Back in December I wrote a blog called Unlimited where I talked about how you shouldn’t limit your play based on outside factors.
Write the play you want.
Tell the story you want.
Don’t limit yourself by time, place, casting, technical requirements or budget.
But…and this is a big but…once you begin the rewriting phase take those things into consideration.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t still write the play you want, but now it’s time to ask if you need every character you have. Can that scene, that takes place for thirty seconds suspended over the audience, just be done stage left on a platform?
The reason you don’t put limits on yourself during your first draft is because you want to be free to make discoveries and let the story go where it wants.
Now if you discover that half of the play should be performed suspended above the audience and that’s a key element in the play – then by all means keep it – but just realize that will limit who can produce your play.
But that’s okay.
While you should look at cast size and production requirements you still want to write a play that tells the story you want to tell the way you want to tell it.
Now there’s something else about limits that can actually help you tell your story. Sometimes limits can force you to be more creative. Sometimes when you can’t have what you want you can come up with a more theatrical and creative way of achieving the same effect.
Story telling is all about technique. Sometimes too much freedom – and too much money – and too few limitations can actually work against you. By having limits sometimes you discover a way to tell your story that is innovative and fresh.