From Richard Foreman
For many years I have created plays in the following manner. I write -- usually at the beginning of the day, from one half to three pages of dialogue. There is no indication of who is speaking -- just raw dialogue. From day to day, there is no connection between the pages, each day is a total 'start from scratch' with no necessary reference to material from previous days' work. (Though it sometimes -- infrequently -- happens that there is a thematic carryover).
This website contains hundreds of pages of unedited text which Richard Foreman is making available freely for use by theatrical authors/directors from which to create plays of their own.
Every few months, I look through the accumulated material with the thought of contructing a 'play'. I find a page that seems interesting and possible as a 'key' page -- and then quickly scan through to find others that might relate in some way to that 'key' page.
The relationship is not narrative -- but loosely thematic-- in a very poetic sense -- even in simply an 'intuited' way. Often -- I can not explain why -- simply that one pages seems interesting in a yet undefinable way, if juxtaposed to other selected pages.
When I have forty to fifty pages, I consider this the basis. I then arrange the pages in search of some possible loose thematic 'scenario' -- which again, is more 'variations on a theme' rather than strictly narrative. I look to establish a 'situation oif tension'-- then imagining how the other pages somehow augment and 'play with' that situation, rather than leading to story and rersolution.
Imagining a loose scenario, I re-write a little for continuity, then assign lines to imagined characters-- and evenutally have a play. (You can judge the results by considering the books pf my plays listed elsewhere on this website -- all are available at www.amazon.com). You will see how all of these plays pre-exist, dispursed and in slightly different form, in the notebooks that follow.
I here make available my notebooks for the last fifteen years or so in the hopes directors/writers will make use of the material as I do. Choosing, arrangning, re-arranging, inventing situations into which the dialogue can be dropped, and ending up with a theatrical poerformance.
This material if offered freely. I ask no royalty. Because of the unique way I generate plays -- this may mean I myself will still be using from this pool of material in the future. I invite you to do so also.
The only thing I ask is that if you make use of this material in performance:
a) you simply notify me, so I can know if this material is stimulating anyone.
b) any material used for production or publication displays in program or title page -- relatively prominantly -- the statement that the text involved is re-arranged material taken from the notebooks of Richard Foreman.
In the texts that follow, there are some repititions, for which I appologize. The spelling is TERRIBLE -- please excuse that, and the obvious typos also, which you should feel free to adjust. Sometimes you won't be sure if it's a typo or an artistic choice. That's for you to decide, but be open to the fact that a word or reference that seems askew may indeeed be what I intended. I just don't have the time to go through and proof read everything.
Finally, for convenience, the notebooks are broken up under titles, just the way they appear on my own desktop. I will be adding to this material whenever I have another 30 to 50 new pages.