I've finally completed a workable draft of a monologue to replace DoC's first act, and we have a reading of the script at my place on Sunday.
Ellen has invited several talented actors (some of whom are also accomplished writers and directors) to read DoC. It helps to hear the script spoken by actors who are experienced and confident. This is the fun part of writing drama—seeing what the actors do with their characters. I love this part.
As far as the writing goes, however, this is when I get to find out exactly how delusional I am. The monologue probably needs a lot more work. But the last (fifth? seventh?) time I revised it—or threw it out entirely and started from my notes again—I thought it succeeded in conveying the character's nervous energy. I also think the character—a wealthy heiress—has finally justified herself to herself. By that, I mean her point of view comes naturally to her, and her arguments with life seem reasonable to her. The audience can find her strange or dishonorable, but she thinks she is right.
So it's time to hear both the monologue and the revised third act.
Actually, the play isn't divided into traditional acts linked by continuity of plot and characters. It is divided into three sections, linked by imagery and themes. The characters, setting, and plot change from section to section.
One great thing about revising a play I originally wrote in 2002 is that the distance allows me to see the whole structure clearly. On the other hand, most of the questions I was asking in 2002 have been resolved for me personally, and I have moved on to other questions and my life has changed. Revising the play requires a continual negotiation between the former self, striding through these stories, and the person I am now. Some of my past fears now make me laugh. I like the tension created by this "dialogue" between past and present, but I don't know how it affects the play.
Maybe we will find out on Sunday. Wish me luck.