This past September Belltable:Connect began its playwriting club in Belltable Hub, led by artist in residence Katie O’Kelly. The group consists of local Limerick playwrights who discuss work and current projects, share ideas and problems, and try to use their shared knowledge to help each other. Writer Paul McNamara shares his thoughts on participating in the playwriting club.
Being a writer can often be a bit of a lonely job at times. Having the opportunity to share with others and get ideas out of your head in the early stages of the writing process can be of great benefit. Getting to meet with other writers once or twice a month, all of whom are writing and excited about new work, makes the process more sociable and fun.
Using the wealth of experience in the room to overcome any problems is a great resource. Also, helping to solve other people’s problems or discussing different aspects of writing and theatre often inspires new ideas too.
At Belltable:Connect Playwriting Club everyone’s ideas and projects are at different stages of the process. This gives the meetings a sense of variety. One minute the group can be discussing how to fine tune a script getting ready for production, another moment we can be nurturing the seeds of a new idea. Not being stuck in one stage of development makes it all seem much more fluid and enjoyable. (This is also helped by the snacks provided)
Attendance at each meeting is always a little different as theatre people follow the lives of theatre schedules giving a constant flow of new ideas and perspectives. I have gotten the opportunity to get a lot of valuable feedback on my own new play which I am hoping to put on early next year and have gotten great advice from people on different ways to approach certain scenes and characters and ideas for staging.