Dinner with Orson Scott Card

Tonight I found myself sitting next to Orson Scott Card and his wife at a dinner sponsored by TOR publishers.  I got there because of my day job as a librarian, but I mention it here on my theatre blog because tonight I learned that in addition to being the author of Ender’s Game and other popular science fiction novels, Card is also a playwright and theatre director.  He is also starting to produce audio books.

I wish I could have been taking notes as he talked about his approaches to directing Shakespeare!

But what I do remember in detail are his comments about script development and the importance of making a script “actor proof.”

He said that he learns a lot by listening to actors as they read aloud one of his new scripts.  If they read a line wrong, he can try once to explain to them what he had meant when he wrote it, but mostly he just takes the wrong read as a cue to himself to re-write the line so that even when he is not there to explain the meaning, an actor will get it right on his (or her) own.  He told me it is the writer’s responsibility to write in such a way that actor always gets it right.

It was a pleasure to hear Scott (yes, I call them “Scott” and “Kristine” now) talk about his work.  All of it.

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com