Blog #3: Don’t Stop
by James Still

Stop Light

Photo:  Marc North dot blog

Last week at a production meeting for ILLEGAL USE OF HANDS I was reminded (again) of how many people it takes to make a production. As the writer of the play with its share of challenges, it’s humbling and yes, amazing. I’ve been through this hundreds of times now – it’s not like I don’t experience this obvious fact about collaboration over and over… Still… What floors me, almost every time, is just how moving it is to huddle up with folks doing their jobs and bringing something personal to how we might make inventive meaning out of my play.

Do other people in other jobs think about this stuff or is this peculiar to what happens when a story starts inside you in a flash? ILLEGAL USE OF HANDS shot out of some wild “story cannon” and lodged in my gut while I was sitting at a red light in downtown Indianapolis on my way to opening night of another play of mine. Had the opening of that other play somehow made room for this other play? Was I suddenly like a secret crawl-space, a sliver, a crack – pried open just enough for sunrise to reach inside and shake me up? Something definitely happened in that moment because I couldn’t forsake it and even welcomed the obsession that became the story that became the characters that became the play that demanded my attention that is now demanding the attention of my collaborators. To be honest, it’s a fucking relief.

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