ATTN JMS: Rewriting on cue?

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat Jan 3 06:26:40 EST 1998

From: "R. Cliff Thompson" <cthompson at FHU.EDU>
Date: 1 Jan 1998 15:25:47 -0700
Lines: 30

> From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
> Date: 26 Dec 1997 16:01:42 -0700
> Where you make the revisions are in the stages prior to when the actors get to
> the stage.  A first draft is published, which goes to all the department heads.
>  Between the first and the final drafts (we only do about 2 drafts here), you
> have about a week to make any revisions you choose to make.  Bearing in mind
> that I don't publish the first draft until I'm absolutely satisfied with it,
> there ain't much that gets changed, usually bits of dialogue and production
> related stuff.
This process sounds very different than writing for the stage. As I 
understand it, most playwrights use staged readings to work out the kinks 
of a script. They need to hear actors speak the words of the play to 
understand where possible revisions might go. Directors are often helpful 
in this process.

However, you don't need this process (or at least don't use it because of 
time constraints). You rely on the character's voices inside you to guide 
your writing (kinda like Mozart ;)

Do you work differently when you write for the stage? Would you send the 
B5 scripts through additional revisions if you had the time? 

Looking forward to Sunday night!

R. Cliff Thompson
Director of Theatre		Phone: 901-989-6780
Freed-Hardeman University	E-mail: cthompson at
Henderson, TN 38340

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 2 Jan 1998 12:35:36 -0700
Lines: 19

>Do you work differently when you write for the stage? Would you send the 
>B5 scripts through additional revisions if you had the time? 

No, in writing my play now, and in those I've written before, I generally just
write it the way I hear it, and it's up to the actors to find a way to make
that work.  (If something absolutely falls on its face and doesn't work and
it's the fault of the words, however, then you gotta fix it.)

As for question 2...understand that there isn't a frame of B5, or a page, that
I wouldn't keep tinkering with ad infinitum.  Every time I look at ANYthing
I've done, I always want to go back and tweak something.

As somebody once said: art is never finished, only abandoned.


(jmsatb5 at
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