Guest Blogger: Playwright, Katherine James

Katherine JamesWe are thrilled to have some of our Onstage Playwrights guest blogging over the next few months.  This post comes to us from playwright Katherine James, author of Old Salt.

Excited and thrilled that my play, The Old Salt, is included as a semi-finalist for this festival. There are so many reasons to be thrilled and grateful.  But today there is one big one.

I can write plays.

Sounds silly. Sounds basic. Sounds braggadocio.

But when you put it up against what I can’t do, it stands as a beacon of possible in what for me, right now, is an impossibly out of control world.

What I can’t do is I can’t fix my baby granddaughter’s heart.

Her almost 3-month-old heart has 3 holes in it. I can’t fix that.

If my play has 3 holes in it, I can fix that.

How reassuring, being able to fix problems with spirit and art.

They are going to put her under and crack her little chest open and patch her up sometime between the end of March and the middle of June – I have no clue at this moment of what the day will be.

I am going to find out when my play is going to be read in Santa Barbara and I will be able to plan around that. If my play is chosen as one of the final ones there will be a definite date for that festival.

How delicious is control over time.

There is a 95% chance that her heart surgery will be successful and that she will be just like any other little girl from that moment on. That other 5% freaks the shit out of me. Chronic heart patient, future surgeries, early death.

If my play is successful with 95% of the people who see it, I won’t think twice about that other 5%. I’d consider it a victory if only 5% of an audience for anything I write “doesn’t get me”. An “A+” has always been a good grade in my life in the theatre.

How glorious to be willing to live with imperfection – to be willing to embrace the lack of perfection that will always be art.

Tick tock.

The clock ticks by, taking me to surgery, to Santa Barbara, to the future – certain and uncertain. Controllable and out of control.

Art and reality.

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