untitled-2I wrote once that I wanted nothing better than a chance to rewrite certain plays of mine – especially Of Men and Poets, my Virgil thing. And then I wrote that the chance had happened – if only I could find the notes I was sure to have taken during the first run…

Well, I didn’t quite find the notes – or at least, not the pages and pages of handwritten notes of my imaginary movie starring myself as the Playwright… I wonder if I should worry a little about it – the movie, not the notes – because in the end, no handwritten notes emerged, but an annotated .doc file in my hard drive. Less pretty, but just as useful. So I went to work, and used the notes, and changed quite a few things – mostly reworking the characters and language, while I kept the story with one important exception. I added one character and changed the ending… You could say that it ends in the same way, but differently.  Better, I think.

So now the Nina and her people are working at it with a will, seeing that opening night is in two weeks – and I was allowed to attend rehearsals last Monday, and will be again next Monday. Why, Nina won’t even be there then, and she told me something along the lines of “They’re all yours. You wanted to see a rehearsal? Now you manage it.” Which is a tad terrifying, because… you know. But still. And it was lovely to see Varius Rufus, and Virgil, and Creusa, and the Shadows again.

So yes, I got to rewrite Of Men and Poets, and it’s getting staged, and all is well.

Except…

Except, about a month after I handed in the new version, I came across a piece of… well, not quite new information, but a different set of questions about the same story. And a new, different way of telling it sprang out of it. A different play. If only…

Yes, I know – and I called myself all kinds of silly, and never mentioned it to either Nina or the company, and I went on to mind other things. Of Men and Poets is there, isn’t it? In its shiny, new, and quite nice version. And I rewrote it, and it’s getting staged, and all is well. Isn’t it?

But you know how these things go. The new play won’t leave me alone. No matter how I push it below, it will keep resurfacing. Not all the time, not even very often – but it’s there, now and then, shrugging a shoulder and asking What If…?

Nina doesn’t know it yet, and I’m not very sure myself – but I wouldn’t swear I’ve written the last word of Men and Poets. I’m beginning to wonder if I ever will…

 

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