Lives of the Saints playwright David Ives. Photo by James Leynse.
This season we are thrilled to be producing Lives of the Saints, a collection of seven one-acts by David Ives. Three of the pieces are new and have been written exclusively for Primary Stages.
Our long and fruitful collaboration with David has resulted in some of our most successful productions including Mere Mortals, and two productions of All in the Timing, the most recent being produced two years ago. There were preliminary plans to produce Lives of the Saints in repertory with All in the Timing in 2013, but ultimately we decided to reserve Lives of the Saints for this coming February.
“Lives of the Saints marks our seventh production of David Ives’ work,” says Artistic Director Andrew Leynse. “This collection of short plays, including three new pieces, is a mixture of humor, intellect, and farce and is a transformative step in Mr. Ives’ mastery of the one-act form. We are thrilled to be working again with David and his long-time collaborator, director John Rando.”
Liv Rooth and Carson Elrod in the 2013 Primary Stages production of All in the Timing.
Lives of the Saints reunites the artistic team of All in the Timing, and two of the actors from that production, Liv Rooth and Carson Elrod, return to the ensemble for this one. In these short plays, David continues his masterful exploration into the origins of language. There is a darker turn to some of the plays as David explores mortality and what it means to be human. All of the plays continue to exemplify David’s mixture of high and low humor, his intellect and sense of fun.
We cannot wait to share these one-acts from a true original, the brilliant wordsmith, David Ives.
This week, we’re happy to introduce a guest blogger, Will Hare, a Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA) writer who was willing to share with us a story about his experiences at ESPA:
“When I started basic training in the Army, the first thing the drill sergeants taught us was how to march. Seems like a silly thing to teach, doesn’t it? I mean, if you can walk, you can march, right? It turns out the answer is a resounding “No.” For starters, some people didn’t know their left from their right. Seriously. You had 15 different rhythms, which made our platoon sound like a herd of buffalo. This annoyed the drill sergeants and they made us do push-ups every time we screwed up. It seemed hopeless.
But somehow, over eight weeks, we all learned to march together. By learning the basics. And we repeated the basics. And repeated them. And repeated them. And then we repeated them some more, until we sounded like one person walking.
This is very similar to the experience I’ve had at ESPA. No, the ESPA instructors don’t scream at you like drill sergeants, but when it comes to the basics, the fundamentals, and learning the simple things to get you to where you need to be… ESPA and the Army are identical.
When I started taking classes at ESPA in 2010, I thought I knew everything there was to know about screenwriting. I had read some books, done a few exercises in the comfort of my living room, and I had even written some screenplays, or things that looked like screenplays.