Playwright's Log 7.13.19 - Ponedering "My Portal" | Leonardo/ISAST

Playwright's Log 7.13.19 - Ponedering "My Portal"

By Derek Lee McPhatter


Earlier this week, on a hike, I came upon this bit of brush, root and rot that inspired a whole potential world.


Hollowed out and cavernous, overgrown, a bit off the path.  What could wait within those depths?  My imagination was piqued...

A portal perhaps? Going through the looking glass with Alice, finding ourselves in Wonderland, or maybe Oz, The Delta Quandrant, an alternative timeline... or just tomorrow. 

Behind much of what I'm writing about is letting ourselves envision new possibilities. Trying to find a way through dire circumstances ahead -- ecological disaster, water crises, divisions across a fracturing digital landscape -- you name it. We have an awful lot to worry about.   And that's just what we know. 

I've been experimenting with different theatrical frameworks to relfect upon these circumstances. I'm trying to move beyond a sense of dread I find personally paralyzing. Where I've landed is visiting a few characters who have the rare opportunity to see a way into different times.  I'm following them through the portal! Exploring the possibilities and pitfals on another side of now.

Tomorrow at Open House, The Poet-Playwright Show & Tell will be my first public opportunity to share the vision for this new work.   And I'm stoked to share in such a warm, creative environment.  But I'm really looking forward to experiencing what everyone else has been working on. So much creativity here!

I'm just one of twelve artists who have been blessed with this particular time and space. I like to think I'm the only one among us who has fancied this bit of brush, but I'm probably fooling myself. And even if that unlikelihood is true, I'm certain plenty of others who've come before (and yet to come) find their way to "my portal." 

But for this next bit of time at least, it's mine to frame as I see fit.

And what I've seen is potential, mystery and inspiration. 

Looking forward to more.