July 11, 2019
Collaborating - The Woman in the Park
I love questions. And I am usually the one asking the questions. It’s just my nature. I am curious and have always wanted to figure things out, why people do what they do, what makes them tick, and how things are done. So when I am asked a question, I usually have to think about it. People ask us: “How did you write The Woman in the Park together (with coauthor Teresa Sorkin), how did you collaborate?”
Inside myself, I have to laugh a little. Because when I was a kid, I hated to collaborate. At school, I dreaded the group projects where you had to “find someone to work together.” If I could, I would just do it myself. I’m independent, I like quick solutions, less discussions and more doing.
When I was 10 years old, I got the first sweet taste of the theater when I was cast as the lead in a school play in Rome, Italy. I experienced the spell of the stage, the thrill of getting a laugh or a cry from the audience and most of all the warm embrace of the community created in the theater. I discovered that collaborating can be exhilarating and can add up to much more than each individual. Magic can be created from a creative coming together with a common purpose. And that’s what I try and keep in mind. The goal.
Our thriller The Woman in the Park was born out of an interesting character, an elegant woman in the park whom we both had seen independently and often seemed to be talking to herself. We took that character, planted the seed of our story and let it grow. We got to know the characters, worked through the story and its arcs and took turns writing and editing. We worked together, discussing scenes and characters and then let the writing take over, giving each other space to create. Collaborating takes some compromise, open communication and listening, moving forward and the golden rule of improvisation - “Yes, and…”