process for local, emerging adult playwrights. The program offers selected writers the opportunity to hear their plays read by actors, work one-on-one with a theatre experts to further develop their plays, and engage in discussion with the audience. The program culminates in a workshop production at New Village Arts Theatre.

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Tim Jones, one of this round’s selected writers, has created a brilliant piece, Beginner’s Heaven, about an ensemble of nine characters who are forced to deal with one another when their modest apartment building is turned into a safe haven for its residents during a freak snow storm. Without contact from the outside, they ban together and learn they are more closely related than any of them could have dreamed.

With the guidance of Dramaturg Shirley Fishman, Tim has worked hard to give every line of his first full play a purpose for being in the piece, writing and rewriting to ready a final draft for production come July 20. Throughout the process, Tim has been enthralled with the team of professionals from Playwrights Project and New Village Arts Theatre and their passion for ushering Beginner’s Heaven into the world.  Tim says that he’s in his own “Beginner’s playwriting Heaven.”

What attracted you to further developing your script Beginner’s Heaven in Playwrights Village?

            I became interested in Playwrights Project when I attended last year’s New Play Festival at New Village Arts. I had written my play back at UCLA in 2010 and hadn’t touched the text since. I loved seeing how the playwright got critiques and comments, which is exactly what a playwright needs to hear; what doesn’t work, what does, what can be developed further. That is the kind of response playwrights seldom receive when they’re investing their time and talent into a piece they think has potential. No matter what process could have been ahead for me, I submitted my play and thought any response was better than nothing.

What aspect(s) of Playwrights Village have you valued the most?

            Every step since my first interview has improved the script. It’s an entirely new script. My fabulous cast, director, and dramaturg have been there to open a new dialogue about each character, and to develop new levels I had never fully realized in the first draft. What I have valued the most is the effort every person has contributed into my accomplishing a script I can be proud to present.

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

            I’ve learned how to take criticism and apply it. The wonderful thing about the program was sweeping through every single page of the script, finding what its strengths and weakness were, and getting new pages into the actor’s hands to hear scenes that would have never been realized had I not submitted the play. I’ve learned that not every person is going to like every single line I write, and I’m OK with that. There’s no perfect show for anyone, but learning who I’m writing for makes the words write themselves.

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

            Writing has its mental strains and I’ve left the theatre feeling fried, sure, but it’s because I know that I have to put in the work to get the results I want. I try to write every day, and I try to come up with new ideas that could potentially take off in the future, so I’m always scouting inspiration and it’s all stemmed from the fact that I find writing fun, nerve-wracking, and something that doesn’t feel like work. I feel that the first thing you wake up thinking about should be what you do in life. I wake up and I want to write.

Beginner’s Heaven

By Tim Jones / Directed by Jessica Bird / Dramaturg Shirley Fishman

Workshop Production Dates: July 20 8pm / July 21 8 pm / July 22 2 pm

$15 Tickets Available Now/ 760-433-3245  / www.newvillagearts.org /

2787 State Street / Carlsbad Village

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