The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1423  Wednesday, 26 July 2000.

From:           Geralyn Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 18 Jul 2000 13:31:32 -0400
Subject:        Re: Play-ing Reality (was Exploitation, Marx, and Shakespeare)

Michael Meyers says he can
>only wonder in amazement
>at where people like you get this distorted view of   [the "in computers"] reality.

I "got" it the way I get on most hobby-horses: from noticing that there
is a dramatic disjunction between1) the popular image-- geeks, nerdy
losers, mad scientists, wizards 2) the image promoted by the business
media-- vital components in Global Competition, in short supply, valued
for both steady accomplishment and creativity, and rewarded accordingly;
and 3) the careers of 3 generations of my family and friends in "the
field" over 40 years.

Where there is such a disjunction there should be material for drama.  I
do preliminary research dramatist fashion, looking not for confirmation
of a single POV, but for meaningful internal and external conflict:
Articles such as those featured in the Dec 1999 American Prospect, for
instance.  Certain things jump out as human embodiments of unassimilated
statistics describing How It Is-- "20 years after graduation only 7% of
Computer Science majors are still working in the field" connects to "No
one on the team who were the heroes of Tracey Kidder's THE SOUL OF A NEW
MACHINE (a book I read with admiration Back When) is still working in C
D/P".  I search hoping that this material will please the Muse and she
will send a hint of how it can be wrought into a play-- perhaps
something like Jane Anderson's meditation on Christa MacAuliffe and the
space program, DEFYING GRAVITY?  When the Muse proves stubbornly silent,
I throw my notes and xeroxes into a shoe box and stash them in the
basement, along with my other "distorted views" that so far have refused
to assemble themselves into plots that show some promise of working out
with a degree of truth and beauty. Wish I knew a better way -- wish I
knew how Shakespeare juggled distortions, or how he went about
activating his Muse (pace Stoppard). But, please, Michael: keep
pontificating.  My Muse, somnolent when plied with statistics,
sometimes flies into unexpected action when roused by Fighting Words.

Geralyn Horton, Playwright
Newton, Mass. 02460

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