THE STORY OF AN IDEA MOVING WITH A PLAYMAKING EDUCATION by Donard Anthony James MacKenzie B.F.A. (Theatre), University of Victoria, 1987 M.F.A. (Creative Writing and Theatre), The University of British Columbia, 2007 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Language and Literacy Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) February, 2015 © Donard Anthony James MacKenzie, 2015 ii ABSTRACT This dissertation combines the disciplines of theatre, film, and education through a living inquiry which tells the life story of a playwriting idea. I document my playwriting process for a new full-length play written from research-based sources, which include in-person work at archives in London, UK and Los Angeles, CA. I examine the source of the idea and its continued influences. I move with its evolving nature through the interstitial spaces, especially as it pertains to what I term Father/author(ity), a relational presence within my creative writing. I ask what the making of art may teach if we are able to accept the invitation to learn. The subject (and object) of my study moves through the charged creative dynamics in the making of the 1962 biographical film, Freud (Huston). The resulting play, The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John, was staged and read for an invited audience as part of the research. I locate my work as a combination of theory as practice within an extended community of playwrights, drama educators, and theatre artists. I reference Freud’s theories of play and writing (Freud & Nelson, 2009), as I inquire through the arts based educational research method of a/r/tography, which sees knowing/making/doing as métissage. To make what Brook has called the “invisible visible” (1968, p. 48), I use dialogues and prose poems and auto/biographic narrative reflections on the source idea(s). I reveal some elusive ‘understandings’ offered as a playmaking education from within the process. The importance of learning through questions as provoked by making the play is analysed. The organizational concepts of the palimpsest and underwriting and Freud’s magic slate are examined. I reflect on the role of fear in creative writing. I offer Britzman-like notes on the “teacher’s illness” (2009, p. 123) and the redemptive joy of making art. iii Through seeing the entire project as an exegesis, a recursive, reflexive and responsive description of the story of a source idea for a playwriting process, I bridge the gap of knowledge by building further understandings of father/author(ity) and playmaking education. iv PREFACE This dissertation is original and independent work by the author, Donard MacKenzie, with the Ethics approval required for this research: BREB Ethics Certificate Number: H12-03190. As per this certificate, applicable participants gave permission for their names to be identified. The interlude, Playwrights Together/Alone, was expanded upon and adapted from an earlier version called Sketches of the Rhizome, Playwright’s Notes, which was published as a separate section written by the author, in the article cited below. The production script for this article was written by the author of this dissertation. Grateful thanks are extended to the editors of the journal for the publication of the article, and the research/producing team for that play’s production, as listed. MacKenzie, D., Belliveau, G., Beck, J., Lea, G., Wager, A. (2011). Naming the Shadows: Theatre as Research. Canadian Journal of Practice-based Research, 3(1) http://cjprt.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/cjprt/article/viewFile/29/18 I first presented the closing monologue of I, Interstitial in an a/r/tographical cabaret event which I coordinated for the UBC Investigating Our Practices conference, 2011. I thank all the participants and the organizers of this yearly conference. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract .................................................................................................................................................. ii Preface ................................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ................................................................................................................................... v List of Figures ....................................................................................................................................... ix Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................ x Dedication ........................................................................................................................................... xiv CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 1 It Begins with a Whale… ............................................................................................................... 1 Being Home ................................................................................................................................... 2 A Note on Interludes ...................................................................................................................... 3 A Note on the Structure of this Dissertation .................................................................................. 5 Briefly: a/r/tography ....................................................................................................................... 6 The Education from the In-Between Space of a Playwright’s Working Draft .............................. 7 Towards the Play Idea ............................................................................................................ 12 Dream Fragment .................................................................................................................... 14 Swimming with the Source .......................................................................................................... 15 Notes on the First Staged Reading and Script Format ................................................................. 18 CHAPTER 2: THE FREUDIAN PALIMPSEST OF MONTY AND JOHN ...................................... 20 Text of Playwright’s Working Draft ............................................................................................ 20 ACT I ........................................................................................................................................... 20 Circa 2007, Son Requests Father Magic from the Playwright ............................................... 20 Circa 1970, Back Yard Movie Dream ................................................................................... 21 His Voice, His Father, and Freud's Revenge, and Escape. Circa, 1938. ................................ 23 The Power of the Father as Now, In the Past and Forever. ................................................... 25 John Huston, Master Filmmaker's Next Big Idea, 1957 ........................................................ 28 Monty's Last Words ............................................................................................................... 29 The Source of the Idea Calls To The Playwright ................................................................... 31 Master Filmmaker John Huston Foxhunt, Late Fall, 1955 .................................................... 36 Huston Freud's Man?, Ireland, 1959 ...................................................................................... 37 Paris Cafe, 1958, Playwright/Philosopher Sartre ................................................................... 40 St. Cleran's, Huston Estate, Ireland, Writing Conference, 1959 ............................................ 42 Saint Clerans, Later, 1960. Late Night Screening Of Banned Film, And Hypnosis In The Parlour With John .................................................................................................................. 43 Snap Your Fingers For The Screenplay Writing, 1960 ......................................................... 47 vi Meeting With The Catholic Committee For Moral Decency Ratings, New York, 1960 ...... 50 Making Repression Visible, St. Cleran's, Late 1961 ............................................................. 54 Shattered ................................................................................................................................ 60 ACT II .......................................................................................................................................... 63 Artmaking Dream .................................................................................................................. 63 Costumed Demands ............................................................................................................... 66 Shooting the Medical Hall Scene, September, 1961 .............................................................. 68 Reinhardt Rehearses Scene with Monty ................................................................................ 72 Angelica's Visit, John's Nine Year Old Daughter, 1961 ........................................................ 75 Dreaming in Freud's Back Garden, Circa 2011 ..................................................................... 78 St. Cleran's, 1960, Writing Battle .......................................................................................... 81 Susannah York And Monty, Working Late In The Night ..................................................... 82 Early Morning On The Film Set Of Freud............................................................................. 85 Buried ..................................................................................................................................... 87 The Sadist and the Masochist Filming Their Dream, a Mountain Cave ................................ 93 Claims And Counter-Claims, Principal Photography Almost Complete, December 1961 ... 96 Jokes and Regrets and the Distance Between Us, December, 1961 .................................... 101 Deposing Monty .................................................................................................................. 106 Monty Turns Forty One, Midway Through Production, Fall, 1961 .................................... 109 Sigmund's Winter Hour Turns to Spring ............................................................................. 110 Beverly Hills, Pre-Production Medical Consultation .......................................................... 111 Spring Play ........................................................................................................................... 112 List of Characters ....................................................................................................................... 114 Some Marginalia of the Process Presented as Endnotes ............................................................ 116 Interlude: Playwrights Together/Alone ...................................................................................... 121 CHAPTER 3: A/R/TOGRAPHY, PLAYWRITING, AND EDUCATION ...................................... 130 Not One, Not the Other, But Both .............................................................................................. 130 Naming A/R/Tography in a Poet’s Eye: It is because it is named ............................................. 133 Introducing the dialogue I, Interstitial ....................................................................................... 134 Scene 1: Birth ....................................................................................................................... 136 The Practice of Defining A/r/tography ...................................................................................... 138 Scene 2: The Party ............................................................................................................... 141 Scene 3: Gone ...................................................................................................................... 146 The ‘Conceptual Organizer’ of Renderings ............................................................................... 147 Scene 4: The Interstitial Space ............................................................................................. 149 vii The T of a/r/tography ................................................................................................................. 150 Scene 5: Scholarly Ether ...................................................................................................... 153 Scene 6: A Medical Postulation ........................................................................................... 159 Scene 7: Conversing with the Community .......................................................................... 164 CHAPTER 4: FATHER/AUTHOR(ITY): AUTO/BIOGRAPHICAL REFLECTIONS ON HUSTON’S “FREUD” ...................................................................................................................... 169 Defining Father/author(ity) ........................................................................................................ 171 Personal and Theatre Interactions with Father/author(ity) ......................................................... 172 Speaking of Julius ...................................................................................................................... 177 Huston Jokes with Father/authority ........................................................................................... 179 Source Reflected through the Playwright Self/Story ................................................................. 183 Disinterring Huston as a Character ............................................................................................ 186 Authoring with the Source Idea ................................................................................................. 192 Sartre: Authoring the Self through the Father ............................................................................ 195 Clift: Son, Are you Feeling Parricidal Today? ........................................................................... 201 Resisting Characterizing Freud .................................................................................................. 206 A/r/tographic Care and Critical Reception ................................................................................. 211 CHAPTER 5: QUESTIONS AS A/R/TOGRAPHIC OPENINGS .................................................... 218 Opening Thoughts ...................................................................................................................... 218 How to Fill the Emptiness? ........................................................................................................ 220 What if…? .................................................................................................................................. 222 Prose Poem Inquiry: These Are the Questions, Thus Far… ...................................................... 226 CHAPTER 6: FEAR IN THE UNDERWRITING ............................................................................ 232 Introductory Notes ..................................................................................................................... 232 A new a/r/t/ographic rendering specifically for Playwriting ............................................... 232 Meta-Theatre and Letter writing Structure .......................................................................... 233 Concluding Note on Dialogue form ..................................................................................... 234 Dialogue: Fear in the Underwriting ........................................................................................... 235 Mask Prologue ..................................................................................................................... 235 Invoking Dionysius .............................................................................................................. 236 The Character Speaks .......................................................................................................... 239 …Before the Problem of the Creative Artist ....................................................................... 244 All History was a Palimpsest ............................................................................................... 245 Fearsome Writing upon Infinity........................................................................................... 257 Engaging the Fear ................................................................................................................ 263 Palimpsest as Rendering with (Freud’s Magic Slate) .......................................................... 267 viii The Answer .......................................................................................................................... 273 CHAPTER 7: PLAYMAKING EDUCATION ................................................................................. 275 Freud’s Play on this A/r/tographical Project .............................................................................. 275 Education in Play ....................................................................................................................... 279 The Shadows of Playmaking Education Parade .................................................................. 281 A/r/tographic Playmaking in Education Matters ................................................................. 285 Measuring ‘Messy’: A Note from Inside the Academy ....................................................... 294 Whispers from the Source .......................................................................................................... 297 CHAPTER 8: CONCLUSION THROUGH SWIMMING LESSONS ............................................. 299 Interlude: Father to Son .............................................................................................................. 300 Interlude: Son to Father .............................................................................................................. 302 Swimming inside the Academy ........................................................................................... 303 Interlude: Author to Author ....................................................................................................... 305 Moving with the Whale ....................................................................................................... 306 References ......................................................................................................................................... 309 APPENDIX 1 ..................................................................................................................................... 328 Playwright Citation Index .......................................................................................................... 328 APPENDIX 2 ..................................................................................................................................... 331 The Role of the Playwright: Not Quite Dead Yet ...................................................................... 331 Mind Map #1 ....................................................................................................................... 332 Mind Map # 2 ...................................................................................................................... 333 Mind Map #3 ....................................................................................................................... 333 Mind Map #4 ....................................................................................................................... 334 Mind Map #5 ....................................................................................................................... 334 APPENDIX 3 ..................................................................................................................................... 336 Invitation to Participate .............................................................................................................. 336 APPENDIX 4 ..................................................................................................................................... 337 Invitation to Staged Reading ...................................................................................................... 337 APPENDIX 5 ..................................................................................................................................... 339 Freud Character List for Shared Reading, December 17th, 2012 .............................................. 339 APPENDIX 6 ..................................................................................................................................... 340 Marginalia Part 2 ........................................................................................................................ 340 Pencil Notes ......................................................................................................................... 340 Working the Play ................................................................................................................. 348 The Answers are In Play ...................................................................................................... 351 ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Sally Clark quick sketch of her playmaking process, .............................................................. 4 Figure 2: Marginalia from Herman’s Melville’s personal library ..................................................... 117 Figure 3: Interstitial effects in the human body ................................................................................. 159 Figure 4: John Huston and his daughter Angelica Huston, St. Cleran’s Ireland ............................... 182 Figure 5: Playwright’s writing diagram working with the source. .................................................... 184 Figure 6: Headstone for John Huston and his mother, Rhea, Hollywood Forever Cemetery ............ 186 Figure 7: Hypnotized soldier, Let there be Light, still frame ............................................................. 193 Figure 8: Jean Paul Sartre .................................................................................................................. 198 Figure 9: Montgomery Clift Publicity still, circa 1948 ...................................................................... 202 Figure 10: Sigmund Freud statue, near his former home, London, U.K............................................ 206 Figure 11: Outside the Freud Museum, A/R/TOGRAPHER, D. MacKenzie, July 2011 .................. 217 Figure 12: Living Stages of Revealing the Palimpsest of the Playwriting. ....................................... 251 Figure 13: Archimedes Palimpsest Leaf, Math Proof for Infinity ..................................................... 259 Figure 14: Playwright’s Process Sketch, “Fear’ by A. Bushkowsky……………………………….266 Figure 15: Improvising as Sartre ........................................................................................................ 292 Figure 16: Playwriting Through Walking, T. J. Dawe ....................................................................... 293 x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS As ice-cream goes with cone, it is fitting these words of thanks and acknowledgements are the last words I write before I hit the send button. As a dissertation is written, the place and the process and the people that surround the writing also write with and upon the writer. Here are a few words of thanks for some words I have received towards the completion of this work. I am grateful to have heard your voices, and I hope I have offered back in the journey. First, thank you to Niki, Tiernan and Saige and my family for so many words beyond the measure of the space here, a few for starters: belief, play, open, dinner, crepes, pancakes, do, beach, French fries, ice-cream, sleep, snuggle, pool, sandcastle, mountain, hug, ‘busy?’, reason, sensitive, intuition, pictures, speed, grow, individually and together, popcorn, you are, I know, dude, now, where, when, why, how, trees, forest, fairies, fort, ball, tonight’s performance, trail, believe, huckle-berry pie, waterfights, Lost Lake, smile, laughter, tears, core, poet, writer, power, proud, perseverance, respect, honour, joy, love… Thank you most especially to Huston, Clift, Sartre, Freud, and York and others for the inspiration of your artistry and stories that live after your lives. And thank you to all of the playwrights and theatre artists and drama educators in this inquiry who generously gave of their passion for theatre, education, and plays. Special thanks to Dave, TJ, Aaron, Amiel, Chris, Lucia, Sally, Peter, Simon, the GVPTA, and members of the Playwrights Guild of Canada/West Coast Chapter, as well as the creative company for the staged reading. Thank you to my committee Professors Carl Leggo, Rita Irwin, and Stephen Heatley for your guidance, wisdom, experience, and support and thanks as well for the consideration given by the examiners, including in person by Lynn Fels and Anthony Pare. (I hold the match thanks to you.) To Carl for the words palimpsest, compartment, academy, attend to, discourse, thank xi you, conciliatory, grace, carnival, empathy, poetry, artful, exemplar, Christmas, icy-snow, hold fire, story, Atwood, place, rain. To Rita for the words a/r/tography, mess, ambiguity, rendering, help, and the confident rich tone of your voice. To Stephen for friendship, theatre, fun, couch, question and creature and kindred, pencil-note, silence, listening, fool, clown, no… Thank you to UBC, and the Faculty of Education, LLED, as well as the Department of Theatre and Film for scholarships, TAships, and other funding funding and support, which helped me complete this study. Thank you to Professor Belliveau for drama conversation, and introducing me to the term research based theatre and inviting me to write plays as research. Thanks to my students for the opportunity to teach and learn together. Thanks to all my instructors for words such as ethnographic, auto-ethnographic, phenomenological, global imaginary, cosmopolitanism, state, problematize, notion, discursive, analysis, triangulation, exegesis, autobiography, hegemonic, teleological, outcome, and question, interrogate, trouble, stop, so what and so on…. Thanks to Patsy Duff for Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips. To Mary and George for the words ‘hierarchy’ and ethics. To Deborah Britzman for ‘puppet theory’ and note, impossible, and must. To Monica Prendergast for lost in Ottawa and share. To Lynn Fels for play, performative, and ‘stop.’ Bill Pinar for read and the question of ‘oceanic’. For the support of your scholarship and artistry and voices from conferences, thanks to many, including: Joe Norris, Jonny Saldaña, Diane Conrad, Juliana Saxton, UVic Theatre, and Tony, Marie and all the conference organizers and participants in Cork, Ireland, and the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, U.K. Thanks to the Freud Museum, and Margaret Herrick Library. To all my companion scholars, I am grateful for question, goal, problem, kindness, research, and the interludes of real learning amongst the chai tea, beer, pizza, and free sandwiches at conferences and special talks. Thanks to Amanda, Jamie, Graham, Heather, xii Marjorie and others, for our shared appreciation for learning through drama. Thanks to Christi for the words vulnerable, poetry, and political engagement with the world. Thanks to Ryan for construct, poly-vocality and Kal for critical appreciation and to Chris for discursive, mutuality, apprentice, social conrtract, and know. Thanks again to all my companion a/r/tographers like Marjorie, Danny, Kerri, Erin…for the words art, practice, defense, fit and no-fit, song, breath, and passion. I remain happy to enjoy all of your mutual respect, including Michelle, who held fire from me. Thanks to Honey and Niki for kindly and carefully reading early drafts of the manuscript as well Chris McGregor and Margot P., for rehearsal feedback. And thanks to Gerda for copy edits and Business Now, and Stuart. Thanks also to those who assisted with transcriptions. To Origins Theatre Projects for support, employment, survival, and faith. Thanks to John Fraser for cognitive awareness, mindfulness, gesture and passion and for a safe space to work. Thanks to Joy at CuppAJoy for a room with a view and all the other coffee shops. Thanks to all the ghosts of Salmo Court (and Keremous too) Acadia Park, UBC, for neighbourly conversation and friendship that live beyond the words. Thanks to all of us for creating a wonderful place to learn and live from and for giving our children a happy place to be children and grow. From the fairy woods, to the rock circle, to the wild trees, to the snowy hill for tiny figures on sleds and tubes, to the blossoms in spring, road hockey, kick the can, and all manner of holidays and music, pumpkin displays, laundry room treasures, and the good bye dinners and cakes, such beautiful moments… it was a time and place which let our hearts dream. That the physical buildings are gone does not mean our dreams do not live on. Thanks to many new and old friends such as John, Kegan, Aaron, Leslie, Oleh, and family in Ireland, as well as others, and J, Kav, Darren, Nora, and Nick for fun, craic, listen, yes, xiii expertise, what’s left, perhaps, ‘the man’, balance, and in the words of Armstrong, ‘angst dispersal.’ Equally to all my friends and colleagues in the theatre (I do not wish to leave anyone out, please know, I have thought of you.) I give the words love, crazy, passion, nothing else but, dedication and hardwork and play. And to all my extended family thank you for imagination, beach, sea, wind, Risk, chocolate, comfort…to my mom and dad for the words help, job, ‘coming-up?’, and finished. You have been a wonderful support. Thank you to the Canadian still rockin’ band, Trooper, who provide for me through their hit songs a twin pole ontology: Raise a Little Hell and We’re here for a Good Time, Not a Long Time. May I one day have the wisdom to remember both in the same moment. With all these words and more to mention you gave my thoughts and feelings light. xiv DEDICATION To Saige and Tiernan in loving pursuit and celebration of wherever you will call home. I am blessed to be your dad. 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION It Begins with a Whale… Once upon a time there was a young boy who played as Moby Dick, the huge, rare white whale, great survivor, and Captain Ahab, half broken man, Moby’s hunter, driven beyond his Christian duty, and Starbuck, first mate, and the Preacher, sea seasoned orator, and Ishmael, the youthful sea wanderer, and Queequeg, ‘savage’, deadly with his harpoon, and the crew—sometimes the boy was all the characters at once. Reality and rules had no place in this space beyond an absolute commitment to playing a childlike game of pretend; to commit to wherever the fancy of playing invited the boy to go. Out in the back of the wild grass of a half-complete garden, edged by forest, he stood in his black gumboots, on his Granddad’s overturned red rowboat, sometimes a whaling ship, sometimes the slippery topside of the whale, sometimes inside the whale too (crawling under to turned over seats). He jumped and moved and called and roared and sailed days past the present. As the time grew later, his mother opened the back door to call him home for dinner, but then she stopped, as she later reported over the years, because she wondered where all the voices were coming from. Who were all those other people? The boy jumped to the precipice of the vast ocean and fell overboard. He called playing as if he was the whale and then he dove towards the deep. His mother saw her son alone, but not alone, and she quietly closed the French back doors and left her son for a little while longer. She reasoned he was already at home in his play. 2 Being Home This place I have identified as ‘home’ treads beyond through the measureable laws of space and time; the roleplaying inherent in the above example of a child’s creative play process transcends the fixed space of whatever box. I am a professional theatre artist who has worked as an actor, director, producer and playwright for almost twenty years. My focus has been original plays or adaptations which are author centered works with some aspect of social issue content. The aporia (de Cosson, 2004) of this work inspires me to state from the start: the making of art is a playmaking education and living within that process is scholarly research. I was reminded of how I was moved to see this more clearly by accomplished American playwright of masculine identity, Mamet. From his book I was reading on a plane, he told me in different ways that essentially if I wanted to still be a theatre artist I should “deny nothing, speak-up, stand up, and stay out of school” (my emphasis) (Mamet, 1999, p. 24). I was in the midst of a doctoral studies program in Education, and, for reasons the discerning reader will understand as this inquiry unfolds, those words were a slash to my brain. How much more in school could I have been? No insult intended to the teachers I had already encountered, but finally, in reading those words, I was invited to let real school begin again, which was not about being “respectful” (K. Bryson, personal communication, December, 18, 2008), or “obedient and polite” (Mamet, 1999, p. 42). I remembered our theatre “is not an intellectual profession” (Mamet, 1999, p. 30). With encouragement of artists-scholars on my committee, once I embraced the “terror of going out there naked” (Mamet, 1999, p. 30), the focus of my inquiry became all the more apparent, though still elusive to answer. But I placed the elusions and my hesitations about the institution of the academy in the ‘compartment,’ a necessary tool, I am told, for a journey through the academy. As Mamet suggested to me, I 3 served the art first and learned to incorporate the instrumental demands of the academic institution, and paradoxically, I hope as this dissertation recommends, I achieved a model of how to create from a balance of both, in other words, to be in and to move with the process of making and understanding scholarly playwriting art. As the boy did, with the help of a community of artists and scholars, past and present, I found a way to return home. When lost once as an actor on my first paid gig, the director, Paul Thompson, noted collective scenarist, told me, “The only way to get unlost, is going inside, and through to the other side.” This dissertation is about many things—a palimpsest story—that in the telling makes disparate connections anew to that idea which brought me home. A Note on Interludes As in the opening text, like the example of poet-scholar Wiebe in his dissertation (2008), I am presenting some text as interludes from the usual discourse. An interlude is “a movement, a representation between parts of a larger production” (Irwin & Sinner, 2014, p. 3). I hope this shall suggest within the limits of the two dimensions of the page in a physical way the palimpsest or layered nature of this inquiry. I shall be doing this throughout the dissertation in varied forms, such as dialogues, quotations from conversations I have had with playwrights, drama teachers, theatre artists, and monologues and other artistic work. These interludes will be in a different font and indented to the right. By this offsetting and weaving together with all of the variety of texts in this dissertation, I hope to hint at additional sensory experience, and suggest new meaning for the reader, despite the limits of the page. The young boy playing described in the opening interlude was me after seeing John Huston’s version of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick (1956). I later realized those 4 times were the clearest and longest lasting full example for me of the early start of a lifetime pursuing and exploring through playing roles. But also, as I reflect back, I became an admirer of Huston’s work. Now, so many years later the subject (and object) of my study moves through the charged creative dynamics in the making of another film by Huston, the 1962 biographical film, Freud (Huston). Naturally, as we all do, I have needed to come up for air in that time, and live what Freud would call a civilized life, but that childlike desire to experience beyond myself through play has never left me. That longing for play informs or is behind this playwriting inquiry which has compelled me over the years to finally return to the deep with the subject of this inquiry. Figure 1 Sally Clark quick sketch of her playmaking process, drawn as part of a conversation with the inquiry author. 5 That longing and childlike play is rather like playwright Sally Clark’s1 representation of what she sees as the role of the playwright. Starting at the bottom of the page, she brings her pen to show a momentously building and cumulatively explosive playmaking process. The quickly drawn sketch demonstrates what I would call a spiralytic accumulation of energy and ideas, building out in curving lines, filled with the vigour of play. I have found the term to be an apt description for the process I saw myself using in The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John. I shall describe what I have learned through the telling of the circuitous tale of a life story of a creature that may be termed an authoring idea. Such source as an inception of the work, and the idea’s continuing and circuitous influences will be further revealed. (I represent the iterative working of the idea graphically on page 251 and in dialogue form within the dialogue study, Fear in The Underwriting, chapter six.) A Note on the Structure of this Dissertation In offering what is revealed, as with other arts based research dissertations from within my scholarly community at UBC, I notice that as ABR researchers sometimes we find it necessary to invent the structural form of the academically situated presentation of the work. I have found that the traditional chapter structures are not only challenged to metaphorically fit ABR inquiry, but they also do not fully fit physically within the space constraints, so I have adapted. After carefully considering various presentation forms, I have chosen to present the entire working draft of the play very close to the start of the dissertation, which will include this short introduction. After choosing that my work’s core is the offering of a playwright’s working 1 Sally Clark has several plays produced across Canada, including Moo (1988) for which she won the Floyd S. Chalmers award for playwriting. I produced her play Wasps in 1997, which was nominated for three Jessies. She is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, and is also a painter. 6 draft of a full-length play, this left with me with certain options to present more of the inquiry. Due to the space restrictions of a dissertation and to move towards the play, the introduction is necessarily brief, but I am mindful of the excellent and extensive examples provided for play prefaces by, for example, Irish playwright, Shaw. In order to allow the reader to experience the play first, I will offer discussion of my research understandings after the play. In addition, I wish to note that in order to move towards the presentation of the play, I shall expand my discussion of a/r/tography, the primary arts based methodology I am using for my dissertation, following the script presentation. In that summary, I will further define a/r/tography, its history and how I have applied this approach to my playwriting inquiry as I describe my understandings. This will also include a dialogue that provides context using an element of theatre form on the page. This dialogue is called I, Interstitial. However, I feel it’s necessary to briefly introduce some key points of a/r/tography at this juncture, especially as they shall pertain to work which is discussed here in the introduction to the play. The point form below is derived from the first two published books on a/r/tography: A/r/tography: Rendering self through arts based living inquiry (Irwin & De Cosson, 2004) and Being with a/r/tography (Springgay, Irwin, Leggo & Gouzouasis, 2008). In addition, these points are influenced by readings of the a/r/tographic literature and discussions with my colleague a/r/tographers in drama and music education. Briefly: a/r/tography For the purposes of this brief point introduction, first, a/r/tography emphasizes shifting identities broadly conceived as artist/researcher/teacher (a/r/t). Second, this is a relational methodology which asks the researcher to hold together theory as practice, not separately, but contiguously. The a/r/t is communicated together with reflective writing as graphy. Third, 7 inquiry in this manner invites the researcher to offer not conclusive results or findings, but what a/r/tography calls understandings, which have been (re) searched in the course of the inquiry. Fourth, a/r/tography invites a movement into, through and perhaps even back and forth across the varied tensions of the in-between spaces represented by the forward slashes. Finally, a/r/tography also names these spaces as interstitial. I will be using this term closely. As an example, the interludes are apart from but interconnected with the main text, graphically illustrating the interstitial quality of this inquiry. I am attracted to the word’s connection to the physical body. In addition, I appreciate the term on a personal level to the connection of the word to the physical creatures of the ocean’s edge. I feel a kinship with such creatures important to this inquiry’s approach as an artist and person. The full-length play’s manuscript, living in the interstitial form of a playwright’s working draft, also lives as an artful expression of my research, analysis, and understandings. The Education from the In-Between Space of a Playwright’s Working Draft When first proposing the form and subject of my inquiry, I considered the breadth of the work related to writing a full-length play from research. In consultation with my committee, I saw the vital applicability of this working draft form to the research inquiry. As a result, I chose to limit this study to the objective of completing the first working draft of the core play, which in my experience is sometimes called the playwright’s draft. Understanding the gradations of differences of the draft in playwriting is sometimes subtle. Playwright and screenwriter Graefe suggested that one pass through the script for a particular line of action that may result in a few minor revisions would be enough for the work to be called a new draft (personal communication, May, 2003). “I think it’s done when I get fed up with it.” Sally Clark 8 For this study, I have revised scenes and the overall outline several times and each draft is a form of an a/r/tographic interstitial space. I suggest that all plays are in this state, at any given moment, considering that they start from—eventually—on the page, but are on the way to something else, the stage space. As the inquiry’s play has been vetted by a professional workshop production, the work has effectively moved from the page spaces to the stage space and now back to the page spaces. The overall play is in a completed form as a working or in-process draft. Since the purpose of this inquiry is to reveal the heated movement of an idea, there is great power in this interstitial form because it suggests both a finished state and a work that is in a constant state of moving and becoming. Thus my reason for offering the play as a first working draft is that I wish to more fully understand how I might start, write, and complete the first full draft of the play up to and including that completion point. This will keep alive the first impetus for the work as I tell the story about from where does the idea for the play come. Why has it compelled me? Where does it take the writing upon the moment of seeing the working draft? Here, I will be able to more fully dwell in the in-between space which I will discuss more, and more fully report what I have learned only from this space. Such dwelling, such ‘lingering,’ has been an immersive education, where the playwriting became akin to a teacher to me, guiding what I am to write. I, in turn, have explicated the educational journey, shifting between all the a/r/tographical identities of artist/researcher/ teacher. I recall that as I explored the beginnings of how I was to write this new play, I sensed that perhaps the project demanded that I work more internally. By this I mean that the playwright in me desired a more internal process, where the silent spaces will be filled with the sounds of only “I write a lot of drafts and experiment with my form a great deal.” Lucia Frangione 9 the dialogue, images, ideas, intuitions and intimations of the researched characters, and action of the new play and not the voices of other theatre artists. For this reason, I chose to first work more independently with the source material. I hope in this way that I will become more fully aware of my choices while working inside the process of playwriting. Considering the above, this dissertation reports upon the movement through the interstitial spaces of playwriting. It lives in process, living a cycle of life and small deaths. I see this approach as analogous to the heightened feeling when playing improvisational theatre. In my days of being an improvisational theatre player, one might die onstage playing at any one not-quite working moment, but then one has only to move through to live more deeply, more alive into another moment. As Salverson writes in a different context, “The failure, the flop, is always present: I flop, I stumble, I am ashamed, I am accused, I try again” (2008, p. 253). Carrying through upon this theme, to reference Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I am concerned with more than the deadly binary of to be or not to be as if there are only two ways of being or doing research as a scholar practitioner. A/r/tography incorporates the principle of the multiple identities of artist/researcher/teacher working not separately but together and as such rejects the dichotomous view of identity, and invites a dialectical relationship to being in the world, (Irwin & de Cosson, 2004 ), one that invites the ‘and.’ As a theatre artist who writes plays, I need to live and to die, but so many times, in the world of becoming. In this dissertation, I offer my inquiry of that state of becoming in movement in the first rendition of the whole play as it was presented for the first audience of actors and then how it was shared for the first invited public audience. Heatley, director of that staged reading, and a director of dozens of original plays, suggests that a director does not provide a vision but an approach to a play (Key note, lecture notes, October, 2014). I agree with him that seeing the 10 work of theatre, particularly in the nascent stage of playwriting as ‘approach’ establishes a collaborative dialogue of continual process. ‘Approach’ suggests being in continual movement, never arriving, always questing and questioning more of the text and the play as it is constructed. A/r/tographical inquiry is also about approach. It invites a moving through one interstitial space and then onwards to approach and cross the liminal threshold to another space. Continuing with this idea of space I have thought about how my playwriting lives in a room with me by myself, but that is only one space. Even when a version of the play is done, it is not done, (perhaps it may never be wholly done). I live in the one room playing the collection of thoughts, feelings, and intuitions, analysing them, and shaping them into a reflexive and responsive document on the page. Soon from the movements around a series of such writing spaces, the play will move through until it might be received and understood and written upon by a director in the first full working draft, and then by the actors and so on forwards for the audience. As a playwright engaged in this movement through writing spaces, I live small felt pangs of ideas and images and feelings and thoughts which may be delivered further into the play, mostly in a dialogue form. I will imply a psychical stage action. As it moves towards moments upon moments, my work is cumulative of ideas and images and juxtapositions and disjunctures of fictions and facts, ages and times. I build through such moments, not through plot, or a story in the traditional sense. But I do tell a story and there is something at stake. The life of ideas about authoring a creative performance script is at stake. Such ideas are to be played out and communicated beyond the rooms of my individual writing. But for the purposes of this inquiry, I am most interested in revealing the ways an idea begins to work, and why I might begin to work on that idea, and then how I move through those spaces of working, such that the work represented in this dissertation does not apply as product (yet), but as process. I know that this 11 leaves my work more open and more vulnerable to being dismissed, but doing so misses the density, comprehensiveness, and complexity of the work offered as process. The vulnerability and tension inherently found in the in-between of the work is its value to the theatre and to the inquiry’s broadly situated concept of education. I recognize I’m presenting one person’s experience, my own. But I am not alone in my writing space. Other players are with me, not literally but present in the form of an artistic heritage, both immediate and past. Such presences help propel the work to other room. As someone trained and experienced as an actor, I know the joy of moving into that other room, the physical and paradoxically ephemeral space of performance with a company of companion actors in rehearsal. I know the moving inside the space for and with the audience. Ultimately, though, I am at least physically in a space by myself. And as with the character subject of my inquiry, Freud, I trust that one’s thoughtful and subjective experience has meaningful insights to offer. I offer such insights synthesised and integrated in what might be termed a nexus form as the playscript. The inquiry lives in the play metonymically as analysis, discussion, and representation. Unlike, for example, expository prose, the play form more easily exposes the spaces for discernment between the ideas by being within characters and themes as suggested within the playscript. Though they are not immediately seen, spaces such as gesture, tone, physical placement in time and space I imply them in the play’s written script. Beyond that is the work of the interpretative artists and audiences. The strength of this inquiry lives not in the kind of explication that a traditional academic dissertation might demand, but within the beauty of an artful process that lives by implication. 12 Towards the Play Idea O body swayed to music; O brightening glance! How can you tell the dancer from the dance? Final lines of Among School Children (Yeats, 1968/1926, p. 130) The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John is a full-length play presented as the core of this dissertation. The play was shared in a first public staged reading with professional actors in the playwright’s draft form. It had a final running time of just over two hours. To best prepare to write the play and my reflections on the process, I read relevant sections of Freud’s writing. I visited Freud’s historic family home in London, UK in July 2011, and again in the winter of 2012. Freud lived and worked from this house in his final years, after fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. I witnessed what remains of the living influence that Freud contributed to the world I was born into. This visit undoubtedly influenced the writing of the play, even by chance to be included in the play. I have also viewed the film several times and I have read The Freud Scenario (1959/1985) by Sartre, which was the basis for the produced screenplay. I spent time reviewing the archive material found in the John Huston papers (some 62 linear feet of files were available to me) of the Margaret Herrick Library in the Academy Motion Picture Sciences, in Los Angeles, USA. My inquiry includes my responses to journal articles, auto/biographies, magazine articles, and archived interviews of the principal collaborators, and reviews of other archive sources. In addition, I was pleased to be invited to share my not easily acquired DVD copy of the film Freud for a viewing in Deborah Britzman’s Summer 2009 UBC Freud and Education graduate seminar in which I was a student. I focus on and playwright about how my creation of a new art project intersects with my presence in these physical and conceptual spaces. I note where auto/biographical creation 13 entangles with biographical source material and archives. My observations and reflections are sometimes directly seen, but more often they are implied within the dialogue and structure of the play. The final half of the play’s first draft was completed within the rigorous deadline of knowing an invited and invested “integral” audience would be attending (Prendergast & Saxton, 2009, p. 22). Together with director Stephen Heatley, also one of my co-supervisors on the academic project, I arranged for a production of the reading to take place on December 17th, 2012. The play’s reading featured all professional actors contracted through the Canadian Actors Equity Association and it was produced by the projects-based theatre company, Origins Theatre Projects (I am the Artistic Director of the company). The venue was the Jericho Arts Centre, in Vancouver, BC, providing a sense of outreach while still preserving the scholarly context for the project. Education scholar and Freudian theorist, Britzman, told me in a post seminar conversation (UBC summer, 2009) that this project was compelling, but she was unsure of fulfilling it as a play. I wondered if the play subject will support me to examine my playwriting process. Or, to acknowledge one of my favourite poets, Yeats, how might I see both the dancer and the dance? As I tell the story of the working of an idea, the subject of making conscious my own process of cognition in other words is layered into its origins. Freud: The Secret Passion (Huston, 1962) was imagined by the director John Huston to challenge the biopic genre of the grand heroic tradition common to Hollywood at the time. He desired more of a suspense story. Freud dramatizes the story of the development of the theory of the unconscious. Unfortunately, the production was fraught with difficulties. I start with the two men and their personal identities. Briefly, Montgomery Clift, who played the lead character Freud, was a New York actor, a delicate ‘proto-punk’ bisexual and Huston was a big-game 14 hunting, hard-hitting ‘real man’ and married five times (la Guardia, 1977; Huston, 1980). They were complete opposites and they were dealing with the powerful idea of the unconscious. In what ways were the men’s identities changed by their work on the film production of Freud? The film itself had almost become a lost object in the subconscious world because of legal difficulties that began with insurance claims brought against Montgomery Clift and that persisted for decades after its release. My inquiry details the story of the film, from concept/creation. I detail the particular relationships between key collaborators, especially the director, the lead actor, and the initial screenwriter, Jean Paul Sartre. Personal story and authorship and authority are central themes within this data, and therefore the research emphasizes biographical details that provide context for the film production’s conception and creation. This approach applies to my parallel or, as a/r/tography recommends, a “contiguous,” interconnected (Irwin, 2004) inquiry of the writing/identity process. Where does an idea for a creative writing project such as a play come from? I ask this question in various ways within the dissertation. I began my study provoked by that question called out from the interstitial space of my own playwriting process viewed a/r/tographically. Dream Fragment … I felt the somatic memory of the dream… the spirit of Freud and Huston…I was in a vehicle of some sort. Darkened road. Many twists and turns. I was anxious and I wanted to stop. I kept trying to reach what I thought might be brakes of this vehicle. Unrelenting space. Mud-thick water. Legs shoving out. Black oblivions. Hard to breathe. The more I struggled to stop the vehicle, the harder it became for me to reach the brakes…. Control? 15 I offer this dream fragment in view of the importance of writing autobiographically as a researcher in the academy (Leggo, 2008). As I hint, I have some wariness still, but I know and continue to see that there are intellectual and imaginative riches in the academy for an artist. There was for me as an a/r/tographer (artist/researcher/teacher) support to research a palimpsest waiting for revealing, reading and connecting. There was tangible material waiting for playwriting translation from an idea to an artistic process; and there were connections to inform and inspire my work as a theatre artist. I was compelled to ask where does a creative idea really come from, and, more pointedly, who might be the author or the authority for those ideas. Swimming with the Source Running early through the streets of London, the tube transit broken down, surrounded by sweaty, tied necks, and my head filled with conference presentations on authorship, I found a British two pound coin. Squinting, I saw the inscription on the side; a quotation attributed to the physicist Isaac Newton: “Stand on the shoulders of giants.” I smiled. I interpreted that the message on the coin was telling me to see a starting idea as merely one more manifestation of multiple expressions through human existence. But where did the manifestation all begin? It may be a question that has no definitive answer, but the insolvability makes it all the more an intriguing puzzle. I was led to reading and thinking more about the source and talking about what compels one to write on the blank page as a playwright. And then I returned to my beginning point for what became my dissertation project: the starting idea’s innate need for expression and how it happens through the autobiographical ethos of the writer. With this in mind, I have written a play that both traces where the idea began for me in my own personal story and where the idea began for the true-life characters making a biographically inspired film about the concept of the 16 sub-conscious in the early discovery work of Sigmund Freud. In essence, the play is about the history and power of the idea; how it changes and mutates moving through temporal spaces, perhaps living multiple stories, touching each new person it happens upon. I saw that the subject invited me to explore ideas about the power of the concept of the father, which I began to call, Father/author(ity) which I elaborate upon fully in chapter 4. Briefly, for this introduction, I see Father/author(ity) as a relational term which combines father and author and the institutional and personal authority as an influencing presence within creative writing. My understanding of Father/author(ity) was deepened because I had just lived within the academy some tender and complicated questions of authorship. I discovered uncanny parallels to the true-life struggles of the people I was researching as my play characters. My characters were not seeking my counsel, but I was now almost in the midst of Freud’s notion of transference. But I was not seeking therapy, though it was therapeutic. I was seeking artistic insight pointedly towards the writing of a play. I asked them my questions, as best as it might be possible through my a/r/tography. Huston and Clift in particular represented for me two types of men I wanted to be: I wanted to see if I could be inside some of their male power and masculine beauty. As I talked with Huston and Clift and Sartre and Freud too, I lived with their notions of father, of author and authority. I asked them about storytelling a project that is about living in the process of an idea. What is such a story—must it really be driven by plot? I asked of Clift what is an actor acting upon and who is in charge of that action? I sought to know better the consuming spirit within a creative project set in motion by each successive author as it moved through the stages I index in chapter 4. I wanted to understand that madness that might visit upon the task of 17 creating for an audience in film or theatre. And given the generative nature of the inquiry, my questions opened into more questions, as I explore and report in chapter 5. By following this path through writing the play that is the central part of this dissertation, I hope I have better understood and been able to successfully communicate at least some of what happens and what it means to elaborate upon that starting moment through to the writing of the playwright’s working draft of a play. The process lives in the unconscious. My way of working is somewhat different from that of iconic American playwright, Edward Albee, still producing new work in his 80s. Albee says of his process, “One day, I wake up and I am with play” (as cited in McLauglin, 2007, p. 43). But in his statement I believe he acknowledges that something has changed within his person and that change must be expressed in the form of a play. Psychoanalytically speaking, drawing a parallel to Britzman’s notion of a teacher/learner’s need for a program of study (2006, p. 123) is like an illness where the cure and learning may only happen through engagement with the ailment, in this case, the writing of the play. In sum, with the source material as my inspiration, I share the opportunity with the audience to trouble and explore pertinent feelings surrounding male gender, cultural identity, auto/biography, the creative process and collaboration, authorship, and the interplay of theory and artistic practice. And to the first audience members for this interstitial presentation, the working draft of the play, I thank you and welcome your participation in the palimpsest through your contribution in reading the story of this idea. 18 Locales and Times of the Play The play’s action is carried through certain historical figures, but happens within and through the writing process of the character of the playwright. In keeping with my own aesthetic for the theatre, the setting is ultimately the theatre space itself where the play is performed. Within that space, we tell the story and suggest locales within dialogue and with the minimum of physical representations of setting. To assist the audience to follow the story, the character of Slater provides a direct address to the audience, communicating changes in time and location. We are at times in the scene of Freud’s escape to London, England and his final home of 1938. We are in his study contemporarily, where his iconic couch is displayed currently, and his back garden. We are also in the home production offices of John Huston, circa, late 1950s and onset for the filming of Freud, in Vienna, 1961. A well-integrated sound design, which will signify changes in locale and time and mood as rapidly as the subconscious might, or how children play pretend, would be vitally important to the full working draft of the play. Notes on the First Staged Reading and Script Format As part of the research project, the play was read for an invited audience, December 17th, 2012 in the evening at the Jericho Arts Centre in Vancouver, BC, directed by Stephen Heatley, produced by Origins Theatre Projects and featuring the actors: Stephen Aberle, Scott Button, Evan Frayne, Claire Hesselgrave, David Mann, and Chris Robson. The actors had a four-hour reading/rehearsal two days before and then worked throughout the morning and afternoon of the reading day. The company received a final scene a few hours before the reading for the audience. The play was read by the actors sitting or standing at music stands. 19 As testament for all readers, reading theatrically helped communicate the full meaning within the script of the play. Emotional resonance, gesture, facial impression and vocal inflection were encouraged by both the director and playwright to—in the common wisdom of contemporary theatre—“lift the words from the page.” In this tradition of what is called a cool-read, the company was asked to make bold choices. And they did, marvellously so. The play script as presented in this dissertation follows the professional guidelines of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada for unpublished copy scripts and therefore uses a single-spaced format. Please note, the playwright Donard MacKenzie is the author of this work and has asserted his moral rights to his intellectual property. The Slater character announces scene change/information and as a convention of this script format for the academic table of contents, that text is presented in bold typeface. 20 CHAPTER 2: THE FREUDIAN PALIMPSEST OF MONTY AND JOHN Text of Playwright’s Working Draft The playscript is copyright the author. For the most recent draft, contact the author through originstheatreprojects.ca ACT I SCENE 1 (The Assistant-Director, perhaps half-masked, we shall call him Slater and likely given the time (1961) of the movie Freud, he would be male. Slater enters the space. She/he can interact with the audience, at times a taskmaster, at times an a/r/tographic play clown. He carries an oversize slate board, with a clapper. She writes something on the board and then holds it up for everyone to see. Each time she enters, she might have a prelude clue, a representation of the meaning or atmosphere of the scene that is about to play. Here she might be wearing fuzzy slippers.) SLATER Time to play, people. Pay attention. Clean the slate as best we can. We shall move fast everyone. Set the theme and language, establish the men, and trace the source and journey of a story idea. Got that. Good! Be ready, like Freddy. Counting, tip-toe. And we have speed, rolling, (Reading from the slate.) Circa 2007, Son Requests Father Magic from the Playwright (Slater claps the board very loudly, especially for this first slate. Silence. In the darkness, we hear the following words.) PLAYWRIGHT My son is awake from a dream and calls out to me. His dream is very real to him. And scary. He wants me to stay. He asks me to use my magic, like Momma does. He lies back down under his covers. I wave my hands just above his head, and then move them all the way down past his toes and away and off out into the air, and as I do this, I say in a quiet voice of authority, "Away with the bad dreams; in with the good." I repeat the words and the gesture a few times. My son smiles in the dark, and soon he's asleep. 21 SCENE 2 SLATER (What we see on the sign, but perhaps remains unspoken) Circa 1970, Back Yard Movie Dream (Slater claps and exits.) (A couch not unlike Freud's famous psychoanalysis couch is seen lit. A man is lying on the couch staring at the ceiling. Another man, unseen, speaks, perhaps even turned away.) FREUD (Evenly, and precisely.) Breathe-in. And now breathe out, good, we shall search together. Tell me a dream from when you were a child. PLAYWRIGHT I dreamed a lot about losing my teeth, but that's normal, right. But I have been again, of course that's because of this tooth. (Holds his jaw), A long story of dental zealousness, it's not hurting right now. Still, I might have to get it extracted, but replaced, with its own prosthetic root. Yes! They have technology for that now. I guess Hockey players demanded it. Well, I'm sure you would know about prosthetics and the mouth. A joke. Still there? FREUD Yes. PLAYWRIGHT Okay uhm, I was awake in this other dream. Many times; many days. It was really a play dream, based upon an old movie I saw, by John Huston, a filmmaker we will both come to know over our passing minutes together. I played this dream many times. Is this one permitted—will it work, for the purpose, I mean? FREUD (Staying in the shadows) You are the authority here. 22 (Then Playwright stands on the couch and starts to play as a child.) PLAYWRIGHT The captain was mad, tap, tap, went his leg on the deck. The gold here in the mast...Look lively men! We seek the great white devil Moby Dick. Thar he blows, He's here. The devil is here. This is madness! We seek to know. We seek his secrets. My harpooning friend, strong arm now. VOICE OF MOTHER James, who are talking to? PLAYWRIGHT My crew! Oh, it's you Mommy. VOICE OF MOTHER Park your boat Captain, it's time for dinner. PLAYWRIGHT My ship! My whale I'll find. On my ocean, all around me. I can call the winds, the magical lights. Or I can row, I can row. Why do I want to capture the whale? CHILD'S VOICE Daddy! Dad, let's play soccer now. PLAYWRIGHT I can't. (He lays back down on the couch.) CHILD'S VOICE But what are you doing? PLAYWRIGHT I'm working. CHILD'S VOICE Dad, are you still laying down staring at the ceiling? PLAYWRIGHT Yes. CHILD'S VOICE Oh, I see, you're writing. 23 PLAYWRIGHT Yes, I'm writing. CHILD'S VOICE When you will be done? PLAYWRIGHT Good question. CHILD'S VOICE When the words get on the page? PLAYWRIGHT Yes. CHILD'S VOICE Okay, well, good luck, write good, and quickly Daddy. Then we can play. I'm gonna be in the back yard by the big old hemlock tree. PLAYWRIGHT (The playwright calls out.) Let's play now. (There is no answer though. The playwright sighs and then continues to stare at the ceiling. Slater is seen and holds up her slate.) SLATER His Voice, His Father, and Freud's Revenge, and Escape. Circa, 1938. (Slater exits and the unseen old man gets up from the seat near the couch and wanders to a central place as we hear the BBC voice recording. It is the only known recording of the actual voice of Freud frail, through his cancer ridden jaw.1) FREUD I started my professional activity as a neurologist, trying to bring relief to my neurotic patients. Under the influence of an older friend and by my own efforts I discovered some new and important facts about the unconscious in psychic life, the role of instinctual urges and so on. (Pause) . 24 Out of these findings grew a new science, Psycho-analysis, a part of psychology and a new method of treatment of the neuroses. I had to pay heavily for this bit of good luck. People did not believe my facts and thought my theories unsavoury. Resistance was strong and unrelenting. In the end I succeeded in acquiring pupils and building up an international Psycho-Analytic Association. (Pause) But the struggle is not yet over. (The recording ends there.) FREUD'S FATHER It is much better today Sigismund, my son. The world is changing. FREUD (As an eight year old boy.) Is it Father? FREUD'S FATHER In the town where you born, one day as a young man, I was out walking on the paved sidewalk. I had on a new hat. Two Christians walked towards me and one of them knocked my hat into the dirt road. Then they spat at me, "Jew, get off the pavement." FREUD (Eager to know his father was heroic) What did you do Father? FREUD'S FATHER I stepped down into the road and picked up my hat. FREUD And then— FREUD'S FATHER Then I went on my way. FREUD But Father— (Sound of a crackling fire and thumping drums of war. Freud's Father assumes the aura of a great heroic soldier of antiquity, Hannibal's Father) FREUD'S FATHER 25 Swear at the altar of your family and on the honour of our Carthaginian people you will take vengeance on the Romans. FREUD I swear Father. (Sound Of A Parade and great cheering in the streets. The actor returns to playing the old Freud.) GESTAPO OFFICER Just a moment Herr Freud. (The man holds up a clipboard in front of Freud and motions him over to use a pen.) FREUD What's this? GESTAPO OFFICER Your testimony that you are a free man and leaving for England of your own free will. In essence, it is also a statement that attests to the fact we have all worked together here in an environment of mutually mandated by policy respect. In sum, that you have not been mis-treated. 2 FREUD (As he signs his name in the air, he says to the officer.) I have been treated well by the Gestapo. (A moment's thought, and then he adds to his signature, writing in the air) I can mostly highly recommend the Gestapo to everyone. SCENE 3 (Slater seems rather startled and holds up her next slate) SLATER The Power of the Father as Now, In the Past and Forever. (SOUND: A loud smash of mirror and glass, echoing, as it breaks into dozens of pieces. We hear the next voices offstage, as distant call from the past.) MONTY What are you going to do, kill me? JOHN 26 The thought crossed my mind. (SOUND: echoes of the smashing glass continue to die down) FREUD This is a recurring image for you? (Playwright sneezes) PLAYWRIGHT Allergies. Yes, Uh, damn, had them since I was a boy. Was someone wearing something flowery? (Rubs his nose, stifling a sneeze.) Finesse, concentrate, so wait, I entered, laid on the couch— (reviewing the action) And before that, (remembering) There was that sound. That's it. I keep hearing that sound, I have this thought. Shattered pieces. Help me look at each of the pieces together, because—'cause— (Sneezes again.) —in the immortal Hollywood line about writing plays, for the screen, but it applies here too, "Nobody knows anything." What will hit, what won't, what matters, what doesn't. Sorry, I digress, I do that, sort of free associate, you gave me that freedom. Yep, it is your fault. But I always come back to the start. I must put all the pieces together, and pray. (The man acts now as if he is in a small church. The man kneels.) FREUD You find it useful to pray? PLAYWRIGHT To the creator, yes. FREUD Oh, a father. PLAYWRIGHT Yes! Let's organize the search that way, a father's power to shatter or fuse. I begin with a prayer to the ultimate father. 27 FREUD (Resigned, he starts to sit). If you must. PLAYWRIGHT Wait, please, I am not as dull as you might think. Even as a young boy, I was never sure about praying. Especially in churches. I felt later, when I knew a little more of this question, that if you were going to talk with God, a really good talk with the creator, it must be from a place filled with vital force and oceanic import. But my childhood church building, which crammed ALL of the infinite and divine, yes all of it, into a small white stucco wooden box, the thin white cross pointing above its false belfry tower, and the hard benches, just seemed, well, to me, the opposite of alive. But, please, those of you who worry about these things, this is not that sort of play— FREUD Who might be worried? PLAYWRIGHT An audience. (Shrugging) Down the road. FREUD Of one. PLAYWRIGHT Yes, likely that's all I might expect as a Canadian emerging playwright, but honestly, just let me say, it's not about God and loss, or religion and its vanity, or something. I assure you to this day, I am a spiritual person, and my arty queerness will always be informed by the heightened ritual of language and the church. (He prays) Our Father, who art in heaven— (Unseen chorus of voices, shadows behind the scenes in the outline of characters we will later see, join in prayer, singing the song.) 28 VOICES (All speak randomly) Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, On Earth, as it is in heaven. PLAYWRIGHT But his son was not in heaven, not in my church, in my time, just a few decades ago. My god, as a boy in that church, was caught as he was in the space between earth and wheresoever that place might be after death. He was up above me from my kneeler, he was an almost to scale realistic statue hanging on a thick plank-cross above the altar. Bowed, bloody, hammered with holes, forsaken in that moment by his father, a life-sized reminder of his suffering for all the Catholic boys to see what man might do to man, whether a god, a father of a god, or just the son. Such power we have, us men, I thought, from my boy's eye view, to destroy, or create. (SOUND: A loud smash of mirror and glass, echoing, as it breaks into dozens of pieces. We hear the next voices offstage.) MONTY What are you going to do, kill me? JOHN The thought crossed my mind. PLAYWRIGHT (Speaking to Freud and perhaps sharing with the audience.) Shards of lives, that hit me years, and still years later. I'll need your help to test how to put the pieces together and satisfy the human need for a pattern, for order. So that's about the first part of the idea. I don't know, it might change, as story ideas do in this work. SCENE 4 (Slater strikes a pose in the manner of a film director and holds her slate high.) SLATER John Huston, Master Filmmaker's Next Big Idea, 1957 (Huston and Reinhardt enter and the first words of Huston is spoken together with the playwright) 29 PLAYWRIGHT AND JOHN Done! Here's to it. Now, what's next? JOHN Wolfgang, my fine and well-fed producer, on we go. REINHARDT Hold on this moment, please John. You always seem in such a rush. Always the next thing— JOHN Freud. What do you know of his ideas Mr. Reinhardt? The man who said America was a great mistake. REINHARDT Freud! Are you out of your mind, John? JOHN I assure you I am right there in my mind, but certainly making a movie about Freud and his attempts to name forces of the unconscious, would be one way to tell. I believe the studio honchos would think the subject of this man's struggle was the next big thing. SCENE 5 (Lights up on Slater.) SLATER (Clapping the board loudly.) Monty's Last Words (Perhaps we see these two characters stepping out, or in the same shadow-play behind.) ASSISTANT Monty, Hun, one of your best, and hotstuff too. The Misfits is on the television tonight, want to watch? MONTY Absolutely Not! 30 HOLLYWOD COMMENTATOR This just in, I can confirm the sad news, the one-time handsome movie star, noted actor Montgomery Clift was found dead in his New York City brownstone walk-up, apparently of a heart attack. Earlier the previous evening, when asked by his live-in Secretary-assistant if he wanted to watch The Misfits, one of his last films that happened to air on television last night, he replied MONTY Absolutely not! HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR Those were the last words he ever spoke. Clift was said never to be himself after that terrible roadside accident almost a decade ago, when leaving from a party old friend of all the in-men of Hollywood, Liz Taylor. She rushed to his side, crawling, ladylike into the wreckage and as we reported here at the time, stopped the severely injured star from choking on his own broken teeth. But still his star shone, including as the drunken rodeo cowboy in Huston's The Misfits, alongside aged romantic icon, Clark Cable and the late and lovely—kindred lost wanderer, Marilyn Monroe. His last big role may have been the one that hastened his end. The severe test of the arty and overly long Freud, the Secret Passion, in which Clift played the title character. Though in this reporter's opinion, the spirit of Clift's brooding sensitivity and talent still shone behind the once unmarred face of this beautiful man. SCENE 7 FREUD The other man we have glimpsed. He is in the shattering glass dream. PLAYWRIGHT Yes. John Huston, big game hunting, big drinking, boxer, painter, gambler, married five times, lover of women, and horses, and master filmmaker. He made a film inspired from you. JOHN I have lived a number of lives; I'm inclined to envy the man who leads one life, with one job, and one wife, in one country, under one God. FREUD I am quite certain that my daughter Anna, as a practicing psychoanalyst, would not have given her approval. PLAYWRIGHT 31 She did not, but apart from the facts, some stories belong to more than their author. Tell John Huston that, you're the major source of his cinema dreaming. Some say he made the movie as a form of his own therapy. JOHN That's a god damn lie! But it's all shadows of truths in my line of work as we engage with our audience of popcorn eaters out there. FREUD I can talk with these other men? PLAYWRIGHT When the moment is right, certainly. (Lights down.) SCENE 8 SLATER (Entering as if riding a horse.) The Source of the Idea Calls To The Playwright FREUD What did you dream last night? PLAYWRIGHT A dream again? You know, there are those who feel they have unequivocally proven through batteries of medical tests that dreams are not the royal road to the unconscious as you theorize. FREUD Resistance. PLAYWRIGHT I expected you might say that, but then again you are right. You are wonderful for theories, I am not so sure of the applications, so I really don't want to talk about what may or may not be hidden in my dreams. FREUD Repression. When did you last have a wet dream? PLAYWRIGHT Professor Freud—come on! 32 FREUD Resistance. PLAYWRIGHT Alright, alright! I had some even in my twenties, but one of the last ones I have never really forgotten, I had just bought a biography of this actor, Montgomery Clift, I was maybe seventeen at the time— FREUD Filled with the libidinous sexual fury of that age. Clift is an actor, of the plastic arts? The cinema? PLAYWRIGHT Yes, you'd have found him a fascinating study I'm sure. He certainly found you endlessly fascinating until the day he died. He was a tortured, beautiful man. That's why I bought the biography from the shelf. Yeah, sucker for the cover. His picture on the front was remarkably beautiful but so sad. Masculine and sensitive, something in the eyes and the way he held his face to the light. FREUD As a man, he awakened in you your own universally human capacity for bisexual identification. PLAYWRIGHT I suppose. FREUD Denial, a defense mechanism. It will comfort you to recall how I have concluded that our sexual identity can be more amorphous and fluid than we realize. I myself have had enduringly sensual feelings for men I have known. So answer me, was Clift in your wet dream? PLAYWRIGHT Monty. FREUD Monty, I see. Answer the question. 33 PLAYWRIGHT Yes, he was. He was me. I was him, or wanted to be him? In the dream. Swimming, naked on a forgotten sandy beach. I was not alone though, the iconic and gorgeous fiery actress Elizabeth Taylor was there. Clift and her had worked together so many times. She was almost naked, except for a white cloth that clung to her body. Her skin shimmering through the wet cotton. There was a bright moon in the sky. We kissed full on the lips. The moon disappeared, and the waves started getting higher, but then the ocean waves on the surf were replaced by the bashing and scraping of twisting metal on metal. The dream ended with that car crash. The impact—the one that destroyed Monty's face, I guess. That's exactly where I had stopped reading the biography that night. I was awake and felt the warm wetness of my cum on my belly. I had somehow orgasmed. FREUD Interesting choice, within images of image-making people, a step removed from your own reality. Did you ever have this dream again? PLAYWRIGHT Just the once. But I always remembered it. FREUD What you have told me is what we call the manifest content of the dream. There is also the latent content, why you became this man, and how. It might be useful for you to freely associate— PLAYWRIGHT And say whatever comes to mind—Your term is quite familiar in my age. FREUD Excellent, now talk from any of the small elements of this dream or others. We will work from the details, to the larger manifest content and by so doing relieve you of the tension you seem to be under. PLAYWRIGHT You started to appear in my dreams, at about the same time. FREUD Transference. That would be common, even though you and I have only met infrequently over the years. PLAYWRIGHT First year college, barely seventeen; I had no clue there were people who thought such ideas. My small town world. But from there you have transcended space and time, like a character in a play, or a movie, "so long lives this and this gives life to thee." 34 FREUD My ideas have no need of your play. (Collecting his thought slowly.) Now, I see even more clearly myself, and I wonder if you really want to bother with me at all? There are so many boundaries we are crossing both aesthetic, and therapeutic, and even academic. I am not sure of this process you have us engaged in is of any practical use. Your dynamic and desire for emotional affect reminds me of my paper on Dostoevsky, he and others have convinced me that the creative artist is sometimes simply unreachable by psychoanalysis. PLAYWRIGHT Resistance. FREUD Quite. Point-taken. Well then, because I am here at your request, I am your humble servant, Herr Playwright. So tell me, have you masturbated to dreams about me? PLAYWRIGHT No. Are you disappointed? FREUD No. PLAYWRIGHT You appear as a father FREUD That I believe happens to me much. PLAYWRIGHT Yes, you portray in your older age an absolute image of authority. Yes, like that! FREUD My stern stare. (He mock-demonstrates, perhaps.) In what way am I father for you? PLAYWRIGHT To my desire for resolve and my own wish that I could have greater faith that I understand something of this world. To see now not what you did, but exactly how you did, your belief, changing with the circumstance, but still maintaining a core of your knowledge of yourself and your world, despite all the obstacles you faced. 35 FREUD Concisely articulated. So, in sum, you seek approval of the father? PLAYWRIGHT Does it have to be that plain, can't we layer it up, palimpsestify it? FREUD But its plainness is its charming truth, give up the need for originality, and you will be original. Not as original as me, and it is enough to remember at this juncture now that all dreams, as I have said, are wish fulfillments. PLAYWRIGHT I admire your certainty. It is a gift. I must tell you, I become you in the dream FREUD I see. Quite a wish, flattering, but not to be taken at face value. PLAYWRIGHT I become many people. A hazard of my trade. FREUD Yes, playwrights and actors not knowing who they really are sublimating that coquettish ambiguity into their art as they plod like beggars on the street. They will try on anyone's coat that keeps them comforted from the psychic, elemental storms. PLAYWRIGHT You don't respect my work. FREUD This is your wish fulfilled, not mine. But to answer your question directly, on the contrary, from Shakespeare to my personal favourite Goethe, and back to Sophocles and his play on Oedipus, I have the deepest respect for your vocation. I recognize what beauty is in art; but explaining and interrogating the reason has confounded me. Poets and artists have said before intuitively what I have been challenged to organize and categorize into a scientifically based method, as well as an art, if you will. So you see, perhaps, it is you who does not respect or have faith in yourself and your work. Always in flux, like the personal artefact, the man in your dream, Monty. 36 SCENE 6 SLATER (Presenting sadly.) Master Filmmaker John Huston Foxhunt, Late Fall, 1955 (John enters purposefully and addresses the audience directly.) JOHN Smell that! Horses and Ireland, just outside of Dublin, my home for almost twenty years. Made a few movies here, but my best time was riding, with those letters I wore, M O H, Master of the Hounds. It means I pay a small fortune for this hunt, yearly. I wear my red trim coat, greet the ladies, "Glorious Day, Madame, so glad you are here." Everyone now hears the hounds give voice. Follow me they say, as Shakespeare's fool sung, over hill, over dale. Some of the owners’ ruckus a fuss at our runs through their land. But there are no borders in the hunt, whosesoever the chase takes us, we will go. Not a high fence, an old stone wall, or a muddy ditch would stop us and our horses, especially my own. Siorai, my chestnut mare, Everlasting in Irish, ten years and more than triple that number of hunts, she's never failed me. But this past November I knew it was her last winter. I thought there was a tell I missed as I saddled her. She backed away, and shuddered a bit, Girl I said, one last one, today is the day, and then I promise it’s just green grass field for you and the rest of your days. Her eyes darkened brown in the grayness of our day as I walked her out to the marshalling area. The sound of the barking, the hounds released from the brush, the horn blast…. Aesop's clever fellow lives up to his name, burrowing under brambles, but the hounds go down one side and up the other. I see the fox clamber through the last of the brambles, bits of hardened winter prickles sticking to his red brown coat, under the last fence. Siroai edges forward, I lean into her as she is to take the jump, but her back hoof catches the top of the fence. When she lands, I knew it was over, did I hear the crack in her leg. I held on, she slowed, and then started to collapse. I rolled with the fall, sliding to one side landing ass on back and rolling with it, winter wet grass on my beard, I looked up and there she was, on her side, struggling to get up. Her eyes open to the sun. Her leg was broken and Siroai, my everlasting, would never get up 37 again. Hornblasts, three long, and barking after barking. John, John, they say, they have him…. We know nothing is everlasting, but for this time, I can give and take life. I look to my horse, friend to me for all of her years, Huntsman, I say, hand me your shotgun. John, he says, Let the hands take care of that for you. No, I say, a man must kill his own horse if the need be. Gentlemen, Ladies, Good day. 3 HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR Updating Clift's story now, I have it on good authority that when the examiner performed the autopsy, reports are that Clift had an unusually small, how do we say this, for our Midwest audience?—"member"— MONTY Is nothing my own anymore? (SOUND: An echoing gun blast, mixing in with shards of glass.) SCENE 9 (Slater reveals scene, with slate-sign) SLATER Huston Freud's Man?, Ireland, 1959 REINHARDT I'm sorry about your horse, John. 38 JOHN Thank-you, Wolfgang. Seasons pass. REINHARDT "But already my desire and my will were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed, by the Love which moves the sun and the other stars." JOHN Dante, the Divine Comedy, Good comfort. REINHARDT You know the quotation! You still have a capacity to amaze me. No formal education, but one of the most literate men in all of Hollywood. (Huston grins.) A comedy! Dante's struggles through hell to find some grace, some meaning. (Pauses, considers) I have been thinking of your Freud idea again. JOHN Dare we? Excellent, I've got some notes already. But those bastards in the war office have vaulted away Let There Be Light, for God knows how long, and I'm damn sure another venture into the territory of the traumatized mind is simply a jinxed subject for me— REINHARDT Superstitious, are you John? I will be there to help with the script, within my role as producer. The subject intrigues me and I have made some study of Freud, given he's from my part of the world. But, tell me, has the conquering army stolen your heart? Are you not the man for this job? JOHN You German Prince Bastard! I think we should endeavour to make some art of our man Freud's science. Here's to Freud. Our next project. A perfectly simple title. We shall make it. With the two of us on this road, I will get you there. And I know just the man to write the scenario at least; I directed his play No Exit, once in New York some few years back. REINHARDT (Impressed.) Sartre, really! He's a star in his own right. Tell me, did he care for your version? 39 JOHN We had some existential differences of opinion or, so I heard, regarding interpretation for the male character. But the production came through in the end; notices were good. We'll call him now, Gladys! Where is that woman? (Gladys enters in quickly, and at stiff and proper attention.) GLADYS (Holding some papers) Your telegrams from America; you told me to get them. JOHN Oh, hmm so I did, indeed. No matter, they can wait! Gladys, find me Jean Paul Sartre's contact, he's probably bunkered down in Paris, with one of his few ladies. God knows what they see in that wall-eyed little man. They must like his smarts. Go to, Gladys! Now, we don't have all day; we have dinner with the Vicar tonight. He's a bore, but oh, his wife is wonderful in silk. (Turning back, decisively) So Reinhardt, we are on the move with this thing, are you in? I'll prove I'm still the man to wrestle in the muddy swamps of the mind, even as codified by the Austrian neurotic, Freud. We will get the picture made exactly as we want it to be, and leave our audience's world-wide quivering in their seats throughout their journey. REINHARDT You do know Freud's central notions arise from his keen view of man's deeply sexual nature, from infancy to adulthood? JOHN Sex, really, well of course. Indeed. On that subject, I am an expert. Know thyself, as the oracle at Delphi said two millennia ago, but I am certain she added, "Have some fun along the way to self-knowledge." We should check that, Gladys! Never mind, have you got Sartre's contact yet? (He pauses and smiles conspiratorially at Reinhardt, who seems to hide a reaction.) Come now, Sir, we are men, we do not flinch. Reinhardt, this film must not be a typical bio-pic—that is for those studio hacks. We will be free men on this work. Let's take our audience by the throat and make a suspense-thriller. We will make the film we crave. It should be as terrifying as Dante's descent into hell. SCENE 10 (SLATER dressed as a Paris Waiter) 40 SLATER Paris Cafe, 1958, Playwright/Philosopher Sartre (Slater claps and exits as scene begins with John and Sartre.) JOHN Bonjour, Jean Paul. C'est bon nuit debut. SARTRE Non, non, Je parle Francais. Please, your voice sounds more pleasing in your native language. Speak English to me and Monsieur Reinhardt shall translate for us. JOHN I will be brief. You are a Communist, and an anti-Freudian, nevertheless, you are perfect for the job of writing this screenplay. SARTRE Do I understand you him correctly Monsieur Reinhardt? (Turning back to John) Your faith in me and directness is appreciated. As far I know Freud at this point, I appreciate the man's ideas— JOHN You have read psychology deeply and I am sure you have read enough of Freud to see he led the way in furthering our understanding of the hidden forces at work within a man's being. SARTRE My approach will be logical and objective, but is all for a useless passion. JOHN Useless passion? SARTRE Man. REINHARDT Man is a useless passion. SARTRE Thank-you Monsieur Reinhardt, you have translated well. (To John) We are assured that on this venture we are free to explore where the subject demands. 41 JOHN Do not censor yourself. Give that no thought at all, either in language, or in the content of the scenes. Be as comprehensive and as you need be. SARTRE Then we are free and independent men. The script may take by turns into scenes of prostitution, homosexual identity, masturbation, child abuse. Is your American audience ready? JOHN It will be the 1960s by the time this is released. Whatever we will find necessary for the story we tell, we will make them ready. . SARTRE Excellent, Freud, did not shy away from the truth and neither shall we. JOHN Then you accept, for the great adventure? SARTRE For the money, I sometimes live in the world these days. What is your fee you are offering? (Huston hands him a piece of paper folded over. Sartre takes the paper and looks at it. Sartre nods.) SARTRE I accept. Gentlemen. Safe journey home. JOHN Just a minute, Sartre, when can we see a treatment? (But Sartre has left quickly down the lane. Music of the cafe fades) REINHARDT (Calling back) Do you have that money? JOHN (With jovial confidence, calling.) Start the counting now, Monsieur, Twenty-five thousand all for you. SCENE 11 (Slater, with pencil in ear.) 42 SLATER St. Cleran's, Huston Estate, Ireland, Writing Conference, 1959 (Slater exits. Huston, Reinhardt and Sartre are in conference about the writing of the screenplay. Sartre is continuing to talk.) SARTRE It is an elementary proposition that we must be free men, have our own agency. But how does one gain a sense of agency if we are merely puppets of our hidden subconscious desires as Freud would have us suppose? I have wanted to approach this story and tell it fully, the story of his ideas towards his presentation of infantile sexuality, and the Oedipal desire, as seen through each of the father surrogates in Freud's life. He had a magnificent desire for fathers in his life, and Mon Dieu, what must have gone on his old Father's house. I believe that this leads him full circle to the Greek myth of Oedipus, and then Freud's own attempt to create a powerful universal story of a man's social development. Mirrored in him, fascinating, however much I think Freud may have been wrong, as my latest reading would say— JOHN Excuse me, your latest read, but you had prior to our agreeing to work read much of Freud? SARTRE Of course, of course, in so much as was necessary to know I disagreed with him. But since beginning this project, I have immersed myself more fully, and I respect his ideas, how are we to make the invisible visible, as I hope we all might do, Reinhardt certainly knows what I mean.4 REINHARDT Yes, quite. As you were saying— SARTRE —We are working in good faith, as free men, but we are as Freud would have us understand, sexually repressed. Perhaps, Freud's greatest invention, again as he might say, was the process he identified as sublimation, where we must take our darker desires and turn that energy into, for lack of a better term, into a creative act. (Huston (John) gets up to leave the room. Sartre continues to talk, apparently not noticing Huston's exit.) SARTRE Free will though is an illusion, we are all forced to make decisions that may or may not be our truest desire. But this is a conscious choice, in such we are acting in how I have said, in bad faith— 43 JOHN (Calling to his loyal secretary.) Gladys! Are you there, be a dear and fetch me the latest telegrams. GLADYS Yes, but Mr. Huston, you are in a story conference. JOHN I can't take the sound of that French man's droning any longer. He'll not notice. SARTRE (Continuing on as if from a longer monologue) It is a fundamental principle of humans, therefore, in my opinion that they act in what I would call Bad Faith. JOHN (Immediately finding an in.) Act, key word! Not faith, especially as when it comes to Freud. Action. Our story, our characters are told in action. SARTRE Agreed, and as I was saying— JOHN Excellent, well, that's some progress— (Reinhardt notices he was gone, and shakes his head) JOHN And I certainly hope we can see those pages in the morning. Remember, Monsieur, sometimes less is more. SARTRE Sometimes, less is less. I shall have some pages in the morning. Good evening, Sir. SCENE 12 (Slater enters with a World War II GI helmet on) SLATER Saint Clerans, Later, 1960. Late Night Screening Of Banned Film, And Hypnosis In The Parlour With John 44 (Slater claps and exits.) (In the sitting room of his old Irish manor house, John Huston is screening his documentary feature, Let There Be Light for Sartre. The film is projecting on the wall and is in black and white. A Doctor is administering a trance treatment for a soldier who has been psychophysically paralyzed from his World War II experience. Huston and Sartre's dialogue is interspersed into the dialogue of the film. It is not vital that the audience fully experiences the film.) JOHN You can see from Let there Be Light how I first became compelled to make a film about Freud, and his ideas. SARTRE Yes, certainly, from now seeing your documentary obviously, it is clear to me, hypnosis intrigued you. The control, perhaps? That power appeals to your director's need for suggestibility in those around you. JOHN (Not quite letting that in, he comments on different aspect.) Yes, that's my Dad's voice. SARTRE Oui, Oui, somewhat similar to your own. One can hear the kind authority. JOHN Yes, I was thinking in the revised and cut-down version of our Freud screenplay, we might use the same technique of a narrator voice-over. Sparingly. DOCTOR ON FILM What do you think of when you can't walk? Like that? PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM I wish I could walk. DOCTOR ON FILM But what do you think of—what comes to your mind when you find you can't walk? PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM Sometimes I think that my mother and father's should be okay. Hope the war ends soon, things like that, Nothin' in particular 45 JOHN Thanks to your enlightening work, your screenplay will show how Freud built upon hypnosis, towards free-associative talking as a curative means of accessing the subconscious world. Still, hypnosis is an amazing technology. This psychiatrist actually taught me how. Would you care to try? DOCTOR ON FILM Now the shakes are gone haven't they? PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM (smiles) Ya! SARTRE En Francais, you are asking to hypnotize me? I have seen this as trickery despite your careful demonstration in the film, but, by all means. What would you have me do? JOHN Excellent. PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM I don't know. DOCTOR ON FILM Well, you're going to aren't you? PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM Yes sir. DOCTOR ON FILM Alright. JOHN Good, stand here, facing me, breathe in, breathe out. Concentrate. PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM Gonna walk. I love walking. 46 DOCTOR ON FILM You love walking. Always been fond of walking, but found yourself unable to. Now you're going to get right up and walk. Right now. Alright now let’s sit up. Sit up on the side of the bed. (patient rises up to sitting, eyes still closed) Here you are that's fine. Alright now stand up. (Patient stands eyes closed, big smile.) Now look at that. That's good. Alright now walk out of here, walk over to the nurse all by yourself. (Patient's walks steadily across the room, music swells.) That's a boy, Walk over to the nurse you're just a little woozy that's the medicine, Now come back to me, come back to me. (Fingers snap) Open your eyes, that a boy. Isn't that fine? Isn't that wonderful? PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM Sure. DOCTOR ON FILM Alright now again, once more. PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM Ya, but I don't know how long it's gonna be like this— DOCTOR ON FILM —Oh, it's gonna stay that way, it's gonna stay cause I've taken care of your worry now. Alright now come on back to me, and I'm gonna let you go to sleep and when you wake up you'll keep on walking perfectly well. (Moment) How bout it? PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM Thanks, Sir. 47 DOCTOR ON FILM Right o. Alright now let's get you up on here and get some sleep, there you are now I'm gonna have you go right to sleep (Touches shoulder like hypnosis gesture) When you wake up your gonna be alright. PARALYSED PATIENT ON FILM Thank you sir. SARTRE Est-ce que c'est? I do not think you have entranced me, Huston. JOHN Your mind is impenetrable, it seems. May I try your secretary? SARTRE Yes, perhaps a female to you is more suggestible. DOCTOR ON FILM Alright, sleep, Gerardie. JOHN (To Reinhardt) He was impressed by the film. SARTRE (To Reinhardt) While entertaining, the film's overall effect was to confirm for me his pool of thought was too shallow for a swim. SCENE 13 (Slater enters with new slate) SLATER Snap Your Fingers For The Screenplay Writing, 1960 JOHN I have never known anyone to work with the singlemindness of Sartre. FREUD Work is its own reward. I was happiest at my desk. 48 SARTRE He does not seem to take the work seriously. JOHN But I have told him that the work must be playable and we simply cannot take every wrong turn and show every father figure Freud encountered. PLAYWRIGHT Who's your daddy, baby? SARTRE He has said we are free to tell the story the way it must be told. JOHN Zealous barrel of a man. He seems to care little for the physical world. He had a tooth that was bothering him and he simply had it immediately pulled. SARTRE He dresses up in fancy dress. Everything is a need to show off for him JOHN As my dad said, if one must wear clothes, you as well choose the best. SARTRE He does not listen. He got up in the middle of our conference and just left. JOHN He was droning on. When I returned he seemed to be in the same place at my exit and he had not even noticed I had gone. SARTRE I do not see how our project will maintain both the integrity and freedom— FREUD —We like to assume we are free, but we are all just recreating patterns laid down for us, repeating a universal story SARTRE Will you be quiet! This is your biography, not mine, not everyone's. Megalomaniac but genius of a man to universally dress your personal indignities in medical theorization. These are unproven thoughts— FREUD Stop! You are sounding like the good Christian Jung. I shall not go through that again. 49 SARTRE You imagine you have confounded your biographers, but every word you have written is a reflection, a dream of yourself. FREUD Dreaming. This plastic art of the cinema cannot make one experience the painstaking details of my invention of psychoanalysis. How will you capture a thought—put me in the bath and shout Eureka? MONTY John has put all these Ahah! Moments built into the script; I can't believe how bad the dialogue can be. FREUD Actors! No self, so you drift from one writer's prescription to another JOHN My lens and my pen. PLAYWRIGHT Sigismund! We all live our lives reflected through another's will. FREUD Father, what do you know of this? Coward! PLAYWRIGHT The eyes! The eyes must be closed JOHN Tell me again about this sexual business and repression— SARTRE Allez, read and study his writings, you fool. JOHN Write the screenplay TO THE LENGTH we need to film. As simple as that. SARTRE (He makes a snapping gesture.) Claquer des doigts! It is not so simple. Inform yourself of the subject. JOHN Just tell one story. Combine, trim, focus. PLAYWRIGHT And through the nights they would argue, who is in charge, to whom does the story belong. 50 JOHN I would come down after ten and see more pages. No matter that we had talked about various combinations and strategies for shortening the script. I was not surprised it continued to get longer. We will work with your scenario as the structure but bring it down to an acceptable length because a reckoning of many was soon coming. (Aside, to Freud and the Playwright.) Not all of my making, I assure you. SCENE 14 SLATER Meeting With The Catholic Committee For Moral Decency Ratings, New York, 1960 (Voices singing, Our Father, who art in heaven fade as the scene begins. Huston and Father Angelo, Father Prentice, and Mrs. Brighton are meeting to discuss the Freud Scenario. The meeting takes place in a large office.) JOHN Lovely tea, Madame. MRS. BRIGHTON Why thank-you, I use only the fresh leaves and not the new paper bags. And I pre-heat the pot. (More sounds of tinkling tea spoons.) JOHN Mm, when our meeting is over, perhaps I shall read your future in the leaves? FATHER ANGELO Reading the future is for books and God, would you not agree, Mr. Huston. JOHN Yes, I would agree, that is the fellow with all the best stories. I'm just trying to tell one. FATHER ANGELO Interesting you would choose one whose main character denies the existence of God. 51 JOHN On the contrary, he has the deepest respect for the divine creation that is humankind FREUD Fight my real enemy, the Catholic church. FATHER PRENTICE Do you believe in the existence of pure good and evil, Mr. Huston? JOHN I do, thoroughly. I'm acquainted with both extremes. But that is not the story I'm trying to tell. MRS. BRIGHTON From what I have read of Dr. Freud, it is clear to me that he does not and that runs counter to the doctrine of the faith, but more importantly, the influence on our children of the dangerous ideas of this man's philosophy, should be they be celebrated— JOHN Mrs. Brighton, have you read the script? MRS. BRIGHTON I have read every word, Mr. Huston. JOHN Yes, I believe you did. MRS. BRIGHTON Surprised? JOHN Pleased. FATHER ANGELO Pleased? JOHN Yes, pleased. I want our meeting to have the depth of understanding the subject deserves. FATHER PRENTICE We can't stop you from making your film, Mr. Huston. FATHER ANGELO You are free to make the film you desire, Mr. Huston. 52 MRS. BRIGHTON Except for the sex, especially infantile sexuality, Mr. Huston. FATHER ANGELO I was to have raised that point, Mrs. Brighton. MRS. BRIGHTON I thought it pressing. FATHER ANGELO Is there somewhere you need to be, Mrs. Brighton? JOHN It's quite alright, I appreciate a woman who is forthright and talks directly—you are quite right that sexuality— FATHER PRENTICE Childhood sexuality. JOHN Yes, that is true. MRS. BRIGHTON I appreciate that that your movieplay has some of his own contemporaries and colleagues condemn his concept which leads me to believe perhaps the whole concept can simply be left out, or at least downplayed. JOHN Nice wind-up, hard pitch. MRS. BRIGHTON Are you swinging and missing Mr. Huston? JOHN No. Having almost died when I was a boy, I realize I almost never miss anything I can in this great life. Because there is so very much living to be doing, speaking of which— . 53 FATHER ANGELO (Impatiently taking charge) We have a duty here as the members of the Catholic Committee for Moral Decency in Cinema to protect the faithful from being led too far astray—let me finish—from their very souls. Their spiritual existence is at stake and only a priest and not a divine-denying, or shall we say, secular, psychoanalyst can intercede and fully help a person find their way back to a wholeness with God and creation. JOHN I've no doubt that priests do important work. There was this one Padre, riding with me in the army in Mexico, tough man, broken nose, a boxer, gambled a bit too—not on Sundays—he could take a punch if he thought it would bring back a soldier from the edge. FATHER PRENTICE Exactly, something worth fighting for because a soul is a gift from God; it is ultimately man's ability to be in communion with God, but each of us has a free will— JOHN —Free will, another gift.5 FATHER ANGELO Yes...that must be used with the usual cautions, however Freud is deterministic, saying that our hidden unconscious motivates our conscious world, this too, is a denial of God. JOHN Well, this very discussion, emotionally informed as it is, is there, and will be there in the movie. Freud, perhaps, was never fully reconciled to his own ambiguities about religion. FATHER ANGELO His last essay on Moses—it denies the importance of the Father and therefore of God the father. JOHN I hope that what the film will do is encourage one to ask the same questions we have asked here. FATHER ANGELO Thus we come full circle. I believe you to be on a quest of your own, Mr. Huston. I wish you luck with the film. JOHN Then I take it you will provide me with a positive letter for Universal. 54 FATHER PRENTICE You will hear from us shortly—as we confer— FATHER ANGELO Yes, we will provide you with that letter- FATHER PRENTICE -Angelo, I— FATHER ANGELO But we will be watching. Objectionable words, phrases etc., all will be counted. I will mention this in the letter too, and I can't say what final rating your film will have, but certainly, in principle, we are convinced of your integrity to create a film that tells the truth. JOHN Truths, if I am to tell the story well. Or so my collaborators tell me. MRS. BRIGHTON Please keep us updated. JOHN Indeed. I shall. Excellent, I will tell Universal. Let's hope for the green light. SCENE 15 SLATER Making Repression Visible, St. Cleran's, Late 1961 PLAYWRIGHT It is one thing to understand the psychic mechanism of repression and quite another to show an audience. So Huston enlisted the support of Dr. Stafford Clark, leading psychiatrist in England at the time. FREUD Not a single psychoanalyst worked directly with developing the project. My Anna was busy. PLAYWRIGHT Stafford Clark was no slouch; in order to better understand the trauma of fighter pilots, he flew missions with them. 55 (Huston and Stafford Clark have been meeting to discuss the finer points of the new screenplay. And they are pleased to welcome the actor who plays the title role, Montgomery Clift to St. Clerans.) MONTY (Speaking to Freud) Into these conferences I arrived. JOHN Our man to play Freud. MONTY I was on the wagon. Not a drop. JOHN (Speaking to Freud) I could not believe how much he had deteriorated since working on the Misfits, but I welcomed him to my home and to these conferences. MONTY (Directly talking to Freud.) I had been to see psychiatrists since the early fifties and always paid for a psychoanalyst on stand-by. Like many friends and colleagues. JOHN He fancied himself an expert now. I have the deepest respect for actors, but sometimes they simply do not know who they are, so if some high paid coddling was what they needed to get their job done, so be it. STAFFORD CLARK I was most impressed by your work in I Confess. I enjoyed some consultation work and made my first trip to America at the invitation of Hitchcock. An exacting man, to be sure. As you no doubt are as an artist challenged by the range of roles you have already played. MONTY (Steadying himself as he talks.) Yes, thank-you, Dr. Clark—you are from?— STAFFORD CLARK David. 56 MONTY (Smiling.) David. STAFFORD CLARK Pleasure, Guys Hospital, London, Head of Psychiatry. A few weeks of a busman's holiday here though. Glad to help the company on this important film. MONTY I have picked just the right moment to arrive. JOHN Yes, Monty, you have. David has just a few more days here, and has given our efforts to refine the script through excellent counsel on aspects of Freud's concept of repression. MONTY Strange way the mind works, protecting its inner-space from exactly that which one must fully see. STAFFORD CLARK Yes, exactly. You have read Freud? MONTY Enough to know he was a genius, there's no question, and, of course, several years of seeing my own psychiatrist, when I can. Our schedules are both so demanding. So I have made my own study and thrilled to be playing the man. JOHN But we don't want to overly indulge you with these concerns—you have only just arrived. MONTY But it is the script I'm most interested to get a jump on. Please continue. JOHN Well, we had just broken for the day and drink. Bourbon your pleasure? MONTY (Quietly and quickly refusing) No, thank-you. 57 JOHN (Saluting Monty with a glass) Sober thoughts then! You are looking well. Good flight? MONTY Why thank you, but I know you flatter me John. I am a bit weathered, you might charitably say. But I'm eager, eager to uh, to see the script in progress. (He fumbles for some papers and peers at one, concentrating, Huston notices.) Do you have the latest typescript handy here? JOHN Monty, dear one, I can see you are tired. Take a late afternoon stroll. Rest, clear your mind. Later, I'll have sent to your room a lovely hot meal. Do not trouble yourself with the script until the morning. MONTY I'm anxious to— JOHN It can wait. Rest, son, you must be tired. MONTY Well, yes, of course, whatever you say John. I look forward to chatting with you more Dr. Clark. STAFFORD CLARK David. MONTY Yes, forgive me, alright, David. Pleasure. I'll walk now, I think. Wonderful light, simply lovely grounds. Thank-you John for hosting me here—, I hope there are no banshees about. JOHN That lady was long banished from here well before even my work on Moby Dick. You are safe here. And most welcome. SCENE 16 (Another day, writing conference, late into the work. John is frustrated.) JOHN Your shoes, again? 58 MONTY This position helps me to think. (Monty is laying on the floor with his shoes off. Huston annoyed, gives his attention to Clark.) CLARK (Focusing on Huston) It is only the most minor of errors, but I have never seen a match used in such a manner. JOHN Visual effect that tells the story. MONTY I wonder if Freud were to be burned by the match? JOHN Furious, but collected.) That's the last one, get out. You are not moving this forward— MONTY I was thinking out loud. JOHN Think alone, outside of this room. You are no longer welcome here. MONTY But we were working on the script; I must understand what I as the character will be saying to make it truly my own. JOHN This is you! You did this again. You said you were on the wagon— MONTY I was until I arrived here. You can't blame me— JOHN Go, go for a walk— MONTY I wish to remain. JOHN Fine, there you shall remain. 59 (John slams the door and Monty is left alone, he sinks to the floor, head in his hands and begins to sob) JOHN I should have fired him right then and there, but I don't know why, I thought I could maybe make him be the man he was. I have no doubt that accident did some damage to his whole person, and even though it seemed I got the remains first working with him, he was a natural in The Misfits, but by Freud, maybe I just got the dregs, and had to flint-spark the acting genius that might still be there. MONTY (Calling back to him.) I can play this role. I needed to prove myself. JOHN He needed this role. He still had the hunger and genius of the actor and man he was. He just needed a good hand to guide him. MONTY I can take anything his hand deals me. PLAYWRIGHT How do we demonstrate repression so the audience understands? MONTY I made a contribution to those conferences. I know why he turned on me. That morning, I knew— (The actor now embraces the Hollywood Commentator, and he plays as if they are in bed together for an early morning romp.) Kiss me again. Your lips, fuck, your cock tastes like honey, pure fucking honey on my toast, with Irish Breakfast tea. Kiss me now and we'll both smell so sweet. (Sounds of kissing and then the door opens and Huston walks in and is surprised.) JOHN A man, the reporter, you? MONTY John, close the door, and I'll see you at breakfast 60 JOHN I had no idea he liked men in that way too. Is he drunk, this early? What kind of man had he become? He likes women too; I have seen him! What's happened? The fucking prick will ruin my movie! I knew I should have fired him but I thought, no matter, when we got on set, and he has his lines, everything would be all right. PLAYWRIGHT Mr. Huston would be mistaken. The great filmmaker would rather relive almost dying, then to go through what he went through with Monty on the film inspired from trying to show the process of your major ideas. SCENE 17 (Slater enters and holds up a bucket of broken glass, fingering it and then the slate.) SLATER Shattered (The playwright now takes the manner and shape of a young child.) Moved the backyard soccer moments to the end of the play. PLAYWRIGHT We seek the great white devil Moby Dick. The gold here in the mast...Look lively men! Thar she blows, He's here. The devil is here. This is madness! We seek to know. We seek his secrets. My harpooning friend, strong arm now. The captain was mad, tap, tap, went his leg on the deck. VOICE OF MOTHER James, who are talking to? PLAYWRIGHT My crew! Oh, it's you Mom. VOICE OF MOTHER Park your boat Captain, it's time for dinner. PLAYWRIGHT My ship! My whale I will find. On my ocean, all around me. I can call the winds and the magical lights. Or I can row, I can row. Why do I want to capture the whale? 61 VOICE OF MOTHER When will you forget that movie, mister! PLAYWRIGHT Into the twilight of many days, the child played out the movie story of Moby Dick. The beached red rowboat of his Grandfathers, was now his ship, his whale. Dreams into the night. And this ghost memory sails through the subconscious where time, shall we say it does not exist? FREUD I'm here with you now, and you are here with me too. PLAYWRIGHT In this empty space. FREUD No space can ever be empty; 6within each of our entries and exits from and to that space, we bring eons of our unstoried existences, while ice-berged beneath the surface of our conscious awareness, nonetheless, they fill that space with multiplicity; and a potential for infinite layers. PLAYWRIGHT Yes, within our space, I see them, and I do not even have to blink to watch time disappear, and change and simultaneously we might be everywhere. Defined space itself does not exist. Our story changes, settings, and characters disappear as we tell the tale. (SOUND of a door slamming and smashing glass, the broken sound of glass will echo throughout the next pieces of dialogue.) JOHN I am not one to look back. While all my movies are different, like the lives I have lived with five wives, the stories that I tell have only a forward momentum. MONTY The longest suicide in Hollywood history? No one wants to die. FREUD Death Drive, an instinct, I only theorized early, but more as I got older, I held to be true, that we sometimes serve an instinct, the task of which is to lead organic life back into the inanimate state. SARTRE We all act with an unspoken bad faith. It is inevitable and so very human. 62 PLAYWRIGHT Broken pieces, fragments, and I must deal in the theater with the very human need for order. I need your help to put these pieces into an order, Professor Freud. FREUD Ask yourself again why did they all go so creatively mad on Huston's film? And why does it still intrigue you? This will move you to a state of ego completion. (Looking him up and down.) You do not believe me and therefore yourself. Cut yourself on the broken glass; you must bleed. But you would rather wallow in your blocked state, and call me forth to hold your audience's hand. You are the father. A careful examination of a few pieces will give you the entire dream you may need. Transference is to be warned against, but sometimes it is to be called upon. Enter into an exquisite empathy with your characters and go mad with them. UNIVERSAL EXECUTIVE John, we here at Universal know you are making a superb picture. Here are cutting notes while you are still in process. There are a rather a lot of scenes of people being put to sleep under the treatment of your good doctor. I realize this is part of the story you are telling, but perhaps there might be some thought given to a few judicious cuts and condensers in this regard. (Slater strides to the centre and calls with friendly authority.) SLATER Back in fifteen people. 63 ACT II Artmaking Dream (The stage is cut diagonally by a sharp, hard-edged light. Monty follows the path of the light. John dressed in the tunic of a General in the army of the day strides past Monty holding a knife. They hold their position as we hear John Huston's actual voice from the narration of the film, underscored with dissonant orchestral music.) VOICE ..The great psychologist demonstrated the existence of another part of our minds which functions in darkest secrecy and can even rule our lives. This is the story of Freud's descent into a region almost as black as Hell itself, man's unconscious, and how he let in the light (Monty and John now begin to move) MONTY He is carving meat. PLAYWRIGHT Yes, he is carving meat. MONTY His eyes flash across at me in a glint of hatred. (John removes his tunic, dark red and holds in front of him. Monty moves forward towards John with the knife in hand) FREUD Stop this at once; to animate this is to sully the testimony and historical record as per my own archive. PLAYWRIGHT Stop! JOHN I will not censor anything despite what they may have said. It was not I who cut the story sense that leads to and from this scene. MONTY As you wish; repress nothing. (Monty slides the knife across the tunic and places it on the ground. He stabs repeatedly at the tunic.) 64 MONTY I will bleed you! You filthy swine. FREUD My work is not meant for puerile entertainment and spectacle; my work is for healing trauma, not causing it. My head is pounding with your insults. JOHN Yes, exactly where we started from. We need this scene. MONTY John, does this scene work if we do not know the character of the general’s son is homosexual? FREUD (Assuming control now, reliving the case.) Why do you call your Father a swine? MONTY (Acting the role of the son.) He raped a young girl. JOHN Who was raped? Who? Look left, excellent, when you say that David. MONTY AND FREUD My mother. (Monty walks to John and rips his top button from his shirt and then kisses him on the neck) MONTY Mother! Oh Mother. JOHN That's good now; kiss your Mother like you mean it son. Are we ready for camera now? FREUD Stop! Stop this parlour game. It would have been more edifying to me if you played out a scene of my nights in Paris as a young man in the dance halls. You! PLAYWRIGHT You know what happened. Unable to see the truth yourself; this is really your moment. You locked him in that room and had the man committed. Guilty, 65 you returned to the home a few weeks later, in the dark night. From the street, you called to the shuttered and locked house. Karl! You said. A voice called out from inside the emptiness, He is not there. No, Karl died in the hospital and the General stricken with grief and left Vienna. Do you know Karl? The voice asks. You were unable to deal with the truths of your own age. FREUD Yes, he was failure for me, but I learned from him and from that sacrifice, I formulated a better understanding of the danger of fixation, compulsion, and Oedipal desire. We must all break from this stage and learn to stand on one's own. Be a man. You call! You go in the house and immerse yourself in their petulance and the sexual dalliances of these artists of this biography. (Noticing John) You, what are you drawing? Pay attention. JOHN Horses, of course. I am here; I prefer to listen to the rising rhythms of the scene. I do not need to always look at what is being shot. MONTY Oh sorry John, I thought I had it that time. JOHN Go again; go again. MONTY Are you paying attention? PLAYWRIGHT I have been. I go inside. FREUD Not far enough, because you are frightened. PLAYWRIGHT Yes, I am. FREUD Why? MONTY Those men are me. FREUD 66 Play them! You want to mock me. You must be a braver fool. Go into your own house through this one. You, now tell me of the monster that haunts you from which there is no escape for you. Do you have some unanswered pain? Was there madness, jealousy and rage in your house? This is stuff that dreams and stories are made from. Tell this one and it is a start. Artists, are you all that unreachable? JOHN Nothing in my subconscious I have no need for analysis. I simply let all stories out like an open book, and sure, sometimes, I scare yourself silly, because I am alive. Just pull down your pants and slide on the ice. (Monty is stabbing the tunic again.) JOHN Monty, you can stop stabbing Daddy now, the scene is over. (Lights out) Costumed Demands (Huston is talking with Monty as he fits the Freud costume) JOHN Looking fine, Herr Freud. Looking Fine. MONTY Thank-you, Edith works wonders. Thank you Edith! JOHN There is no easy way to have this conversation, Monty, but we have a movie to make. That business on the plane makes it all the more necessary. MONTY You know as well as I do the story in the press was false. JOHN Monty, I was on the same plane. They had to restrain you to get you to buckle in your seat. MONTY Nonsense. JOHN Monty, I know how great your work was and will be again. You are an artist. You were good in The Misfits, excellent work really, something a man could be proud of. I know I hired a sensitive man, and an intelligent actor, one of the best of his generation. That's the actor's actor I am appealing to now. 67 There is a professional decorum I have reviewed here in this letter. Care to read it? MONTY (Squinting somewhat at the paper) Will be you be kind enough to give me the highlights. I still have another fitting. (Huston hesitates perhaps for a moment, considering privacy and be damned, begins anyway.) JOHN (Reading from the letter) You are not to drink or take pills. You are not to behave in a homosexual manner, or to have homosexual relationships while working on the film. You are to behave in a normal manner and you are not to have dependent relationships with older women. (Breaking from the notes on the page) Look Monty, I need you to be your own man. I want you to be the man I know you can be. MONTY Are you joking? JOHN It's all there in the letter. I expect a signed copy by morning. MONTY You will get the actor you deserve for this role. All of me, no more no less. JOHN Do you wish to sign it now? EDITH Mr. Huston, we have more work to do. I'm sure Monty will give you the best performance possible. I must continue with the next fitting. JOHN (Understanding the connection Monty has already made with the costume designer.) Of course, of course. I see. And so it begins. You do lovely work Madame. Remember, we all have the same goal in mind; to tell the story of a man who struggled for acceptance to deepen our understanding of what it means to be human. Monty, everything I have said here and before, is to say, I believe you are up to the challenge. We all love you, Sir. 68 EDITH Your demands as outlined might suggest otherwise— MONTY Edith, it's all right. I know John that you have only the best motives. JOHN We are in this adventure together. You are my man. You have a great character to play which demands great character. EDITH Please, it is late and we must get the final fitting done. Let me to our work. Otherwise, Monty, my dear, you might have only an overcoat to wear tomorrow. SCENE 3 SLATER Shooting the Medical Hall Scene, September, 1961 (Monty is dressed fully as Freud. He casts the audience as the audience in the medical hall, he walks his way to the lectern and assumes his place.) JOHN Right, here's the man. Thanks, Herr Freud. We will begin at the Lectern. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Camera rolling. We have speed, Scene 22, Take One, Freud's First Lecture (He claps the clap board with a hard snap in front of Monty's face.) JOHN (Calling, with professional disinterest, then he settles in to listen.) Action. (Monty freezes in the position as if delivering the lecture.) JOHN Cut! (Calling and moving towards Monty.) Monty, what are you doing? 69 MONTY I am delivering the lecture as Freud would have done. I am working from notes. JOHN But I want it delivered extemporarily. In other words, no notes. MONTY But from what I understand he always used notes. JOHN Alright, alright, we shall begin again and try it your way. (The assistant director steps again and assumes the clapboard position.) ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Take 2. (Monty continues to read once again from notes.) JOHN Cut! Cut. Monty, all the camera is able to see so far is the top of your head. You are looking down way too much. MONTY Ah, well, I will look up more. Thank-you. REINHARDT Monty is right John, Freud did work from notes, but he certainly was able to share much of his text out. JOHN This is a crucial moment for Freud at this part of our story. He is starting to risk everything in front of his colleagues and his mentor. We must see him. MONTY Right, thank-you John for the reminders. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR On ones people. Members of the press, quiet please, Everyone, quiet on the set...Scene 22, Freud's Lecture, Take 3. MONTY And is in this vein that we—we must— JOHN Cut, Monty, a little faster darling, not quite so many pauses. 70 ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Take Four! MONTY I— (He tries to say something, looks up, hears a cough, perhaps some laughter. Shakes his head.) JOHN Cut! Again, quicker off the mark. MONTY I'm sorry John JOHN Never you mind. Let's see some of that brilliance here. One long take, we will keep the camera rolling ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Take 6, and Take 7, and Take 11, Take 13 JOHN That's it. Call Lunch. Monty, dear, we got most of the speech, please look over the second half on extended lunch, I will film some reactions and the principals’ lines from the audience. MONTY The press? JOHN Necessary evil today, Universal believes we need all the help we can muster for our project. But yes, they are done for the day. Take the lunch, work the next. There's a boy! (Reinhardt comes over to John and John shares.) JOHN It's hit me today. I've been through all this before with Marilyn Monroe on The Misfits. . REINHARDT She was yours and Sartre's first choice the composite character of Cecily, Freud's key patient. JOHN 71 Just like her, there seems to be a fog between Monty and the rest of the world now. REINHARDT He is doing good work. There is something in the eyes— JOHN What there is in the eyes, who can tell? REINHARDT Go easier on him. He is trying to please you. JOHN He has to know his lines. REINHARDT But you are changing the text constantly on him. I am forced into the position of working on the script rather than doing my best job as producer. JOHN Look, I'm doing everything I can to get a performance from the actor, and I need your support good man. Do not challenge me in front of the crew REINHARDT It is my job to see the inherent worth of the man and that the story we are telling is told accurately. I was offering information. JOHN He needs to follow direction, and not be waylaid in that moment by so called information. Have you not heard a thing I said. He's the male equivalent of Monroe. Fireworks on screen maybe, but we would be getting almost nothing done. MARILYN (Perhaps the actor reads the letter as if writing it in the air, with the florid air, giving special emphasis to the signature.)7 The Beverly Hills Hotel, November 5, 1960/ Dear John, I have it on good authority that the Freud family does not approve of anyone making a picture of the life of Freud—-so I wouldn't want to be a part of it, first because of his great contribution to humanity, and secondly, my personal regard for his work. Thank-you for offering me the part of Annie O 8 and I wish you the best in this and all other endeavours. Yours, Marilyn. REINHARDT 72 Might have been gold at the box-office. Tomorrow we move to those scenes as written with Miss Susannah York, who will bring her own innocence to the virginal role. (Susannah appears and reads her audition request card.) SUSANNAH Patient displays eagerness, enthusiasm and prone to bouts of total regard for the work. JOHN As written. In creative matters on a film, everything that happens is meant to happen. It's only an illusion that we planned it this way. REINHARDT And you are always right John. SUSANNAH Patient is innocent of neurosis, but able to play the role beyond expectation, so she must be instinctually familiar with the challenges of the role as encompassed in the part of Cecily. One further note for her profile chart, displays an unceasing willingness to take total risks and will give as good as she is offered. 9 JOHN She gave a good test; I am betting we can keep her attuned to her own work. The audience will go with her. REINHARDT Do you ever lose a bet John? JOHN I have a lot of my own time and money riding on the success of this picture Reinhardt; I take all this very personally. SCENE 4 (Slater enters with sign.) SLATER Reinhardt Rehearses Scene with Monty REINHARDT I will play Meynert, but I warn you, I am no actor. 73 REINHARDT AS MEYNERT I have a whole complex of symptoms - migraine - night terrors - even paralysis. Remember how I carried my right hand - thumb hooked around a waistcoats button as if I was having my portrait painted? (with perverse pride) Never suspected, did you? And yet I recognized you as a member of this same brotherhood. MONTY AS FREUD Did you know all this when you drove me from your clinic? REINHARDT AS MEYNERT I knew it before Charcot - I have known it for twenty years. MONTY Now there, Wolfgang, tell me I am not wrong. REINHARDT Freud would be interested in your choice of phrasing there. MONTY (laughing with him) Yes, my not. I am right! You see, not a negative reversal. Oh, there I go with another not. Look, my Freud needs to challenge his mentor more here, let's bring back this next line here, as follows, give me the cue again. REINHARDT AS MEYNERT I knew it before Charcot - I have known it for twenty years. MONTY AS FREUD Yet you held me up to ridicule in front of the colleagues - made me out a charlatan. (Meynert seems amused by this memory. He smiles, not at all embarrassed.) MONTY You see it works, continue on, there, from Huston's addition. REINHARDT AS MEYNERT Ham was accursed by his father for seeing him naked - you were my spiritual son. MONTY AS FREUD If I was a charlatan then - what am I now? 74 REINHARDT AS MEYNERT (imperious but without raising his voice) Sit down, don't interrupt me. (Freud sits, facing Meynert.) REINHARDT AS MEYNERT Neurotics form a brotherhood. They learn to recognize each other as I did you. MONTY There, you see, it moves along, I have something to build to. I mean, here is my first mentor, telling me of his betrayal. I need a reaction. Not sure about the dragon slaying line—did John write that. REINHARDT Check the margin note. MONTY Yes, well, best leave it. Must get this memorized. What's the call, Slater? SLATER You are onset in twenty minutes. MONTY Where's my grapefruit juice? REINHARDT (Finding his jar.) It is just juice? MONTY Of course, in this locked stage all day, under these lights, my mouth gets dry. Something I learned from Brando, but he likes to suck a lemon, that is too much for me. Check it, I insist. (Reinhardt does and nods.) REINHARDT I believe in you Monty. Good work. MONTY What colour will the script be tomorrow? REINHARDT Plaid, perhaps, have we used plaid? 75 (John enters and sees them just finishing their conversation.) JOHN Working hard boys? REINHARDT As always, never know where trouble will brew when it comes to our world here. Anticipation is the key. Quite right. Ready when you are my man. Let's hope for a better week this week. Monty, who were those young men around your dressing room last night? MONTY You mean when I was no longer required onset? (Pausing) Some German lads, fans. JOHN Let's be on tip-toe here, remember your promise Monty. MONTY Yes John. SCENE 5 (Slater enters carrying two dolls in one arm. He holds up the slate.) 10 SLATER Angelica's Visit, John's Nine Year Old Daughter, 1961 PLAYWRIGHT AS ANGELICA My dad was a beautiful, creative, and bullying man. PLAYWRIGHT She picked quite the day to be on set because all work had stopped, though no one was taking a break. She did not really understand what was going on— PLAYWRIGHT AS ANGELICA —although I knew something was not right. PLAYWRIGHT Then she heard the smashing of a something and yelling. Loud rumbles. PLAYWRIGHT AS ANGELICA It was my father and I was scared. 76 (We move from Angelica's space and highlight now the scene of John and Monty. John has just slammed the door and a mirror has shattered into pieces. He strides over to Monty and pushes him in his chair to the wall. Then he stops himself and stares at Monty. Monty does nothing but stare back, looking directly at him.) JOHN You son of a bitch! Do you know what's at stake here? Do you? MONTY We have been through this before— the script— JOHN —Do the lines! Memorize the lines! MONTY You keep changing, and it is tripe— JOHN —You are the actor, the script changes as necessary, and you will follow— MONTY I can't— JOHN I will not hear it. What is going on man? You are not a child playing dress up. This is your work. My life's work. The crew is waiting— MONTY I was up late, there's a certain change here— JOHN YOU DO NOT CHANGE THE SCRIPT! Play it as we write it. The clock is ticking. And not just on my picture, but your career— MONTY Say it, are you going to say it? JOHN You will never work again, is that what you want to hear? Is this a game to you? You son of a bitch, if you cause any more delays, so help me, fuck the picture, I will throttle you. MONTY Are you going to kill me? 77 (Huston stands paused over Monty. For a few held moments, it will really look like Huston will hit Monty.) JOHN I'm seriously thinking about it, but what would give you that idea. Are you just going to sit there? (Stares at Monty and then commands) Shrug if you want, but listen carefully. My crew and the cast will bear no more delays. You are nothing if you keep pulling stunts. Monty, why did you take this part? Remember why. This is your chance, you know it. Freud is the character that will give so much more. But no more stops, or drunken folly. Be prepared, be on time, or so help me, I will put you on twenty four hour watch. MONTY That would not do— JOHN Not do! Hear this! I will do anything in my capacity to get what I want on film. We will finish this picture. And your pickled dog wincing capacity for self-pity and recriminations will not stand in the way. Get me. Be a man and answer me. Answer me. (Huston takes the glass from Monty's hand and throws it against the wall.) JOHN Answer me! MONTY (wiping tears.) I need— JOHN We work in ten. (Huston strides out of the room calls into the space.) JOHN Mr. Slater, call the crew back. Our man is ready to work. MR. SLATER Back in ten people. On ones for Scene 23. 78 (Clift walks out from the space where he was confronted by Huston. Angelica, curious, walks to Monty.) PLAYWRIGHT AS ANGELICA And this broken, beautiful grown man was crying. I went over to him and hugged him. And he hugged me back. JOHN Oh, Angel, you are here. Stay out of the way of the work. That's my girl. Love you. Love me. (Slater arrives and brushes away the playwright who responds as Angelica.) SLATER Angela luv, there's a good girl. There's ice-cream at Catering. And German pastries, go on. (He holds up the slate) SCENE 6 SLATER Dreaming in Freud's Back Garden, Circa 2011 PLAYWRIGHT London, England, a world capital, incredible city. I visited your last home, your favoured daughter Anna arranged for Marisfield Gardens to be a museum after she was gone. FREUD A museum! No matter, no matter and my ancient treasures? PLAYWRIGHT Your chair and all your archaeological objects are exactly in their place around your desk, just as they were when you left them. The chair looks like the outline of a feminine body. FREUD I would hang my legs over the arm rest while I thought. PLAYWRIGHT Your pen and spectacles sit at thickish, longer paper, as if you will turn back to them at any moment. And then the couch, your actual couch, so the guides say—more than three decades of patients who had lain there. It is a room of ghosts. Do you believe in the supernatural? 79 FREUD Science cannot explain all we experience in this world, and what is beyond. PLAYWRIGHT I felt them—you, who? FREUD Was this a dream? PLAYWRIGHT It felt as real as a dream. I was ready to be caught. They don’t tell you in the guided tour, but something terrible happened here. Do you recall the Burlingham children? They were longstanding patients of Anna, psychoanalysed and studied for years, written about…founding observations for Anna on the care of children and fear of the male. PLAYWRIGHT (CONT’D) But in 1974, Mabbie, visiting as an adult for further care, took her own life in this home. And Mabbie’s brother, given years of cure for amongst other things, being presumed gay, we use that word now, he killed himself too. Even with years of therapy, some say psychoanalysis killed them. FREUD Nonsense. PLAYWRIGHT She picked your home to do it. Would you say she was making some sort of statement about the care she received? From early childhood on, her mother denied her four children access to their own father and left him in America. Rich heiress, she had the means to just up and leave like that for the good of her children, and your daughter Anna approved. They lived together in this home for years, your daughter and this mother. They loved each other. FREUD I am not surprised, my Anna! But why do challenge me now with this event and gossip about my daughter? It is neither of our times. Certainly, I acknowledge that tracings of ideas, like breaths of long ago creatures, inform the present. Is that your idea? PLAYWRIGHT I had not thought of that! No, my reasons are more bound to the mundane: I can’t help myself. It came into my head in your study! I had to say it, free my associations, you see. But yes, do you see what can be done in your name! It was just like the blonde and busty movie star Marilyn Monroe, did you know that? She died in direct care of a Psychoanalyst. He had taken to having her live beside him so she could “experience family” something of which she was deprived. 80 FREUD And you tell all of these facts to me now, standing in your memory of my house! How dare your impudence! Does this serve your creative writing, your play? PLAYWRIGHT No. I know it doesn’t. What do I do with the facts; what do I do with these truths? Put them in, it’s another play. Leave it out, and it is just one more fact of the circumstance surrounding the tracing of the idea for the play and where it leads, like life inevitably to death. Forgive me Dr. Freud, perhaps I have stayed too long peering at your library. FREUD Stop peering, and do some reading! Do you hear me? PLAYWRIGHT I must get some fresh air. Will you come with me to your back garden? (He begins to walk away from the position that has held him so long and then we hear the beep of a mobile phone.) FREUD Wait, that noise, not mechanical? PLAYWRIGHT My new smart phone blinking texts of where I might actually get to sleep in London that night. My travel agent had cancelled my booking and I was homeless. I smile to myself. What do you think of this device catching a message from someone who is thousands of kilometers and five time zones away? Plus, it gives the weather in every major city of the world; and electronic mail and I can talk and actually see the person I am talking with— FREUD —A portable speaking and messaging and photograph device. Ingenious. I am not surprised it has come to this. Our subconscious demands expression through the power of the invisible forces that demand we extend our mind into many dimensions beyond our immediate perception. The subconscious effects are to be as fluid as they are hidden and deep. This "smart" device is a crude mockery of that possibility. And I’d imagine it could be a terrible tether. PLAYWRIGHT I sit in your garden chair, from the same place; you are seen smiling with your dog, in those black and white old family movies. They were playing those movies in perpetual and continuous loop in what would be your old bedroom. I look at the leaves moved by the summer breeze, my eyelids 81 droop, and I take a break from the big world city around me and the flow of time zones I have crossed on the budget charter flight I took to sit here in your garden of your last home, and I nap. FREUD And of course, you dream. PLAYWRIGHT Yes, one I have not told you, the same one I have had since I was a boy, a monster, an unseen power is chasing me, I move from it at first, but I admit, I want to surrender, I want to be captured by this force. It gets closer, and then—what am I saying? SCENE 5 (Slater is lit quickly and will snap the slate fast.) SLATER St. Cleran's, 1960, Writing Battle (Lights change. We are in the living room of the Irish manor home of the director John Huston. He speaks deeply and is laughing. Sartre, his secretary and Kauffman are all there. They are smoking cigars.) JOHN (Pointing to his mind and body) There is nothing there, my unconscious is empty. 11 REINHARDT Subconscious, John, you must know— JOHN A screenplay is life. We are action; everything we try to write here is action, one scene must lead to another, we do that, we are alive, our work is alive, and in that vitality there is a power to control the audience. SARTRE Such control, such power, not actual power, but the essence of power you strive for in your waking habit—vanity. It is all vanity, a mask you wear to give yourself the illusion you have choice in this life. Your red velvet cloak, perhaps, its own projection— JOHN Mr. Sartre, not my riding coat, as my father would say, "What is the use of wearing clothes, if not to be noticed!" 82 SARTRE What is this need to be noticed; we accept your hospitality, and I will not begin to analyze you, it is not our work. Freud's view of the subconscious was reductive, we are parabolic reflections through and of each other, I am more myself reflected in the other. JOHN I know there is mystery beyond what I can put into action, beyond my grasp to push forward, and it is the mystery of Freud's new understanding that we need to find in action, you understand that, and within the time available. SARTRE We shall transcend time in that darkness. Your anxiety is ill-placed. Thought itself is an action and it is playable. I believe we have those clear moments, with a clear structure. Write this down— SCENE 7 SLATER Susannah York And Monty, Working Late In The Night In Monty's Hotel Room (In echo of an earlier scene, Monty is laying on the floor now and Susannah is as well. They begin with speaking text from the Freud screenplay.) MONTY In your dream, who did you say that the painted woman's name was? SUSANNAH Frau Puti-phar. (She begins to laugh.) You say it. MONTY Pu, put, put— (Muffles the last syllable word, being silly with his tongue.) Pharrrrrrr. Sorry. Oh dear, what is the time? (He strains to see the clock) SUSANNAH (Noticing Monty's strain and then answers with youthful and still polite energy.) 83 Just past half two in the morning. Shall we call it a night? I believe we have accomplished what I see was necessary. Thank-you so much for your work. The changes are minor; but I believe we have them all. MONTY One more time, we shall both concentrate, and run this part of the scene. Let's sit up together. Hold my hands to start. Oh, as I have said, from you and the text, when I feel the impulse for a gesture I will. SUSANNAH Of course, you do such very precise work there. I admire that. MONTY Why thank-you. One uses the tools necessary. SUSANNAH Monty, let me also say, I am ever so grateful for all this additional work you are doing with me, given your position. You know, I must confess, I had a schoolgirl crush on you from your work in A Place in the Sun; you were a condemned man—all for Elizabeth Taylor! I was a little in awe that I would be working so closely with you, and on such delicate subject matter. MONTY Thank-you again Susannah; I certainly appreciate having your kindness in view of what we are up against with the talented master behind the camera on this picture. But no matter the changes, or the possible volatility here in Vienna, what I have discovered for my character is economy, through hand gesture, and a facial questioning, for lack of a better phrase. Oh dear, you are right, it is late. SUSANNAH No, please, do go on. MONTY Well, Freud is not a man as certain of himself at the point we are portraying in the film, as I might have thought before immersing myself in the role. Perhaps, well, out of necessity, I find that it is the best choice to play him close to my own uncertainties. (Suddenly overcome; imploring more work) Look at me; look at me now and we will just the say the final words of this scene to each other. The camera knows the subtlety and truth of our reactions. The text matters, but we as the live people, we give it our context. If need be, we will go with your laughter; the essential meaning of the words will follow within the truth of your body. Let’s begin a little further back together, there, please. 84 SUSANNAH Foutre, another French vulgarity; but merely a word. MONTY There is nothing mere about words. Speak again. SUSANNAH Words, words, Frau, Herr…Doctor, I-- I cannot. MONTY Continue. SUSANNAH Smile, painted lips, father, frau F, F, Foutre— MONTY Where do you hear this word? SUSANNAH In my dream, the fire, the painted face in the mirror. Mother saw me; she dragged me away… I can’t be. I am not the painted girl. I don't hate him. MONTY You can't admit it to yourself. Not yet. But in your dream you made him die. SUSANNAH I can't bear to be this person. MONTY We must face our wishes, or even the inefficient mechanism of repression may be replaced by condemning judgment. Do you realize what we have done together here in this room? We have found a way into the unconscious without hypnosis! Apparent coincidences, slips of the tongue have been the signposts. Your dream with its symbolic language…has told you the truth about your feelings for him.12 (They break the playing of the film scene at this point and return to acting the play.) SUSANNAH My, yes, we have done it. Monty, wonderful. (Gathering herself now quickly to go.) I shall see you at Seven AM sharp. MONTY I wonder, will your character— 85 SUSANNAH Oh Monty, we have it, Thank-you. May we leave it there? I fear we shall start repressing the scene if we work anymore on it. MONTY And that would not do for a scene that at its heart is about Freud's naming of repression. John will approve, I hope. SCENE 9 SLATER Early Morning On The Film Set Of Freud (It is immediately the next morning. Susannah and Monty called from make-up to meet with John.) MONTY Just a moment John, we have worked through the night preparing today's scene and we have a few slight changes. It is entirely memorized, I assure you. Shall we run them once prior to make-up? JOHN Been a busy night for both of you again? Reinhardt and I have worked these changed pages into the script. (Thrusting pages at them both. The pages are red.) SUSANNAH A new colour! But John we worked with what we had last night. And I assure you we only transposed a few phrases to emphasize the gestural language exchange. JOHN Gestural language exchange? MONTY My phrase, simply means, we are working on motivating the physicalities of the reactions— 86 JOHN —Spontaneity is the key to reactions, emotional and physical, and now we can be nothing more but alive. I am sure you know today's scene inside and out, and what we have done has worked it to its essential elements. MONTY But— JOHN —Is there a problem, Mr. Clift? MONTY I—I— JOHN (A direct challenge to Monty) You what? Are you repressing anything, Monty? MONTY I need, we need time— SUSANNAH To prepare— JOHN Tip-toe! Keeps us all alive. MONTY John! I—when—Before signing on to this picture, you assured me that the shooting script would change— JOHN And so it has— MONTY Yes, but on set! Almost every day! JOHN It is a complicated story we are telling, with a fine alchemy of elements. We need to tell it well with the precise text necessary. MONTY We must have time to rehearse— SUSANNAH To learn the new lines— 87 JOHN Of course, I moved a lighting set-up forty-five minutes to give you that time immediately this morning. I expect to shoot as much of the scene in one take again Monty. SUSANNAH You are setting us up for failure! JOHN You have had that call from your agent, Miss. York? SUSANNAH (Chastened by John's comment) Indeed, yes. JOHN Players, I have confidence in both of you. Time is ticking. Go. (Both Susannah and Monty are surprised as John marches away from them calling his last word like a command.) Buried (Onstage a figure is laying down under a pile of different colours of paper. Overtop of this figure, Sartre and Huston and Reinhardt are arguing over the content of the script.) JOHN What the hell is this? SARTRE August, 26th, 1961, My Dear Huston, These are the reasons for my refusal. 13 REINHARDT You asked him to make his reasons clear. SARTRE My greatest mistake: I was naive enough to take for knowledge what was only a smoke screen of words. I only realized your near total ignorance of Freud in St. Clerans, when it was too late. JOHN You are full of recriminations and denials. SARTRE I lied to myself, a little. 88 JOHN We are free men. We will work under my private John Huston Company. SARTRE The subject is too delicate to allow a producer or a company to interfere, and I made it clear that we must deal with no one except ourselves, but without warning, you made me participate in your bondage: you signed with Universal. JOHN There are no arbitrary limitations; we will only make the cuts that are desirable to our enterprise. SARTRE You said the private censors would be less strict. You did not keep your word on this point either: Hollywood has passed judgment. I had to deal with the inflexible puritans. JOHN Talk to them yourself; we can set up a transatlantic conference call. SARTRE Such a puritan organization would not listen to me even if I were foolish enough to fly to New York and address them directly. But their sensibility is what it is, it does not concern me. But I do say that it is folly to write a screenplay on the most scandalous man in the world and to submit it to such people. They will be counting the number of times the characters say sex, mark me. JOHN But once the film is shot, we will be able to show the world the thrilling ideas of the man, up there with Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin. SARTRE Galileo! Are you insane? We saw how well they were treated by the powers that be in their time. Galileo is still waiting to be reconciled to the truth of man's place in the universe that he himself discovered. JOHN We are still on our dangerous adventure, stay with me now. Stay with the screenplay through the first weeks of shooting. SARTRE …ecoutez! et de penser. Think! It really should be us three, but you have made it so we are no longer responsible to each other on this matter as you promised. We are schoolchildren with our work, beholden to the whims of a recalcitrant schoolmaster. 89 JOHN We are in this together. SARTRE Merde! You never collaborated with me in this work, you have only destroyed and you have contributed nothing. I had to study a lot, to read a great deal of the groundwork of Freud in order to understand his work through the man and his life. You should have done the same. JOHN I researched and conceived of the project. I read. I studied. I discussed. 14 SARTRE I am afraid the American habit of hiring screenwriter without giving them responsibility has caused you to lose sight of your true role. JOHN My responsibility is to the whole picture. SARTRE Your efforts were directed against us, rather than to unite us, and you sometimes shut yourself with Reinhardt for whole afternoons to discuss heatedly a small detail of theory of Freud's which, of course, you rejected! REINHARDT After Kauffman, I brought back the principal elements of Freudian research, retained the atmosphere, the essential in the dialogues, preserved the identity of the characters— SARTRE —A tour de force, it is a live script! But you even put back work from a storyline I was not hanging onto as my invention. I wanted to save Freud's ideas: why were you determined to destroy them? Why should you make decisions alone about a work for which I am responsible? Images are your affair; ideas are mine. JOHN I have been clear about a visual aesthetic for this film. The interiors of Vienna; allusions to paintings, including ones Freud himself, as well as other as other films. The dream sequences are saturated black. Choosing to shoot in black and white is itself an opportunity to demonstrate the unconscious— SARTRE Subconscious— JOHN —You know as well as I do that the terms were used by Freud interchangeably. That I do know. Look it up. But does it matter. How do we 90 make visible an invisible process. The unconscious can be made into an image. This much I am certain. SARTRE Then why make the film? JOHN As I was saying, and you rightly point out, my job is to create the image through allusion. I will. SARTRE But you have eliminated the content that as a whole gives rise to the images that very clearly gives the effect of the subconscious. You have cut capriciously, massacred dialogue. 15 JOHN We have compressed into a composite an accurate portrayal of Freud's ideas with the character of Cecily. SARTRE With the cuts, Cecily is just a case, not the place from which we can engage with Freud. 16 () And yet here is a young virgin, brought up strictly, who quietly discovers the profound significance of her neurosis. What use is analysis? JOHN The film we are making in Vienna emphasizes the milestones of his research. SARTRE It does not, as you have begun with a travesty of the narrative. JOHN We follow your structure and much of your dialogue is in fact left intact. SARTRE These are the butchered milestones as questions. Why does he abandon hypnosis? In my screenplay, Magda's suicide proves to him a patient cannot handle the truth, without having, little by little, being prepared for it. But you have cut episodes within and now our central character Cecily refuses to be hypnotized and we needed to show Freud lost without a method, such that he tries one more acute. But Cecily simply calls him back in and says she is ready. When does he formulate the-for himself-the laws of free association? When does he decide to analyse dreams? When does he define the libido? The answer is clear: never. The story of Freud has been replaced by a psychoanalytical catechism. But the film tells lies on all points. 91 JOHN Enough of this! I have been polite, I have listened. I was running out of money— SARTRE Money? One does not buy a screenplay the way one might buy a chair. We had duties. Towards Freud. It is yours, all yours. JOHN I wonder if you would feel the same had you taken the risk of a percentage. SARTRE Such ownership would gain me nothing, even if I had author's rights to the film, because the film will be what we call in French, a "bide." (He makes a bomb gesture.) JOHN It has been my experience that nobody really knows anything in that regard, how the faces in the dark will respond. All we can do is be true to our artistry. SARTRE Lies! For the sake of learning, boredom is bearable; a diverting lie can be amusing, but for the public to accept a boring lie, a police dictatorship is required. JOHN I am shocked by such a demonstration of irresponsibility by a foremost authority on ethics. Reinhardt and I undertook to do what you should have in all good conscience done yourself. But instead of giving us your sincere thanks and an offer of ready aid you dismissed such obligations. STOP. And remember, you received the largest sum ever paid any Frenchman for writing a script. (Signing off as a telegram.) Regards, John Huston.17 SARTRE I will keep your telegram preciously to show it to other Frenchmen, less well paid than I; without a doubt it will dissuade them from future collaborations with Americans. Think! Do not shoot this film as it stands. (signing off as a letter.) Without Grudge, J. P. Sartre. (Sartre throws his final papers onto the pile, and withdraws from the triangle around the pile of paper on the figure.) 92 REINHARDT He advises once again, that we should revert to the screenplay version I devised, together with you of course. JOHN We are working with what we have. It's all one, towards one purpose, to terrify the audience out of their own complacency that they are masters of their dark universe, and with such a purpose, there is bound to be a little joyful terror in the making. (They both exit, and the figure under the pile of paper begins to stir and we see that it's Monty. He rises from the paper, gets a broom and laboriously sweeps the pile offstage. He returns and sits and takes a long drink from his jar.) MONTY Hey, who put grapefruit juice in my grapefruit juice? FREUD His libidinous escape; obviously, not dealing with the pain. PLAYWRIGHT Perhaps a good cigar may have helped. FREUD It helps me to think. PLAYWRIGHT Your interpreter's screenplay was abandoned by him, but was eventually published by a scholar of your work. SARTRE Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth FREUD No doubt more a representation of Sartre's own biography through my work, much the same as Huston's swath in furtherance of his own unacknowledged therapy. PLAYWRIGHT Are we all that easily transparent to you? FREUD I have done my work on myself so that I might see others more clearly. Surely, as a playwright you would understand. Are your fingers bleeding now? 93 SCENE 9 SLATER We are six weeks behind schedule and one million dollars over budget. Okay people let's get the last of this scene done today; saturated black and white dream. . Get the ropes in place. Tip-toe everyone. And on ones, here we go, slating: The Sadist and the Masochist Filming Their Dream, a Mountain Cave (Monty is climbing up a rope. Huston waits below watching him climb.) JOHN Cut! Re-take, clear the gate. David on ones. Master Freud, back to ones. MONTY This is the seventh take. Precisely, how many more will be shooting? JOHN When it's right for all concerned dear boy. Back to ones. Something more to say? (Monty winces, but shakes his head "No.") MONTY Nothing, Sir Huston. Ready when you are. (Monty slides down the rope a short distance, his hands obviously chafing at the edge.) JOHN Action. (Monty climbs the rope again, hiding some pain.) MONTY I will climb as many times as you want. (Huston pulls on the rope now, leading Monty and wrestling with him through the rope. Monty pulls hard on the rope balanced by Huston. Huston lets go and Monty falls painfully to the ground. Huston strides over to him, takes Monty's hands.) JOHN Tsk, did I do that? MONTY 94 Just following your direction. JOHN Look, that is NOT the way it needed to happen. Nobody told you to hold the rope like that when you slide down, let go, hand over hand, save yourself from this injury. Or, simply let yourself drop the few feet to the mattresses. They are there for you protection. Use them. MONTY I see. My mistake then. SLATER WITNESS The truth is John demanded take after take, even while blood from Monty's hands streamed onto the rope. JOHN CUT! Utter nonsense. Why are you doing this Monty? (Leaning in close, privately) Are you trying to prove you are not a pansy? MONTY (Ignoring the bait.) Did you get everything you wanted? JOHN We need full face on the turn. MONTY I want to make this work. JOHN Take care of your hands. Wear some gloves. MONTY It will spoil the continuity. JOHN No one will know the difference! I am taking close on your face as you spin in the turns. MONTY I will know the difference. Take your shots. JOHN Alright, have it your way. Back to ones. 95 SLATER But Mr. Huston, his hands, should he wear gloves— JOHN Set up for close. Now. MONTY Ready John. Let's get this Oedipus dream sequence story done just the way you need. JOHN They will be talking about this for years; I can read the New York reviews already. (As we transition into the next scene we hear the narrator's voice from Let There Be Light and the projected image of the hospital scenes and psychologically hurting men.) 18 NARRATOR Here are men who tremble, men who cannot sleep, with pain that is none the less real because they are of mental origin, men who cannot remember, men who are paralyzed whose paralysis is dictated by the mind however difficult the symptoms these things they have in common, unceasing fear and apprehension, a sense of impending disaster, a sense of utter isolation. SCENE 10 (SLATER takes a position of a new slate) SLATER Meet Mr. Dubin, Attorney and our composite stand-in for the various medical and legal investigations into the cost over-runs and insurance claims that would eventually send Freud into the lost object for decades to come. DUBIN Thank-you for that clear but somewhat esoteric introduction. The matter will proceed with all due caution. 96 SLATER Quiet people, and on ones, slating: Claims And Counter-Claims, Principal Photography Almost Complete, December 1961 SUSANNAH But I saw Monty's hands, and there was no way Monty would do that without being compelled by Mr. Huston. He would not let him wear gloves. Huston would not allow it. DUBIN Why do you suppose there was such a clash of personalities that did not serve the making of the product? SUSANNAH The film you mean, or our uh, creative venture? DUBIN Yes, as I was saying— SUSANNAH Who can really know? I am still somewhat in shock from this experience and I am not sure I will ever fully put it behind me. I would like to add that Monty was incredibly helpful— DUBIN Next! DR. STAFFORD CLARK In my visit to the set, it was apparent to me that Monty believed he deserved punishment and while this is only speculation, perhaps John felt he was a father figure to Monty, from his work on their previous film together. There he was a smooth drifting cowboy, but with his need to transform himself into the accomplished intellectual, it was inevitable there would be a confrontation, a clash of images in both their minds. DUBIN Next! MONTY That would be me. DUBIN You are not on the slate for today. MONTY Perhaps things got moved on you. It happens that way I am sure in your line of work too. 97 DUBIN You understand that this is a thorough investigation. We are talking with everyone. All the doctors involved who have seen you in the past few weeks since the accident. Anyone from the crew, the make-up— MONTY —My make-up man as well? DUBIN Of course, he saw you every day. MONTY So everyone will have lights shone in their eyes; and instruments poked in their ears? DUBIN My instruments are pen and paper; we might record as necessary and transcribe as well. We will be taking depositions from crew, wardrobe, camera and the key players whose worlds have been confined to their experience of Freud in the last several months, and the talk, of you and John, the psychological considerations. We will see that nothing is repressed. MONTY Repressed. There was nothing to hide in our battle to create the best possible picture. It was all out in the open. DUBIN That was a joke. MONTY Insurance lawyers are noted for their humour. DUBIN We want to be noted in this case for understanding why the story took such a turn. I am simply a curious man. Why don't we begin with the injury to your eyes? MONTY How I was near blinded, and looking to kill my Father? DUBIN Nobody said anything about killing. Do you wish to confess something that is more of a police matter? MONTY My attempt at inside humour, Mr. Dubin. 98 DUBIN I see, ah, well let's stick to the facts. MONTY I shall see Father, I'm here. DUBIN Father? MONTY Ahh, no, I was recreating the scene for the role. DUBIN Well by all means necessary, if you must act, but just the facts; the highlights of the major moments from and beyond the accident. MONTY (Now into the world; acting out his story.) I can play the role he needed. But why do you betray my hope to serve our work together? I want what you want. Now, they wish to diagnose me, lawyer-ize, victimize, and blame me. JOHN Know your lines. MONTY Father, I'm here, where they gossip, stare, and gawk and goose my gander. Spied upon and written upon, envied and manhandled, your puppet on a string. Let me go Father. Father, I want you in my life. Father I'm walking and talking in the manner you need. Answer me, now. You too are what I need, but I desire the smile and laugh of an older women like your step mother, I can breathe in their kind embrace. Father, I dream of you knowing me as the man you want me to be. Father, do you believe me? Father do you know me? Recognize me! Father, I am in the deep end of the pool now. I am treading as fast as I can. I can be who you need me to be. Bearded, or shaven and scarred, a daring rodeo cowboy, misfit of a man, I can play that role, or a scandalous intellectual. I was raised by Mother to be a prince, and I was called handsome and happy and given the best education, she could possibly afford for her children. I can play the role, Father. JOHN I know you can; just do it my way. (Direct address or perhaps to Dubin as well.) When he could not memorize his lines, and damn I wanted long, and uninterrupted takes, I shot it like a play, for the actor's concentration, but he 99 simply was not up to it. My cameraman placed the cards all around the set. But soon he was not really able to read the cards, which neither of us knew. I suppose it's funny now. MONTY I want to know you without that smirking prankster chuckle. JOHN Monty, I know why you stay, why they got you by the balls, my man, but any actor of your stature would have walked away from this picture by now. I am sure your friends would tell you that. MONTY Walking the street; it's the seventh take. FREUD You will be avenged Father; I finish the task you set me out to do. The Carthaginian are defeated. I do not dream of you now. MONTY Eyes fixed. Every step walking on the dark and dim cloths of heaven, precious dreams, I walk softly. Hat firmly in place. The crew not dead silent, but less German whispers buzzing around me beyond the illusion of Freud. But here in the camera's site. I am the man. Yes, that is me, with power and grace, and presence for this world. I walk tall. Then it happens, my hat is hit from my head. I do not hesitate. FREUD Pick up my hat. MONTY (To the screen actor) Pick up my hat. (Reliving the story) This is maybe the twelfth time he and I have played this scene out for Huston. Not even sure if John's ears are perked from behind the pad he seems to be doodling on while he has called for us to shoot again. But it does not matter. I am very much present as the man I am playing; I make my heart now obey a call to slow down how fast it beats. Proud. All is calm from the assured repletion. The gentile character retrieves my hat, but changes his speed for some reason. Was there a noise on the set and he is off his moment? I stay in character, but he hits my eyes hard and straight on with his fingers and then the hard side of the top hat. The pain is throbbing. Are my eyes now spilling milk? I continue. We finish the scene. After a few hours, I notice I'm still having trouble focusing, and I ask for a Doctor and I am told: 100 JOHN We need three more set-ups. MONTY Father, I am your man in the moment. JOHN: Son, it is only a movie, the crowds want you; but let us get to the end. MONTY Diagnose me. DOCTOR 1 Cataracts, caused by the trauma MONTY Demonize me. REINHARDT But Universal's doctors say you have had an existing condition of bilateral cataracts, and the condition has been present for some time, worsening perhaps with stress and pressure, it sometimes occurs in men your age now. MONTY Diagnose me. Reinhardt, travel with your leading man to London. REINHARDT (Carefully choosing his words for the telegram.) The specialist confirms the diagnosis. Stop, Cataracts, Blindness possible. Stop. Anxiety Acute. JOHN Play along, play along, all you need to do is play along, this is the reason for the delays and cost overruns! EDITH Monty, say no more. MAKE-UP MAN We will be free soon. The film will may actually get released! Have you heard? Our man has had cataracts for some time. But the film company will now allow us to finish despite the cost overruns. EDITH Monty's possible blindness is nothing to celebrate. As his make-up man, you worked so closely with him. I thought you were his friend. 101 MAKE UP MAN I was; I believed in him, and I did my job. But preparing him day after day, and retouching constantly after his many, many break-downs into tears, it's enough. I want out of this airless hospital pit. DUBIN The Fireman's Insurance Fund's investigation will continue, but now you must sign this rider to your contract. MONTY See, I can make it. DUBIN It merely states that even though you finish the film, you are not exempt from being sued for putting the completion of the film in jeopardy. MONTY Send in all the lawyers; bring on all the depositions, and witnesses, claims and counter claims clawing my character. JOHN You don't need the seventy-five dollars in insurance claim. Not more delays. It's a pittance, spittle on my chin. MONTY I would never see John as a father to me. JOHN To all the happy times ahead, when this too shall pass. SCENE 11 SLATER Jokes and Regrets and the Distance Between Us, December, 1961 (John and Slater are laughing and Susannah happens to walk by in the middle of the laughter.) SUSANNAH It is good to hear some laughter around here, please let me in, and share the humour. SLATER It's nothing. SUSANNAH Please, share. What's so funny? 102 JOHN We received word that our man has cataracts, quite severe actually, which might explain things. But our man wants to also make a medical insurance claim that would only net him a mere seventy-five dollars per week. He must be very hard up for cash, so I have started a collection to buy Monty a Seeing Eye dog. As a gift for Christmas to help get around on the set. SUSANNAH This is your idea of a good joke? JOHN Actually, I'm quite serious, you see, we obtained the same hat that "hit" Monty from ward-robe, and I made the first contribution, would you like to help? SUSANNAH Cruel beast. (She lunges at John, fists flying in one hard thump on his chest. John is uncertain how to respond and is visibly somewhat shaken, but gradually holds her back.) JOHN Susannah—I— SUSANNAH —Horrid man! I—I can't. You need not say anything. SLATER You gotta admire her young fire, but damn, what a bitch. JOHN (Shaking his head.) It is one thing to be fighting for the picture's good with your leading man, but to have a lovely young lady in such righteous fury with me just won't do. Moreover, she's right. Damn her! Roses are in order. (calling) Gladys! Where can we get two dozen ordered up immediately? (Lights down on John and from a different area we are in Susannah's hotel room, which is covered in red roses. She finds a card and reads it aloud.) 103 SUSANNAH "Upon reflection, my joke was in poor taste. You were right to be so thumpingly vigorous in letting me know that. Please allow me to make it up to you further. As you know, we have some respite while we wait. Please accept my invitation for a lovely dinner so that we might talk more, and away from the demands of work." JOHN All through the dinner, you said nothing of the surprise in your room. SUSANNAH They are lovely roses. But all through dinner, I have yet to hear words in person that I expected you to say. JOHN What words? The flowers did not say enough, the dinner? I apologize. Dear lady, you have so much to learn about life. SUSANNAH I would be the first to admit that John. I'm forever grateful to you for having picked me out of almost nowhere. This is a role of a lifetime. Perhaps you are right because I indeed have led a sheltered life, I did not know people thought such things as the world of this script. _You have created so many deeply human stories. You are an insightful man, but to be frank, it makes we wonder how you seem so blind on this picture. Perhaps it is because of the subject. We are all doomed to neurotic madness thanks to Freud. I am sorry for earlier today. JOHN No need for apologies. We move on. SUSANNAH Yes, I am sorry I was unable to hit you where it would really hurt. JOHN (Smiling; charmed and charming.) I like your passion, Miss York. SUSANNAH Indeed. Are you ever changed by the stories you tell? What I mean is, does your life start to take on the stories? JOHN (Chuckling a bit, charming grin.) It seems that way on this project. But I've always felt the telling of a story, the making of art, does require a commitment that is not just technical. I 104 make no divisions, it is all one life. And all we are in this life is our stories. It is a glorious life, the business you and I are in. SUSANNAH You sound so gregariously happy now, as if you were this way all the time. You might try some kindness, some friendly respect. But you can be so cruel to the people working hardest around you, like Monty. It seems you need your cruel humour to maintain your authority, or distance. Is that it? JOHN You ask questions as pointedly as you throw a punch. Whether you know it or not I'm impressed with you and your work. SUSANNAH Forgive what might some impertinent of me. Thank-you for what I will take as a compliment. Thank-you for the fine dinner. JOHN I hope we can see ourselves past whatever our disagreements have been and keep focused on the work we are doing. SUSANNAH We can stay focused certainly. JOHN And see past— SUSANNAH We can stay focused on the work. JOHN Strange, wait, Miss. York. I feel compelled to let you know something I have never told anyone on a film before, especially my actors. And I want you to know I am not unmoved by your challenge, but there is something I also want you to know about me. There are very few people I've ever really been that deeply close to in my entire life. My dad, for one. I simply require distance. It is just my way. I don't let people in too far to my core. But I am doing everything I can to get the best possible performances for the good of the picture. I make no apologies for how I work, but god knows, Freud continues to surprise me as one big mind-bending dark dream. I commit myself to do whatever works to get the story told. SUSANNAH I may be young and fairly new to this business, but I can see that compassion, really some empathy, is demanded from the subject we have at hand. Please forgive me for saying so, but I am sure you will agree that on this project, that does not come from distance. Good night, Mister Huston. 105 JOHN Whatever works to get the story told. Good night, Miss York. (Sounds of a standing ovation and a cheering movie-going crowd. The sounds dissipate, but there's still the occasional cheering. Monty is mobbed by reporters and fans at the premiere of the film he had worked on just before Freud.) HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR There's talk of a supporting Oscar nod for your work in Judgment at Nuremberg. You expressed the deep pain of a survivor, something in your eyes. The Berlin crowd loves the whole picture! They especially identified with your character and his story. A twelve minute standing ovation, which reached one of its highest crescendos when you were introduced. MONTY Marvellous really. I am delighted. I'm so pleased to be part of telling such an important story for this country. HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR For this country and the world, would you agree? MONTY Yes, certainly, sometimes Hollywood gets it right, I'd agree with that. FAN (Calling loudly, offstage) We love you Monty! HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR See, they just can't get enough of you. Speaking of more, there's a rumour you've got a picture deal in the future with your old flame, Elizabeth Taylor? MONTY Well, that's a rumour I haven't heard, I've been so busy making Freud. HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR How's that going, John Huston working you madly? 106 MONTY The producers were kind enough to give me the weekend off to attend this premiere, so they are very supportive. I am trying to help John—and all our company really—make the best possible rendering of Freud and his genius ideas I possibly can. It is taking every ounce of my energy. HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR Well, you get a shot of audience adrenaline tonight. The fans adore you. So, what is really next for you Mister Montgomery Clift? MONTY Maybe I'll direct. I especially enjoy helping actors. HOLLYWOOD COMMENTATOR You're a prince, a real prince amongst the men of Hollywood. Say, can we get an exclusive shot, which is your best side, since the accident? Turn for us. MONTY Take any shot you want, from a night like this, I have no bad sides. SLATER THE PRODUCTION COMPANY COLLECTS HOTEL ROOM, Deposing Monty (This is a transcript of Monty being cross examined for insurance claims. In the following excerpt from the cross examination the questioner is Joseph Dubin, attorney for Universal; the opposing lawyer is Raymond Stanbury, for Fireman's Fund), 19 DUBIN Can you give me any reason why you were unable to deliver your lines, if you were unable to deliver your lines, on that day? MONTY I hadn't memorized them. It's that simple. DUBIN You also said that ordinarily when you rewrote dialogue you didn't learn it until you had a discussion with Mr. Huston? MONTY Yes. 107 DUBIN In other words, you didn't do any memorizing or learning of the dialogue until you submitted your proposed changes to Mr. Huston? Is the question clear? STANBURY This is objected to as an ambiguous question DUBIN Read the question back. If the witness doesn't understand, I'll be glad to clarify it. STANBURY It's ambiguous. Whether he understands it or not I'll be glad to clarify it. MONTY Are you talking about this scene? DUBIN Any scene. MONTY That implies they were all changes of mine and I consequently, never memorized. DUBIN I'm asking you in connection with any scene which involved suggested changes by you. MONTY Oh. DUBIN Did you at any time know the original scene? MONTY No. DUBIN You never bothered to learn the dialogue as contained in the original script? MONTY Not bothered, purposefully. DUBIN Deliberately? 108 MONTY Deliberately. FREUD He is honest to a fault. PLAYWRIGHT Yes, the production company found him partially at fault. But given the evidence of so many changes to the screenplay on the fly, he had to forgo thirty percent of his salary, and practically never worked again. FREUD A slow drive towards death, which is always our dear friend. And their creative venture? PLAYWRIGHT The film was completed. The company cut another half hour without Huston's approval despite favourable preview cards. JOHN You don't necessarily speed up a slow movie by cutting scenes. If anything, it was a longer movie because the all-important chain of logic was broken. PLAYWRIGHT It played to limited long release in major cities; critically appreciated, it was never a hit with the public. JOHN The studio had put great stock in this picture. They thought it would be their most important release of the season. But it disappointed both them and I grievously. FREUD The master filmmaker lost his bet. JOHN They tried changing the name to Freud: The Secret Passion, but nothing helped. God, I hated that title. FREUD Nothing succeeds like excess with art. JOHN (To Freud) I saw the film Freud recently and despite all the difficulties Monty's genius shows through. He gave an extra-ordinary performance. 109 SCENE 13 SLATER Monty Turns Forty One, Midway Through Production, Fall, 1961 (Sounds of party noises, glasses clinking. John spots Monty arriving with Susannah. He gives them a big greeting.) JOHN Wonderful, there's our man of the night. (John gives him a big bear hug.) Happy Birthday, you are now beyond forty years on this planet, Monty. Trust me the next twenty years are the best years of your life. MONTY Well, if making this film has not already knocked a decade from me. JOHN We will all defeat time once the picture is wrapped, And I think we might even gain back a bit. All through that projected light flickering beyond our shadows forever. MONTY Thank-you John, it is kind of you to host this party for me. What a marvellous spread! (He gestures with his hands and John notices, holding one of them and inspecting them.) JOHN Let's have a look again at those hands, son of a bitch, did I do that? A joke, not that bad, it is all in the past. No worse than your hands on The Misfits, you brave cowboy. Say, you should have seen my hands after a particular ride with the Mexican army. Riding in the dark, certain exaltation, exhilaration...did I ever tell you that story? But first, have some champagne. I insist. Susannah, welcome dear one, you look smashing, just adorable. (Calling to the guests.) Ladies and Gentlemen, to our man Monty, a fine actor that I am sure Freud would have been honoured to have him play, or, to have lived long enough to analyze. 110 (General clapping and then the guests break-out into a song "For he's a Jolly Good Fellow," which fades as we go to the next moment, and lights come down on the party scene, and we are now totally focused on Freud. He is laying down on his couch. I think Playwright moves towards Freud through his speech.) (Slater slowly enters and helps set the mood for the scene that follows.) SLATER Sigmund's Winter Hour Turns to Spring (Slater exits.) FREUD (Sharing some of his words to the playwright) If I were to write you a letter playwright from my final day…. Through this pained jaw of my own compulsion, I give you the gift of my piety, but most of all, I give you a healthy sense of doubt. I have found it was the start of self-knowledge. My friend, you must play your part now of the Doctor and administer the powerful morphine of a writer and take me from this page, leave me only as a blank mark now, and on this stage, turn out my light. I have seen my last analysand. (Nodding his head, yes, and shaking his head, no.) Anna, my time has passed. Let your father go; you are the author of your story. Let me die and in you, and others of your kind, through some broken fragments of ideas upon ideas, something new will live again. Good-bye my spiritual son. Honour yourself as you would all your Fathers. Have I said what you needed me to say? Let me go. 111 SLATER (Perhaps sombrely whispering) Beverly Hills, Pre-Production Medical Consultation (A male Doctor dressed in a professional suit of the late 1950s, perhaps gesturing with spectacles.) DOCTOR (Speaking as near the end of longer letter.) ...And regarding the ending, we both do not like the hat knocking scene at the end. Do you know that Freud was a great lover of dogs? Why can't you let Freud walk off along without colleagues, by himself, and then be slowly joined by one dog, then the second, and the third, and the fourth and finally the fifth. (We see from the home movie archive moving images of the actual Sigmund Freud on his last birthday, white bearded, 82 years old, frail with Cancer. The Austrian accented high-pitched voice is that of his daughter, now an older lady. She narrates the action, as he slowly walks away from his back garden into his studio followed by one of his dogs, trooping behind him. He smiles faintly and then disappears into the darkness of his studio.) DOCTOR I saw once such a picture of him and his dogs just like that, and it was very strange and very beautiful. (Pause) I hope you are aware that no matter what you people do the family and most analysts will be critical...I write in order to use what little influence I have, in order to protect this masterful manuscript you have shown me against being spoiled in the process of being filmed. Sincerely Yours, Martin Grotjahn, M.D., June, 20th, 1961. (Slater enters holding flowers and then reads the scene title slate) SLATER 112 Spring Play PLAYWRIGHT Spring.As I did when I was a boy, my son and I measure time by the arrival of the new plants, like the still tightly wound fiddle-heads, and the different berries we both love to gobble. It is early, and only the Salmon Berries are just budding. There's my son bashing a ball. I wonder how my son imagines worlds back here like I did in my childhood back-garden on the edge of a forest. Such places made all the more beautiful with their temporal fragility. Here, Oak and Cedar and overhanging Hemlock and a few boulders make room for a magic fairy forest, melding into carved-out thick green grass with small playable plots, surrounding lively old clusters of future days are numbered musty boned, blackened stucco townhouses. Rural-like respite from the city just a few minutes away. Now we finally get our game of soccer. Just us two. My barely five year old son is running, fast, kicking a ball beyond his legs reach. Then he catches up with new speed. Each short second is a touch of grace forward. He ages a year with each footfall. From the meters now gulfed between us, he is the man he will one day become. I can't believe my mind's eye, a waking dream, the worlds he has already lived. He kicks the ball past the big hemlock tree and the hat for goal posts. Laughter, oh, I shall miss these moments. His big round, smiling face; blue eyes sharply alight. That's a goal daddy! Father to a five year old son, who became a young man in less than thirty meters. It happened. It really happened. As the earth that holds this grass into its wet dirt, and as the setting sun that heats through the graying blue in this sky will tell you, it happened. Ask them. (He pauses; and remembers.) "From hell's heart I stab at thee you monster of the deep." (Gesturing) "Away with the bad dreams; and, in with the good." CHILD'S VOICE Daddy, what's your story about? PLAYWRIGHT (Quietly at first to the air.) Playing. (Now calling) Playing with you. 113 SLATER Tip-toe. That's a wrap people. The slate is empty. 114 List of Characters Note to reader: This listing of characters includes point-form summary notes only, which follows the accepted practice when presenting a script towards production. The notes are based upon a reading of the auto/biographical source material. They are offered as one possible starting point helpful to the reader. Assistant Director Slater: Not based upon a real person, likely male, maintains order and information and represents the palimpsest or the magic slate of the human imagination. Playwright: Male, Parent, early 40s Monty: Montgomery Clift, 41, star actor of his time, plays the lead in the 1962 film Freud. John Huston: late 50s, Master filmmaker, rogue, lived many lives, survived drowning at age 11, distinct voice, trained as a boxer, and painter, no post-high-school academic education. Sigmund Freud: mostly as he was when he escaped to England, in 1938, cancer of the jaw, age 81-2 and re-living certain ages of his life. While based upon the writings and life of the real Sigmund Freud, this is a character that may have a timeless quality in the service of the play. Jean Paul Sartre: lives in his head and expresses himself in a torrent of words, short, wall-eyed, intense, and judgemental. Does NOT speak English. A master philosopher; turned down his nomination for the Nobel Prize. Dr. Stafford Clark: Consulting Psychiatrist, well regarded, from London, UK. Dr. Black Dr. Grutjen, Forties, generous with his expertise Playwright’s Son’s Voice Susannah York: Beautiful, sharply intelligent, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. British origin and young. This is one of her first major film roles and she is eager to 115 please, but she will not bear what she perceives as unfair treatment by anyone. Professional; a model actor. Edith: Older British woman, overworked costumer of the film Freud, befriends Monty. Hollywood Commentator Monty’s Assistant; small part which may change. Wolfgang Reinhardt: Large German, well educated, refined, intelligent, inclined to observe unless necessary. Intellectual; co-producer of the film Freud. Son of the celebrated theatre director, Max Reinhardt. Gladys: Huston’s personal secretary and script collaborator. Upright tough, with a trace of Virginian country roots which she hides very well. Deeply loyal to John Huston. Father Angelo, Father Prentice and Mrs. Brighton: Catholic Committee for Moral Decency in Cinema. Angelica Huston: John’s nine year old daughter, played by the playwright. Anna Freud (mentioned, but does not yet appear in this draft). 116 Some Marginalia of the Process Presented as Endnotes Marginalia part 1: These notes are part of my inquiry into the playwriting process. One potential outcome of the study is to follow through how a playscript is written by each interpretive artist as it moves towards production and so on through to including the first audiences. These notes focus on the early process in the writing timely moments of the playwright’s working draft. Parts of these notes were incorporated into Chapter 6, The Fear in the Underwriting, and parts that related more to discussions with the first company of actors for the first sharing of the play. These are included as appendix 5 as constructed dialogue. I define marginalia in this summary by offering an exemplar that is connected to the underwriting of this dissertation. Marginalia are the pencil (sometimes) scratch recordings of readers who have engaged with the text. The notes might be simple declarations of interest or even disagreements, or longer explication notes, or doodles and underlines or graphic pointers. Marginalia marks what a reader thought important while reading the main text. Studies have noted that students have in the past valued texts that have such notes, believing them to be journey markers that will help someone find their way through the content of the course (Marshall, 1997). Historically, the term also refers to biblical texts where notes in the margin might offer corrections of the main body of the text or for more extended discussion (Gazan, 2008). The Harvard Library in its introduction to its collection of marginalia-embraced texts states, “Marginalia shed light on the mental, emotional, and intellectual process of reading, as well as changing historical patterns of reading practice” (Open Collections Program, n.d.). One text and the annotator are of particular interest to my study that explores the value of 117 understanding the tracing of an idea for the preceding play. The library has carefully catalogued even the pencil erasures by Melville, writer of Moby Dick. One full margin note still demonstrates for the reader a trace of Melville’s thinking, personal expertise, and research for his fiction writing that will follow later in his life. Figure 2: Marginalia from Herman’s Melville’s personal library It is exciting to read even a copy knowing that his own hand made the original pencil markings more than 150 years ago: "There is some sort of mistake in the drawing of Fig: 2. The tail part is wretchedly crippled & dwarfed, & looks altogether unnatural. The head is good” (Melville in Beale, 1839, p. 33). By reading through Melville’s marginalia within this natural history book, and speaking personally as a reader, it deepens my appreciation for the continuing experience of reading and living with the story of Moby Dick. 118 1 (Freud, S., 1938) As recorded by the B.B.C. in his London study. 2 I comment further in the exegesis on the trickiness of truth and the essence of truth when writing a play as creative non-fiction. It was reported that Freud, actually did say and do this, but recent evidence shows no such notation. My original source for using this moment is the U.S. Library of Congress archive of an exhibit, Sigmund Freud Conflict and Culture (1999-2002); as well Peter Gay’s biography of Freud (2006, p. 628). 3 This scene was originally written as an experiment in the tradition of Joan Mcleod’s playwriting (The Shape of a Girl, 2001) where she begins her plays in monologue form. Peter Boychuk is quoted in interview with Colin Thomas for following this method of writing, suggesting it helped him find the character’s voice. For further discussion, see: http://www.colinthomas.ca/2012/05/24/tips-from-an-emerging-playwright. The monologue form can lead to monodramatic plays, including longer, direct addresses, as well utilized in Boychuk’s Shelter from the Storm as produced by Touchstone in 2011. I produced another playwright who modelled her work from the mentorship of Joan McLeod and as director, I broke two character’s monologue’s up so they became complimentary and more dialogic. But Huston’s relatively long monologue works here. It tells a powerful and physical story and demonstrates Huston’s desire for mortal control. Please see my discussion of White Hunter, Black Heart in chapter 4 for additional insight. To write this monologue, I researched Huston and foxhunting (CBC, 1966/2011) and by attended a drag-scent foxhunt hosted by my brother in B.C’s Sunshine Coast and produced by Fraser Valley Hunt. I was amazed at the absolute similarity to the event in Ireland in the 1960s by Huston and the one in Canada, in June 2012. I learned that the hounds are called hounds and they ‘give voice’, a lovely phrase appropriate for the theatre. Coupled with the CBC TV video is another of Huston teaching his son to ride, with some degree of father and son tension. 4 A note from SH says “He doesn’t,” which points to something missing here. Reinhardt does indeed become an ally of Sartre’s and Sartre praises him for his knowledge of Freud. One other scene of this writing process, I left out, because I needed to get to Monty and the production. Still, their writing process was fascinating. The archive lists several copies of the script, as mentioned. The negotiations with Sartre continued even though he leaves the project, but his creative work remains ever present. 5 Some of this scene is informed by a pamphlet found in the Huston papers on Freud, called “Freud and Catholics” (William & Bier, 1957). 6 See further discussion of my reference to Brook’s empty space in Knowles (2008), where Knowles claims that there can be no such thing in the theatre as an empty space. 7 Good idea, okay, "crew member" aka Assistant Director (later known as Slater, will play all non-principle parts, including narrator. Here we have this direct piece of quirkily intriguing research integrated into the play. This is the actual letter from Monroe, perhaps dictated, and as directed by her psychoanalyst (Monroe, 1960). 8 It is possible that a production draft would call for certain archive elements to be projected directly onto the screen. As we are already doing this with the film, I like seeing this original, handwritten letter from Monroe, who is refusing the offer of the part, which was at the time of her letter known as Annie O. 119 9 This is a slight rewrite of the original audition request card by Susannah York, cleverly written as a summary report on a patient who has a “Cecily” complex (York, 1961). 10 This scene is slightly revised from the written copy first given to the actors which had some uncertainties of who was playing what role and indeed my own uncertainty about introducing another character. Documentary film, with voice-over narration and intra-titles may convey more basic information to the audience much easier than the theatre techniques. I have adapted some of them, but I rather like the playwright assuming roles in the drama that he has not only witnessed from the archive but is also now writing. The theatricality is engaging and it provides thematic comment. This is actually the first scene I wrote for the play and ruminated on how I could use this as a root or hub scene for the rest of play. The version reflects what was read for the first-draft audience. Sources include: Philip (2006), Bosworth (1978), Huston (1980). 11 This is something John actually said, although as a younger man, he mentions a need for analysis. Please see chapter 4. 12 The above scene is revised from the most recent draft which first contained a longer transcribed text (ten additional lines) from the completed film, Freud (Huston, 1962). To create this scene, I have read the archival notes prepared for Huston (Herrick, 1960-1963). Sartre’s screenplay (1959/1985), the completed film’s text, and returned to Freud’s own text. Using the dialogue from the film is fair scholarly comment, and is necessary for the actors who are playing characters rehearsing the film. But I wanted to leave more ambiguously expressed who is referred to by the ‘him.’ I wanted to add a line directly from Freud’s own text, “the inefficient mechanism of repression may be replaced by condemning judgment” (Freud, 1977, p. 28). And I revised with my own fiction based upon my reading of Freud. I found this was a particularly challenging scene because I needed to honour the original author’s work from the film text, honour the sense from Freud, and honour my own intentions as a playwright. The scene continues the palimpsest collision of sources within the play by combining all information into my own creative fiction. 13 This scene is derived from two major sources, including a seven page, single spaced letter sent through Reinhardt to John Huston, detailing Sartre’s reasons for leaving the project without cutting the script down to a manageable length for production (Sartre, August, 26th, 1961). I place the scene here, to show the power of the original idea asserting itself through and into the production phase. I animate the original source writing by placing into the discussion. On the day of the reading of the first draft, with agreement from the actors, I cut this scene down by at least 30 percent. That information for the need to cut and where to cut was made clearer by hearing the actors read the text in rehearsal. Because these cuts occurred prior to the first reading for an audience, I represent the written copy as the audience heard it, with the cuts. But to emphasise the first draft/interstitial space of the script, I have shown where the cuts are. As I look at it myself again now, I note that making the action more in the present tense is challenging when choosing to use the original source material as verbatim as possible. 120 14 This scene was considerably longer with the first draft presented to the actors. In the final hour before the first sharing with the audience, in consultation with the actors and the director, I cut this section, including the following exchange. SARTRE Look, no one is obliged to know Freud, but why make a film about psychoanalysis if you do not know what it is? The days you were willing to work with us-they were rare- we spent our time, Reinhardt and I, explaining fundamentals to you. JOHN My job is as a stand-in for the audience with whom we must connect. 15 Cut the following dialogue: You have always come back to Freud's researches without linking them to his ideas; suppress the unconscious. I know you hate Freud; the result is this monster you are creating. 16 Cut dialogue: There is no longer any unconscious or any repression your script. Free association at each session must help Freud penetrate a little deeper into the psyche of Cecily. 17 (Huston, August, 24th, 1961). 18 This is transcribed text from Let There Be Light (See Chapter 4.) I am hoping the juxtaposition of the men being healed by ideas put into play by Freud and the men being driven mad by trying to make a fictional representation of them will provide a multi-layered impact for an engaged audience. 19 (LaGuardia, 1977, p. 247) 121 Interlude: Playwrights Together/Alone I place this interlude here immediately following the sharing of the working draft of the play, The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John, because I wish to acknowledge the gift of the ‘rhizomatic’ relations of playmaking. By this I mean I see that my work is my own, but it lives, and is influenced, supported, inspired, and made to surpass its idea, from within my ‘community of practice.’ This interlude will provide perspectives from some of the voices of other playwrights in my community on what compels them to write. Participants agreed to have their names identified. This will be both a personal perspective on the current work of this study and a promise towards additional engagements and outcomes. ‘Rhizomatic’ and ‘community of practice’ are terms which are part of the constructs of a/r/tography. I shall elaborate more on a/r/tography in the next chapter. But because I shall be using these terms within this interlude, I shall offer some working explanation. Then, I shall turn to experience more from other playwrights. A/r/tography identifies and encourages an extended community of practice reaching ‘in and through time’ upon which to draw and contribute to and from. A rhizome is a type of plant, such as garlic or crabgrass in which the beginning point is difficult to determine a model for the interconnectivity that features in art and playmaking. Like the originating source idea, a/r/tography suggests that viewing my relations in playwriting rhizomatically helps me to become more aware of an enabling strength found in my living heritage of past and present playwriting artists. I consider 122 more how I might approach the work and accept the improbable challenge of mapping and pin-pointing a source for the writing (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). Focussing on the question of a playwright’s understanding of their source idea(s), I reviewed literature on techniques for writing plays (e.g., books, play reviews) and participated in online forums on theatre and writing. I attended public discussions of the writing of plays through the west coast Playwrights’ Guild of Canada Caucus. In addition, the integrity of my inquiry is informed by a group workshop conducted with more local playwrights (MacKenzie & GVPTA, Devoted and Disgruntled, 2010, available in supporting materials through Appendix #1). I also attended local productions of original or rarely produced playwright centred work. I facilitated and participated in conference discussions on the role of the playwright and authorship, including within my local community of practice. I arranged for conversations with seven playwrights, as well as discussion with associated theatre professionals. With the playwrights, on a one-to-one basis, we had an open discussion lasting approximately an hour. The meetings were in person where possible. Although I had some prepared questions, the meetings were conversational with some free flow, emphasizing the wider themes of artistic source and authority for artistic projects. As an artist/scholar, I was interested in the questions of how a playwright chooses the subject for her or his project as well as how the playmaking might provoke new understandings for the playwright about their way of approaching their work. 123 In all of the above ways, I deepened my understanding of the playwriting process so that I might know and describe it more cogently for the play written as part of this inquiry. As one of the a/r/tographical turns, I discovered much inspiring material in ‘excess’2 of the space for this inquiry, and as a consequence, I shall offer a larger presentation of this line of the inquiry in a later paper. For now, to see the work in conversation with my local community, I have selected and included material, especially such quotations from the conversations, in a way that might be termed ‘embedded epigraphs’. This would include Clark’s quick drawing sketch of how she sees the process for her playwriting. Demonstrating the sense of play, I felt the sketch found a serendipitously appropriate place near the beginning of this dissertation. The playwrights I spoke with were all based in my home professional theatre community, Vancouver, BC. They are also part of the over forty playwrights I have referenced in this study. They were all selected for inclusion because they have had a personal influence at some point in my emergent and subsequent professional artistic practice on my understanding of playwriting. They also are included because they offer a wisdom specific to the focus of this inquiry. 2 ‘Excess’ is one of the conceptual organizers of a/r/tography and will be further defined in the next chapter. 124 Seeking insight regarding the need and desire for an individual playwright to also be within community, I spoke with Bushkowsky3, a darkly comic playwright/poet. The name of the company he cofounded, Solo Collective, suggests the paradox of a playwright’s working life: the solitary and group nature. In other words, a collective solitude is embraced out of necessity by a playwright. Speaking personally, I work alone in my own space for much of the time and at other times in the collective room of the group in the rehearsal space and the performance space. I suggest it is sometimes lonely in the room. Knowing I am together/alone is comforting and prepares the work to flow through the continued state of interstitial. In regards to the question of preparing to write, Chris Gatchalian4, inquiry participant playwright (2013), told me how over the experience of being produced that his “approach now is a much freer approach. I just allow things to happen as they happen in the writing of the play—as opposed to planning everything out beforehand.” But I was faced with the considerable problem to be solved that the dramatic writer, Huston and the original screenwriter, Sartre, both had whilst they worked on the original screenplay for the film Freud; they had so much factual and theoretical material competing for them to choose to include in 3 Aaron Buskowky is a multi-genre writer. His plays have been produced across Canada, including two award-winning scripts, Strangers Among Us (1999) and The Waterhead, 2003. As part of this study, I attended his 2012 Solo Collective production, Here Be Monsters, an exemplar of storytelling through wordplay and language. 4 Chris (C. E.) Gatchalian is currently managing artistic director of the Frank Theatre Company in Vancouver. Recent plays include Falling in Time (2011), and Broken (2006) and People like Vince (2012) for Green Thumb Theatre. He has been a finalist for the LAMDA literary award twice. 125 their script. . Newfoundland based Playwright Robert Chafe (2011) describes the challenges of this sort of playwriting: Scripting true stories involves a reductionist approach, a sea of research and potential, and a conscious if difficult, weeding out of source material. The process can be daunting and too often is derailed by a plethora of choice, or a misplaced sense of responsibility to be historian rather than playwright. (Playwrights Workshop Montreal, 2011) I agree with the bulk of Chafe’s (2011) description, especially the point of being a playwright first. But I would not call the process reductionist, as I still make connections and expand upon them, but I must tether these connections to the essence of the research. Learning from them, I searched for the common intersecting theme for the true-life characters now in the play, and the given circumstances and my own imaginative engagement. As a result of that interrogative search (yes, it was physical) I include in the next chapter an expansive discussion of the concepts of Father/author(ity) and within that construction I am touching upon authority and authorship. Source is not merely a question of the research data, but something inaccessible to definition, something more. More what, the audience might easily ask. I answer by saying I am intrigued by the powerful energy that emanates from the beginning place (if such a place can be found). That energy is critical to the starting and finishing of the work and is what matters to an artist-scholar. To write the play—especially a research-based one—an intriguing question was raised for me: where does the source or originating idea come from? I am challenged by the idea of source when viewed not just as a question of research data, but further back to understanding the source of 126 the impulse to write. I am not alone with this challenging question as I turn now to what some of the playwrights I spoke with said during my own playmaking inquiry. Gatchlian seems to be driven more by the idea of the artform and writing itself, as it was difficult to engage him directly with the question of where an idea comes from for him. But he talked more about his love of characters as a place where the ideas all start for him. He explains he looks for a hook inside himself. “We all have bundles of different character traits swirling inside of us all of us. We are all a bundle of different and very contradictory people.” Deveau5 is the youngest playwright I spoke with, and is currently seeing at least one new play of his produced per year. He recalls that when he first began playwriting, he was asked by his mentor to find and name his obsession as a means of driving ideas. What he feels remains still partially present even as a more experienced playwright is a compulsion towards ideas about the notion of shape, seeing and really looking at “the actual shape of things.” Fragione6 believes the idea must first provoke in her a desire to go on a “treasure hunt.” As a playwright concerned with spiritual matters, she 5 Dave Deveau is a prolific playwright even though a relatively recent addition to BC’s scene. He is playwright in residence for Zee Zee Theatre, who produced Nelly Boy. I have seen two of his plays during this study, and I marvelled at this ability to tell a ‘little story, small cast, with big impact.’ He has two plays currently in production for Green Thumb Theatre. He is in an MFA graduate of UBC. 6 Lucia Frangione has written 25 plays, won a few awards and acted on several stages across the country. Her work is well supported by Pacific Theatre in Vancouver. Her play Leave of Absence was produced during the term of the 127 also metaphorically hopes that “the idea will create a wrestling match in [her] soul.” To Gladstone,7 the originating idea it seems is something he seeks in the theatre. He hopes to create the wholeness of experience where he begins and ends with a sense of “comfort.” Bushkowsky is one of the oldest playwrights working in my immediate community, and also being regularly produced, with a new play almost every year. He is also known as a supportive builder for new work amongst playwrights. For example, Gladstone praises him for voluntarily reading other people’s in-process plays quickly and answering a specific question in a concise way about a possible writing problem for a companion playwright. To that end of concision, I find a pithy comment on the question of a source idea. Bushskowsky says his work essentially begins auto-biographically, but that in his playwriting, he is “a really good liar.” I’d suggest even a lie, especially a good one, has a source. Put simply, what is the real (to use that word in proximity to the word lie) origin of our source that compels the writing? The seemingly commonplace and ever-present nature of the question of this origin/authoring/source makes it easy to dismiss engagement. Dewey writes: “experiencing like breathing is a rhythm of intakings and outgivings” (1934/2005, p. 58). Perhaps the source study. The play was a provocative study of human sexuality, coming of age and a crisis of faith and spirit. She was an effective actor in her own work. 7 Amiel Gladstone founded Theatre Skam. His collection of plays was published by Coach House Press as Hippies and Bolsheviks and other plays (2007). His work has been produced in many countries. He also works as a director, which in turn informs his understanding of playwriting. 128 of our work as artists and researchers is as present as breathing because the making of art is as necessary to our lives as breathing. We don’t stop to ask why we breathe; or where, metaphorically speaking, the impulse to breathe came from. We simply do. It is the same with art. Art is an action that sustains life. In this context of exploring the source of playwriting, I am delighted by playwright inquiry participant Sally Clark’s response to my question: Donard Where does the idea come from? Sally The ether. Donard Albee says he wakes up one morning and “I’m with play.” Then, he just has to write, and we talk about being open to letting the idea flow and are you going for enough walks, just be with yourself…and for you it happens from within “the ether?” Sally Yes pretty much. And I’ll ask for an idea and I’ll say “I really want to write a play and I want an idea then the idea comes like as with Jehanne and The Witches –a colleague had said you’re always writing plays about women who are victims —-and I don’t think that’s true, anyway, he said I want you to write a play about a strong woman, so I wound up with Joan of Arc. You know, burned at the stake but strong. So we had this little back and forth about it. I went on this kind of hunt, to find a play about a strong woman, and like I said, I said, “I’d like an idea please.” And very shortly afterwards I went into this book store, I walked in and the clerk looked at me and he said “Joan of arc and Bluebeard were best friends did you know that?” It was like, “No, but that’s a really good idea.” Donard So, it just— Sally It just happened because I asked for it. Donard 129 It seems like such an obvious question but it’s so central Sally Why do people eat, it’s the same thing, you have an urge to do it and when you run out of direction you ask for direction or you ask for ….when you know you want to write you ask for … Donard You ask the ether… Sally “Give me a good idea, something I’m going to enjoy” Donard It’s a funny thing, and you can dress that up in all sorts of theory but that’s essentially what the source is, isn’t it! The conclusion Sally offers is beautiful in its faith and concision, and while I agree with her, I ended the exchange with a hint of doubt. I accept that the questioning of source remains for me, particularly from the researcher identity within the academy because such is the work of practice-based research. I continue to ask what I did to get here with the script, but also why did I get here; where does it come from? The interrogation is profoundly personal, but it has implications for the entire realm of theatre research and education through playmaking. I have now shared selected excerpts from conversations with the playwrights. I have discussed the importance of a community of practice to animate the together/alone space for the playwright. In the upcoming chapters I will be providing judiciously placed additional excerpts with the occasional quotation from other playwrights, as complementary meaning to the prose text in this section. Excerpts and references to other playwrights also appear in the dialogues in the upcoming chapters. 130 CHAPTER 3: A/R/TOGRAPHY, PLAYWRITING, AND EDUCATION Not One, Not the Other, But Both I shall swim naked towards the last burning fire in the sky until I must inevitably give in to the pulling demands of the slack tide. As a personally beloved playwright, O’Neill, said in his masterpiece auto-biographically inspired play, Long Day’s Journey into Night, “It was a great mistake my being born a man. I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish” (O’Neill, 1955, p. 153). As I swim, I shall feel his poetry in this play, his caressing call to lose one’s self as his character does, and “dissolve in the sea” (O’Neill, 1955, p. 153). With all my breath, I shall dive and play in the ocean for as long as my heart still needs. I shall swim far from land towards that horizon closed by islands, but marked in-between the gap through the strait, with the orange red of the setting sun, my bare skin willing prey to cool salt water. Then nearly before the last moment where the current might take me away, I shall move my body back to the shore. Neither fish, nor fowl, neither researcher nor theatre artist, I shall learn such a question of identity finally does not matter anymore. I shall simply swim. Over the phone I read the above research prose poem to my elderly father as he lay recovering in his one of his latest visits to a hospital bed. I knew by reading it to my father, I was bringing together two sons and two fathers, both O’Neill’s character and his father and my father and I. The moment brings together a son’s poetic longing for wholeness. As I concluded reading, my father wondered aloud, “You’re an atheist.” I see a hint of how he might have reached that summative comment, including the inescapable scent of his own mortality and my own. I shared this moment of the dissertation because it serves an accessible threshold and I hoped to remind him of his own joy of swimming which he had passed on to me. I told him the moment described here is about a longing for integrity and beauty, an inspiring inseparableness. I thought too that the divine was present, I suppose. But perhaps my father detected doubt in something about what I might call the above and the beyond and the all-powerful, or simply doubt in the Newtonian 131 need for measurement and an external authority. I did not say that to him. For me the moment described above means I am not waiting for a father in the sky somewhere. But I suppose, even now, I am waiting for a father integrated with the world in which I move through, inseparable from all the elements, such as the ocean water that revitalizes me. I did not say that to him either. I simply said it is about the beauty of swimming on a perfect summer day. And he said, “Sounds wonderful, son.” And it was wonderful, a sublimely energizing moment of becoming and being together and alone, with nature in that past moment, and then simultaneously in the now time of my father and I through the impulses of the phone connection. My inquiry seeks to find, hold, and move with as much of the grace within the energy described in that moment through living and being inside a discovery process. Through metaphors and implications and descriptions, I am achieving my goal to tell the auto and biographical story of a playwright’s source idea. Though the work has grown within a university research setting, because it is an art in the making, it is less concerned with educational prescription and direct explication. It is about vigorously moving within the ephemeral nature of the performance of playwriting. As will be cumulatively revealed, more than argued, this inquiry will be of interest to playwrights, researchers and educators alike. While struggling to understand a general feeling of what I shall describe as despondency about working in the academy, but too stubborn to quit, I found solace and community in a graduate seminar. The subject was a/r/tography and here I was invited to start truly seeing my work as my own, and, urgently, as an integrated expression of my whole being. There would not be a separation: research and the art and the discussion of the art are entwined or named as “métissage” (Irwin, 2004, pp. 28-33) constructions. Thus, the artistic playing with all the 132 corresponding writing may be seen altogether as an exegesis. Irwin and Springgay (2008) describe “an exegesis as a critical explanation of the meaning within a work” (p. xxix). I agree with their expansion of the term for the arts, where they hold that “the exegesis is often extended to include any documentation that contextualizes the work and helps to critique or give direction to theoretical ideas” (p. xxix). For my study, I wish to acknowledge I am also informed by Norris’s Playbuilding as Qualitative Research (2009). Here, he demonstrates kindred techniques, similar to how I arrive at sharing a/r/tographic understandings: provide context for the creation of the work, explore and analyse the content and form. In this chapter, I shall further discuss the primary methodology for this inquiry. This will provide additional theoretical context for what we have previously named as a/r/tographic ‘understandings.’ These will be highlighted in the upcoming chapters which collectively relate together with the working draft process of the play, The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John. As a result of my dissertation focusing on telling the auto/biographical story and implications of the source of a creative idea within playwriting, I found myself moving towards a deeper understanding of a ‘playmaking education.’ I shall elaborate upon this term within the closing chapters. Here, I shall briefly discuss the history of a/r/tography, and the previous applications related to drama and theatre and how this study makes a unique contribution by applying a/r/tography to playwriting. My discussion will include defining the organizational concept of a/r/tographic ‘renderings’. Continuing the use of interludes established in the preface, woven throughout is the included dialogue entitled, I, Interstitial. This dialogue shares and models points we are discussing, including combining theory as practice, but as seen differently within a partial element of my work as a theatre based artist. The chapter also situates the ‘T’ of teacher 133 in a/r/tography within a broadly conceived survey of the role of the playwright in education. In keeping with the storytelling of the influence of an originating idea, I primarily limit this survey to work with which I have some direct autobiographical experience. Naming A/R/Tography in a Poet’s Eye: It is because it is named The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name. Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595/1972, act 5, sc. 1, l. 12-17, p 550) As I consider this section, I am reminded of the myriad points of entry one encounters in the midst of searching, finding, arriving, and giving a name to either a concept or a person. I suggest the carefully considered name is one of the most important benefits of a/r/tography. What a/r/tography means in name as an approach continues to be illustrated for me through metaphor and anecdotal analogy to practical experience as expressed in auto/biographical moments. It is there I can hope to grasp, but succeed more in feeling and perceiving the essence—the thingness—that becomes a/r/tography through its naming. I remember when we named our youngest, our son. I made a name announcement card with the reference above to Shakespeare’s playwriting wisdom and the power of the poet in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. By placing this quotation in the card, I was acknowledging to friends and extended family the naming process as perplexing, and the daunting nature of the setting of limits upon meaning of another human being. (I confess I was compensating and influenced by my ambivalence over my own first name, Donard, or is it Dionard, mistakenly expressed in official documents as Don, Donarld, Donald, Denard, etc., but that is a separate story.) I still wanted something different but also strong, emboldened with story for our son. We named him Tiernan as a sound echo of his 134 Irish heritage and the name for the mythical land of the forever young, a perpetual place of rebirth. In this way, with such meaning, I felt naming him was not a final pronouncement, but an acknowledgement of his being part of the world already; with his naming, it was our blessing that said he arrived to us as part of an eternal process of being. Keeping that anecdote of naming my son in mind, let’s consider that the person credited with naming a/r/tography, Rita L. Irwin acknowledges that artists as researchers and as teachers were already in the process of doing what a/r/tography names (2004; 2008). But now we had a name, itself a protest, as I shall soon relate for a few pages, to call for the place of the artist as artist within the broadly defined field of educational research. In naming, we might feel our voices should be heard through our art with a new freedom waiting to be fulfilled. In concert with Irwin, Pryer suggests a/r/tography will ‘nomadically’ move our work to make the ‘third space’ on the ‘borderlands’ of the academy and artistry (2004, p. 29; 2004, p. 211). Introducing the dialogue I, Interstitial Turning to the second but interconnected part of this section, for a held moment now, I shall be working illustratively through dialogue, in parallel with the above discussion. First, I shall now elaborate on the context of I, Interstitial and then offer the first scene. After that scene, I shall return to our parallel prose discussion of a/r/tography and then continue to inter-weave scenes then back again back to prose text. As the name implies, this dialogue explores the nature of the interstitial space in terms of a playwriting artist/researcher/teacher inquiry. The name of the character “I” stands both for Idea and what a/r/tography also refers to as the “singular but plural” nature of being and becoming (Irwin & Rickets, 2013, pp. 66-67). This dialogue surfaces the challenge I feel as an academic 135 researcher in effect watching and analysing the art in process, in danger of losing that originating idea to competing and not necessarily benevolent interests. By the term dialogue, I mean this is not a play. I am concerned more with seeing the creative idea’s evocations and provocations and dynamics in process, by being inside an element of the art of playwriting. The ‘I’ character is spoken of and helped to be animated by two clown characters, named simply A and B. Ideas are voiced by Character A and Character B. I have used this form of writing in early drafts as discussed for my research-based playscript, Naming the Shadows (MacKenzie, Belliveau, Beck, Lea, & Wager, 2011). But the great playwright of silences and menace, Harold Pinter (2005) suggests he starts his plays much the same way, as a reluctant nod to his not discussing his process of writing. Canadian actor/playwright Griffiths is more direct and says, “I hate talking about process as it’s so complicated” (2004, p 303). In a pencil note found in his papers, Beckett says, “I remember very little about the genesis of my writings. The writings cease to interest me as soon as I finish” (1972). In my discussion paper of Naming the Shadows, I elaborated on my own similarly expressed reluctance by comparing it to being stuck in a meta-theatre loop, like Beckett’s character in Krapp’s Last Tape, recording his living process through reliving previous experiences of listening to a recording of himself (Mackenzie & Belliveau, 2011). Now, recall how the focus of the previous section was about identifying and naming a/r/tography as we consider the first scene. 136 Dialogue: I, Interstitial Scene 1: Birth The scene tittle may be projected as we see an empty space in between hard stone, a vast sky, and a dark ocean. There is the sound of wind blowing through old arbutus trees. A cry is heard. Silence. Laughter. Silence. Two characters are revealed who call themselves A and B. Character named I will also use the name ‘I.’ A Shall we play again? B Yes! There is a sound of the wind in the trees again. Perhaps the percussive punctuation sounds of seashells hanging and clicking against each other. A and B respond to having felt something, but there is nothing visible to the audience. A There it is now. Oh. So tiny; delicate. But A can tell she has your eyes. B Her eyes are closed. B attempts to ‘look’ more closely. A Be careful now; we must be cautious. So fragile. A saw them open—when the light was so bright earlier. 137 B Let’s see. (Looking again; smiling in excited agreement.) Yes. B supposes he does. A He or she? He/she? S/he? (Deeply considering the possible real implication) Genderless? Pan-gendered, that will do, like her parents. B Yes, but one must be situated. One must have a context. All that David Copperfield stuff. A Let’s enjoy the moment before the inevitable— B —Questioning into oblivion— A —Until we are reminded from the bible “There is nothing new under the sun.” B The way we respond to our I will be new and individually unique. A Yes, wonderful, we have that at least. B (Pause, then blurting) But how did this happen? Where did I come from? A Barely born and you have started the devolution already. Let I live awhile; I will grow and then we will know more. 138 I I am born of a creature of the theatre that moves through a frighteningly infinite space. The creature studies the almost implausible task of making visible that invisible process of the art’s insistent invitation to work. Hear the idea! All you who have may have been waylaid, but still have a will to listen. Come home, learn, act, teach, write, and be alive. Through play. The Practice of Defining A/r/tography While conceived as an integrative and practice based methodology for practitioners of art and research and teaching, a/r/tography can mean different things to different people because it deliberately or perhaps ambivalently “resists specific criteria” (Springgay, Irwin & Kind, 2005, p. 899). As a result, the reader might be forgiven as I have forgiven myself for being challenged to hold onto a working definition of a/r/tography. I see this as a comforting challenge, concurring with an early a/r/tographer, music educator, Gouzouasis who suggests, even with his experience, he was still learning to play and “find [his] way around this instrument we call a/r/tography” (2008, p. 227). Still a relatively new methodology within Arts Based Research (ABR) (Leavy, 2009), a/r/tography was first developed in the early 2000s at the University of British Columbia. A fundamental feature of a/r/tography is a celebration of multiple identities which are derived from Aristotle’s three forms of thought: “knowing (theoria); doing (praxis); and, making (poiesis)” (Irwin, 2004, p. 27). As Irwin identifies, these three forms of thought help one “in accessing the arts as a means to enhance their own understandings and practices” (2004, pp. 27-28). The forms which manifest within the method as the unfolding of shifting identities are represented in the name: artist/researcher/teacher or a/r/t. As this methodology invites an a/r/tographer to work in 139 conjunction with other arts based research methods, I include elements of performance, poetry, conversations, and auto/biography. Begun by visual artists in a working group comprised of arts based researching faculty and their graduate students, the first published book on this methodology, a/r/tography: Rendering Self through Arts Based Living Inquiry (Irwin & De Cosson, 2004) focussed on the visual arts. This nascent collection of ‘nomads’ were known as A Pied (On foot) (Pryer, 2004), and eventually led to the more formal and published articulations of the theoretical constructs of a/r/tography. As my work in this dissertation does, the working title for these early practitioners of what became a/r/tography acknowledges the fortuitous possibilities and insightful openings through the lived metaphor of moving. The writer of the closing chapter of the first published book, Pryer, affirms that the work was always in movement, “a/r/tography is, after all, a process and not just a final product” (2004, p. 202). As Sinner and colleagues relate, “this methodology matured from the interchange of ideas, art practices, and lived experiences between a core group of faculty members and their graduate students” (2006, p. 1224). By 2014, the UBC a/r/tography website (see http://m1.cust.educ.ubc.ca/Artography/) included over 90 PhD dissertations which feature or use elements of a/r/tography. In the summer of 2013, there were two special issues of the UNESCO Observatory Multi-Disciplinary Journal in the Arts. One issue focussed on the Visual Arts and the other on A/r/tography and the Literary and Performing Arts. With the variety of a/r/tographers from various nations offering exemplars of their work, what was once a UBC centered methodology called a/r/tography was now “traversing the globe” (Irwin, 2013, p. 128-129). In a summative visual essay examining the scope of emerging directions of a/r/tography, watching the changes, Irwin and Sinner acknowledge that a/r/tography is “imperfect” (2014, p. 14). I appreciate that I am invited into a community of practice where we 140 do not seek “a presumption of conclusions or static understandings within closed systems, but a living practice” (2014, p. 14). My study is on the emerging edge of a/r/tography. As I have noted, I situate my work within the professional community of playwriting as I have seen, produced, or directly experienced it, both recently and over the life of my education and practice. Within the published literature, there have been only a few applications of a/r/tography to the theatre, which include Mesner’s recent work as an actor/writer of a performative auto-ethnography on queer spirituality (2013); Beare’s collective work with theatre and drama in high-schools called the Theatre of Possibilities Project (2009); UBC drama educators collective presentation called Drama as an Additional Language, which combined researched based theatre and a/r/tography (Lea, Beck, Belliveau, Wager, 2009); and finally, Winters and Sherrit’s work as a touring theatre company, The Tickle Trunk Players in elementary schools on the subject of language literacy (Winters et al., 2009). (I place some of these examples into scripted lines in the dialogue, I, Interstitial). My study concerns itself with a playmaking project with one playwright on a playscript derived from researched true-life stories. As I have established, the playwriting and discussion seeks to explore the imaginative process of writing the play. My work by quirky predilection is mandated for playwriting of casts of more than one solo actor and with writing centered from the playwright. As I discovered, my work is different by its individual approach, but I might enjoy some aspects of similarity to collective creation writing, or playwriting that is devised in conjunction with community participation. To my knowledge, a/r/tography has yet to be applied to an artist defining their work in this manner and here I expect the inquiry will contribute to filling a worthy gap for educational research and theatre. 141 Scene 2: The Party ‘Welcome to the World’ sign is seen either projected or perhaps handmade and hung by A or B. A Welcome to the world, little one. Today all of our past and future friends will be here. We love you and will help you become what you want to be. B That’s her context I Artmaking is the teacher of terrible breadth and depth of wisdom that gives form to the invitation. But to feel my call the creature has found through this inquiry that the artmaking has an important requirement: autonomously wielded intuition which must not be deadened by academically inclined overthought. B Poets were making conscious the unconscious workings of humans intuitively long before the science of the academy (Freud, 1900). A (Speaking to I) That’s your first guest. (Speaking now to B) Dr. Freud, thank you for attending the party. I The artist’s need to engage intuitively with understanding the world in an aesthetic and newly created representation is even older than the closely related challenge by the Oracle at Delphi over two thousand years ago. A And, Oracle, you travelled a long way! B When I said, “Know Thyself,” I never added, “In all your fear.” 142 I Know thyself in all your fear. That sentence references both the starting and ending frames of the object of the creature’s study, the creative dynamics of the 1962 biographical film, Freud (Huston), and the surprising ending turns an a/r/tographic living inquiry might take. A John Huston, filmmaker/storyteller and jokester. B I could not resist the invitation. Hello, little one. Remember, when I closed the film with, ‘Know Thyself’, in those words “is the beginning of wisdom” (1962). I Creature discovered late in the making of this playwriting dissertation, and only began to document in the final incidents in the writing, that in the process of knowing, fear is not overcome, but made a helpful partner in the journey. This was one of the educational revelations offered to him through his teacher, the artmaking in the form of playwriting and subsequently reflecting upon and as a consequence of the staged reading of his play written for this study, The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John. Following through upon the work with the a/r/tographically reflective process of the dissertation offered here has affirmed for him the redemptive power of living education through one’s art. In this spirit, the creature offers the play and the play/writing/wrighting upon the writing, in passion for unearthing lost moments and meanings for the intuitive decisions in the playmaking/teaching process. A As a direct consequence of its construction, a/r/tography offers the principle of changing roles/identities, specifically, artist/research/teacher. B The making of the art is the teacher, a living being in the manner of my own, as Irwin suggests, a “life commitment to the arts and education through acts of inquiry” (2008, p xxix). Irwin goes on to define a living inquiry as “theoretical, practical, and artful ways of creating meaning” (2008, p. xxix). What Leggo (2006) called, “learning to live poetically” (Sinner et al., p. 1238). Additionally, from a different context, Meyer (2010) offers that living inquiry is “a pedagogical space within the academy for inquiry into our own social and physical realities” (p. 87). B Leggo, Meyer, Sinner, Irwin, welcome! 143 I Creature will return to the theme of space several times throughout the project. This I needs a journey through several spaces. My call can’t be safely ignored and the creature-playwright has lived through what Theatre of the Oppressed Director and Founder, Augusto Boal— A —Yes, what I called— “the pedagogy of fear” (Boal & Taylor & Francis, 2002, pp. 298-301). More about that later, but to help relieve that fear, I have brought so many friends, great ones of the world of your theatre: O’Neill (1936), Brook (1987), Paul Thompson and collective creation (personal communication, 2014), and Lepage (1998). I I am informed by the a/r/tographic concepts where my work requires a complete re-identification of the arts as method because as an artist I desire not to see my work as separate. In this way, I am invited to see my work as a “contiguous” process of meeting in the folds of identity: Artist/Researcher/Teacher (Springgay et al., 2005, p. 901). But I note an inherent part of this conception of arts-based inquiry is an attempt to formally categorize ambiguity. I see this as paradoxical. I am troubled and reassured by the celebrated theatre practitioner Robert Lepage, who recently said in a live conversation of his working process, “There’s a continent. We will get there. I don’t know how. But we will” (Wasserman, 2010). That sort of surrender to the journey may be familiar to arts based researchers and traditional scholars alike. B The playwrights include Shakespeare, Frank Wedekind, Judith Thompson, Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Edward Bond, Pirandello, Chekhov, and David Mamet. Particular playwrights have been included because of the specific wisdom they offer for the discussion, and because they have influenced the personal artist’s story we are part of the telling. A rich tradition! A They have done this work before, although the academy might not recognize it as such. Quick, stand on my shoulders. B I can’t. You are too tall; like all the giants. A We need a new metaphor. I have one! Enter the ocean of giants and swim with their ideas? 144 I I am an idea, examined through my history and the source of a creative idea. What is my role and evolving nature over many years within the personal story and the writing process in inception with the playwright? I call to the reader’s attention the playwriting, in particular the core play, as the most direct manifestation of creature’s engagement with the question by writing plays from research-based and archival sources. In the course of the writing of the current rendering of the play, the work came to be called: (B unrolls a sign that reads: Pedagogy on Tip-Toe and I shakes his head and B unrolls another sign, which I reads.) The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John. (Nodding in satisfaction.) The creature would like the audience to note that the play is not an artefact of the research project, such as a form of collected data, or data analysis, or a method of dissemination. The play represents the spiralytic accumulation and expression of much direct research, reading, and ruminating analysis, upon personal, auto/biographical and professional experience. He wishes the reader to see the playwriting art as a combination of all those things and in essence, a palimpsestuous expression of identities. As such, the play appears in whole, and not labelled research, or more imprecisely, data, but as the first rendering of the artwork in progress. Like Mamet suggests for theatre practitioners I found that a/r/tography is best understood in the doing. In addition, I found that as singer-songwriter and artist/researcher/teacher Bakan says, “If I could say it, I would not have to sing it,” (2013, p. 6), and as such, I offer my work within the play and, where possible, my explorations of the process of playwriting through elements of my artistic practice. To first introduce how I engage with that doing within the methodology, I offered in the first chapter a summary of some of what I would call principle essences or perhaps guiding distillations from the literature of a/r/tography. I have include but was not limited to the published books: the more brief debut text, a/r/tography: Rendering Self Through Arts Based Research, with a foreword 145 by Pinar (Irwin & De Cosson, 2004), and the longer, edited collection of essays that extend disciplinary reach to other art forms, Being with a/r/tography (Springgay, Irwin, Leggo & Gouzouasis, 2008). I shall expand more, but first I shall review these distillations as that discussion was a complete play ago. My ongoing conversation with a/r/tography is mutable and so I present these essences with slightly different variations from my first offering in the introduction. A/r/tography: lives in process; embraces a life of living questions; fearlessly invites ambiguity; contiguously combines theory as living form of inquiry as artistic practice; a/r/t stands as a contiguous metaphor for the entwined working identities of artist/researcher/teacher; seen as a methodology as invitation, a map of scholarly theory to work with artistic practice; communicates understandings; and, honours working from within the interstitial space. Working in this manner has a certain ambiguity that I have found to be a daring challenge and that accepted not only once, but continuously accepted, rewards one both personally and with insights and understandings to be shared. The methodology has links to feminist theory, phenomenology, and action research and is poststructuralist in its approach; by this I understand a/r/tography invites the inquirer to see multiple openings. Further, a/r/tography invites a “multilectal” (Irwin, 2004, p. 28) interaction within the making of meaning through art by openly engaging as artist/researcher/teacher. 146 Scene 3: Gone A Where did I go? B Gone! Call someone; get the story out on social media, appeal to a higher authority— A —Calm down! I is hardly able to walk; I can’t have got far B (Tossing dozens of bits of confetti in the air) Our I is just like this now: Spread to the winds, you never know where I might have gotten to now. It will take us for ever to get the idea back. A I know where I is! Lost! In the in-between. 147 The ‘Conceptual Organizer’ of Renderings A/r/tographers utilize ‘renderings’ as a means to conceptually organize and interpret an element of a/r/t practice (Irwin, 2004; Springgay & Irwin, 2008). The term rendering is defined in this context as a way of seeing and is not the actual or perhaps even complete work, but a means of perception by the a/r/tographer of the work in that moment. Attending to the renderings may “transform static moments into momentum” (Springgay, Irwin & Kind, 2005, P. 907). Render is action in the verb form as yielding, giving, or causing to become. In essence to render is causing something to be seen, heard, felt, and touched. Formed as an analogous echo of prendere, to take, rendering thus contains within it two opposing actions of giving and taking (OED, 2014). A rendering causes a discursive process with the art making as the simultaneity of learning and teaching, giving and taking. As a simple illustration through a drama game, this is similar to the classic mirror exercise in theatre classes, where the student players’ objective is eventually to be seen as both leader/follower and giver/taker in the one moment. A rendering is an aspiration; the hidden sublime made manifest. Renderings allow for flexibility for an emergent engagement, and are not meant to be seen as specific criteria (2008). Rather than offer strict definitions of renderings, I have already been modelling them through the work and will present more discussion of renderings in the dialogue, I, Interstitial. As a/r/tography grows from its localized methodology at UBC, the methodology will grow and change with additional renderings offered by those newly engaging with the work from their own disciplines and situations (Irwin, 2008). As a brief review of the original renderings which are pertinent to this study, I shall first look at Living Inquiry. I have modelled the rendering of Living Inquiry through an approach as a playwriting artist/researcher/teacher because “a/r/tography is a living practice; a life writing, life 148 creating experience into the personal, political, and professional aspects of one’s life” (Springgay et al., 2005, p. 907). Through my artistic sharing of the story of a creative source idea, as Springgay, Irwin and Kind suggest, I have paid “attention to memory, identity, autobiography, reflection, meditation, storytelling, interpretation, and/or representation” (2005, p. 905). In playwriting, I work with Openings as a way to be inside the not easily perceived movement of the writing process. Openings suggest a conversation of possibilities rather than finite solutions (Springgay, et al., 2005). As I explore for the whole of chapter 5, openings are a fearsome rendering, provoking questions as they call me through multiple means towards facing and filling the blank page. As we have seen, a/r/tography relies upon the rendering of metaphor/metonymy right from within its title, but also throughout as a way of discussing the process of making art as research. As I discussed in the Playwright Together/Alone interlude, a key metaphor, that of the ‘rhizome’, suggests a moving encounter of inter-connectivity where the starting point cannot be readily found. The authority earned within the naming of a/r/tography invites ‘responsibility’ (Irwin & Springgay, 2008). One may judiciously apply one’s own varied metaphors as discovered within the working process. A/r/tography will change and grow as new artists and researchers choose to be named as a/r/tographers (Irwin & Springgay, 2008)8. To that end, specifically for the playwriting art, I offer an additional rendering of Palimpsest, as evidenced in the core play of this study, and fully theorized and described inside the action of the dialogue, chapter 5, Fear in the Underwriting. 8 While utilized throughout the methodology’s literature, Renderings are most fully described in Irwin and Springgay’s introduction to Being With A/r/tography (2008, pp xxvii-xxxi). 149 Scene 4: The Interstitial Space B Activated, or at least understood by viewing it through the notion of the rhizome, a plant with an intertwining root structure, as Rita Irwin and Stephanie Springgay suggest, the in-between is “an interstitial space, open and vulnerable where meanings and understandings are interrogated and ruptured” (2008, p. xx). I Rupture is a key to seeing how creature’s process of artmaking is necessarily but joyfully violent. It is a spiral life cycle of little births and little deaths. B Did someone say petit morts? It always comes down to sex with Dr. Freud in the room! I like that idea. In the specific context of my study Freud provides a definition of the rendering of Contiguity. In his Fragment of Analysis of Hysteria (Dora), Freud postulates “that an internal, but still hidden connection is announced through contiguity (italics added), the temporal proximity of ideas” (2006, p. 461). A/r/tography may provoke access to the hidden of the process of teaching/artmaking. Within both methodology and my subject, I am living a contiguous relationship of artist/researcher/teacher and I demonstrate my engagement through the doing of art and the graphy (Irwing & Springgay, 2008, p. xxviii). I live relationally, seeking to love my art and teaching as I attend to celebrating and supporting companion artists’ work, while at the same paying attention and seeking to understand and grow more deeply with the various aspects of my art. I have chosen the rendering of Excess to close this review because it has taken on deeper meaning for me over the course of this analytic ‘graphy’ and aesthetically based writing, (particularly over the final completions). My study finds its ideas and emotional underwriting within this rendering. It is seen and heard in my writing through and in my fascination with the 150 loudly brimming over character of Huston. As Springgay and Irwin (2008) observe, excess is “that which is created when control and regulation disappear” (p. xxx). I have asked myself how one makes that happen when sometimes working within societally constructed hierarchies. There, perhaps form perpetuates itself, inside a perpendicular conversation of order, and a conciliatory compliance to staying inside your place (and not finding and being at home) is normalized as part of the culture. Chekhov’s example provides some guidance, where the challenges of excess are subversively answered by attention to the internal and repressed life of his characters and not necessarily their individual agency to cause and effect. The Cherry Orchard ends with the old servant Firs lost and locked inside in the estate home, as we the audience hear the precious orchard being chopped down outside. When reading or seeing that play and what is the final moment with Firs, for me, there is what Springgay and Irwin (2008) might call a “monstrous” (p. xxx) violence, while a delicate sadness and a clownish humour also exist in that moment. It is an image of what’s left after the writing and revising, after the playing, after the lights are long gone out, and is only earned through the pursuit of excess. After all, you can’t have something left, unless you have excess to begin with. The T of a/r/tography “You can’t teach people anything they don’t want to know.” Shaw as Hipney in On the Rocks, (1933/1973) A/r/tography is a means of seeing. I have felt free to apply it in this dissertation as I stated, more as a physical means of approach, and a perspective, a shifting vantage on the multi-faceted space of playwrighting in education. (I have on appropriate occasions such as this one, used the “make” meaning from the word “wright” to emphasize the physically felt nature of the writing craft.) I make something physical, although it is in transitory form. 151 Viewed with a/r/tography, I shall include references to Freud’s work, in particular his considerations on the importance of play within creative writing. As well, as I have noted, I include references to theatre artists and theorists, and drama educator/researchers, and poets as they arise within the writing. I place a/r/tography’s “t” as teacher for the playwriting art in a broadly conceived notion of education beginning with my current situation, the academy. Even with successful designs of scholar practitioner programs, the academy has historically been, and I would say still is, a challenging place to obtain a balance between being an artist and a scholar (James, 2005). Fels and Irwin observed in 1994 that new arts based research approaches were necessary to alleviate the frustration of artists searching for a better place for art as research in the academy (2008). At the recent fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Creative Writing program of UBC, I was reminded how in the academy, creative writers were not recognized in the same way as writers who wrote about writing (Takeuchi, 2014). A few speakers spoke of this imbalance within the academy, not only as a historical perspective, but also as a present day warning as something not yet fully overcome. I suggest that there is still room for change to a historical atmosphere of uncertain ground for art as scholarship, where we truly understand the “question of quality and qualification” (Piirto, 2009, p. 83). While I believe that the situation has improved, I know of an artist whose artistic work and author(ity) was overridden by the demands of the academically situated researcher. While only one example, that situation suggests for me that my work in professional theatre may still rank less than academically situated papers in consideration for certain academic recognition. (I had several conversations with similarly situated researchers where we considered that a paper about the writing of a research based play would lead to greater consideration in the academy, than the playscript on which the paper was built.) The 152 remaining difficulty for seeing artmaking as research remains an undercurrent influence of this inquiry. While they are challenges, my home university, UBC, has enshrined into university policy certain protections for artists invited into research projects, based upon Canadian law. In addition, for example, students’ creative thesis work, the major part of the Masters of Fine Arts degrees, is not placed in the creative commons archive, promoted and available freely online. The work is placed in a physical copy, available only in person through the library. Artistic works and the intentions of the author/artist working with researchers are protected. I wish to acknowledge the less measureable concept of an author’s intention which is known as part of the moral rights of the author (Marchenko, 2009). An extended discussion is not possible for this study. Given the acknowledged need for respect and protections, there are subtle considerations for art as research. Art as research is not as simple as saying it must be limited to investigation (Wilson, 2004), becoming a sort of prescribed criteria to identify the pedigree of the creature. (Please note that I choose to use the word ‘creature’ as a descriptive term in the section that is the dialogue I, Interstitial.) As Turner (2008) does, I also suggest that all playwrights are concerned with investigation. Artistic production as a goal sharpens that means of investigation. For example, the ubiquitous Fringe Theatre Festivals across Canada offer another form of audience-driven street carnival-like production in which competing theatre artists offer personal expressions of research but as artful entertainment for a paying audience (Scott, 2008, p. 105). The academy may be able to provide additional resources dedicated to examining and executing one or more of the detailed aspects of the process of conceiving, developing, and writing, or making new plays. Such resources might include time and physical space to explore questions of 153 development, and additional artist-practitioners for larger plays for example. More recently in Canada, in a variety of projects within the academy, some aspects of play production and theatre making within educational research have been examined by researchers including MacKenzie and Belliveau (2011), Belliveau and Lea (2011), and Goldstein (2010). Within professional theatre in Canada, I am left with the impression that more time needs to be devoted to such detailed explorations of playwriting. As early as 1982 noted Canadian collective creation scenarist/director (The Farm Show, Maggie and Pierre, Hirsch) Paul Thompson suggested the need for a critical examination of play creation, playwriting, and play development. I concur with his plea for a “critical dialogue that reinforces the art without building it up or tearing it down” (Thompson, 1982, p. 249). Into the decades of the 2000s, from Toronto, Quirt offers a form of what he calls Pure Research, where the emphasis is not on result, but investigation of the theatre of new plays. He challenges the practice of universities not offering a similar form for professional theatre because “we rarely think about how we create new work, about theatre, society or ideas” (2008, p. 151). He asks of the academy: “How can we bring together our needs and their resources?” (2008, p. 151). Scene 5: Scholarly Ether I The phenomenon can be more clearly seen in the working process of creature playwrights because playwrights work within a conundrum of completed incompletion. We embody the in-between. Ours is an inherently social practice that involves group collaboration, and yet the process uniquely circles back and around to the starting place of the lone writer and his or her imagination. Etherize the creature on the table; naked and gowned; paper cloth for the wounds ensued in observation. B Is I Joking? 154 A I never jokes about art. It is serious play. B Okay then, shall I cut or shall you? A I shall; you might have one of your laughing fits. (I cooperates with A and B and lays on the table. They begin to operate on I.) I Here I lay. Someone once said that plays are never finished, they are just abandoned. A Anthony Jackson, UK Drama Education scholar says: “We must embrace the core” (Jackson, 2007, p. 272). I Faced with trying to move forward on a play within the academy before this inquiry that creature would not or could not abandon, but wanted to disown, creature could not make a choice. A Thomas Barone suggests, “Artists are researching all the time, an activity born from the heightened perception of the working artist” (1997, p. 120). (I flinches at a touch of A) Keep the somnambulant drip going. Sponge! More light! I Academically dithering to understand this state, Creature consults the literature on choice-theory, and is lost to heroic stories of commerce and someone who in the span of less than two hours makes financial choices in the tens of millions of dollars. That didn’t help I, or Creature. A Art must first engage if it’s to instruct. I But creature at least would make a decision. 155 B The further a project engages with and attempts to achieve an artistic whole, the more it also works as research (Beare & Belliveau, 2008; Dalrymple, 2006; Jackson, 2007; Norris, 2009; Saldaña, 2008). (They continue to operate on I, getting closer to their goal) I Creature would make public this feeling of active paralysis. A Perhaps the most representative example from the few mentioned here is Anthony Jackson with his recent book Theatre, Education and the Making of Meanings: Art or Instrument? I At the next meeting of newly named a/r/tographers, he asks his colleagues to write on a sticky note a major life choice they are considering. Then Creature asks them to place their notes on me, which they do, over my shirt front and back. He wears their unmade decisions, scrawls of energy to paths they have not yet taken. He asks them to think about these choices they have now pasted on creature. Then he will look at these people—even in the eye— and they will look at him for one minute. A Note the subtitle interrogative; he concludes decades of his personal grappling with the question as follows. B …Only if we articulate and embrace the artistic core of what we do with sufficient energy and conviction, will the best practice be understood by the agencies who fund the work, and, more importantly, only then will it be possible to share and celebrate that practice for the powerful theatre, and the ‘educative’ forces, we know it can—sometimes—be (Jackson, 2007, p. 272). A We agree with him: we must embrace the artistic core to save I. B But a/r/tographers (Winters; Belliveau, & Sherrit-Fleming, 2009, p.4) question the concept of a core. They are not ‘onions.’ A Certainly, as progenitors of I, we respect the given of the changing roles humans must play in their lives. 156 B But as an artist, Creature knows those roles are integrally built upon the artistic, which is a core part of her personhood. Drawing a parallel to the seven octave range singing of Julie Andrews, when she lost that ability due to a trauma from throat surgery, she felt as if she had lost her identity. (They bring out a pumping mass of heart from I.) I So here I sit…but Creature’s clock doesn’t work. She can’t even make an object of time work in his favour in this moment. But a friendly colleague has a phone that marks to the millisecond. And so with Creature and I, another minute began… (A and B begin to toss the heart back and forth as the sound of a heartbeat starts to fill the space) A Come, embrace your core. B Less than a minute until the scholar-dollar drip runs out. You will not survive. A There are incredible challenges within the hierarchy of universities, or what theatre artist-scholar Alex Ferguson calls in his published/performed rant, “big make-work projects” (2012, p. 73). You are not strong in the ways of a knowing education. B Knowing that perhaps the academy has the priorities reversed and the resources allocated elsewhere, often leaves us discouraged about your future, I. A This is part of a/r/tography too, the dark underside…” as a/r/tographer Renee Norman writes in her essay The Art of Poetry and Narrative, adding “…we are pummelled by forces that undermine our art…” (2008, p. 44). (They toss the heart in keep-away fashion) As ethno-dramatist Jonny Saldaña said: This is Not a Performance Text” 157 I “As for me, I will take back the word/I was taught to hold/special/ sacred/ and reserved for the qualified few” (2006, p. 1097). With such respect, Creature had read most of Johnny’s published scholarship on the subject of ethno-dramas, and creature find that he then set himself up with an expectation of the improbable possibility of an aesthetically complete production that speaks as both art and research. (I regains the heart, then staggers and falls.) A (Examining I) We need a map. B But a/r/tography arises from the visual arts and there has been less study of the application to the theatre and to playwriting. A In his excellent doctoral study, David Beare theorizes a different rendering, that of the “fourth wall” (Beare, 2011, p. 57) for theatre. Others have used the renderings much like a checklist to apply to a research based theatre project (Lea, Belliveau, Wager, Beck, 2011). We are offered a map of scholarly theory by a/r/tography. Lay out the map, like Eco and Weaver, one to one of our world. (They spread a large sheet and attempt to ‘map’, but are quickly frustrated.) I As with all aesthetic work, the map moves and changes— B —It’s impossible! I The only real constant is the reminder that everything changes from moment to moment (1994). B There must be a constant flow. A It is not one in-between space, but several. 158 As I mention a few times, this inquiry is first concerned with the artistic pursuit of playwriting by an individual playwright, not necessarily by a playwright as part of play building, or collaborative creation projects, although those forms have also informed my work as an artist. As this inquiry starts locally, I will use Canadian examples. I want to briefly note two recent play projects because they offer differing but complementary examples where some of the resources of the academy examined and enhanced the playwriting. Each investigation included the professional theatre, or professional theatre artists. First, Conrad’s research play project, Athabasca’s Going Unmanned (2012) about characters in a youth detention centre, utilized the professional theatre presentation as a method of dissemination, and she also examined and represented aspects of her playmaking and playwriting decisions in scholarly writing. As the playwright and researcher she had uniquely self-witnessed knowledge of extensive research with the participants. From there, she worked the play to be “more evocative than realistic…a creative expression of the research findings” (Conrad, 2012, p. xiii). As the playwright working with the support of the academy, she was able to see the play fully produced and gauge the success for future applications of the now published drama for educational settings. She experienced directly that the youth felt accurately portrayed and the laughter in the audiences suggested how her writing was eliciting the intended response (Conrad, 2012, p. xiii). 159 Scene 6: A Medical Postulation A (Talking as if to a group of medical students.) A truism of the teaching of the theatre tells students and veterans alike that the work begins first as an impulse in the body. To better know this, it’s useful to view the interstitial space with actual physical dimensions, where a playwright must also find a flow, to coin an awkward phrase, be a flow-wright, medically speaking. Observe and learn: this basic diagram originally prepared as a teaching tool by US government’s National Cancer Institute, provides an easily understood illustration of the process at the microscopic level. (The graphic below is unrolled, like a chart picture) Figure 3: Interstitial effects in the human body (Wiki-Media Commons, 2013) A Prior to being used in a/r/tographic construction, the interstitial space is a term used within medical knowledge. The illustration above is a representation of an isolated part of the process of the circulatory system, and it shows the interstitial fluid in a space that is not of an organ, but between; the space is acting as a fluid overflow and assists with the healthy movement of fluid product and cellular waste within the body. I recall breaking my arm some years ago, and how the fluid was building up within my arm making my fingers balloon-like, as my tissues began to heal. Clearly, in more serious medical concerns according to a comprehensive review by Swartz and Fleury, problems may occur if there is too much build-up 160 within the interstitial space (2007). In emotional synchronicity with the definition, my heart pumps blood faster when reminded that the essence of the medical definition for the human body of the “interstitial” space is one we have a/r/tographically seen before —that of a space for ‘excess’ and the need for continuous living inquiry and life flow. In other words, student?— B —We do not stay in one space when making art, but our work flows with us through many spaces of in-between. As we experience interstitially, we recognize that education’s focus is not an end product, but a myriad of individual processes. A Exactly. Now, with this knowledge, movement happens guided by a never-ending conversation. B But is this education? B submits that it is not! A Gather the community conclave! Turning now to the second playwriting project, we see work equally driven from personal engagement, but from a different form of source and artistry, and a mixture of funding support for production. After building a career as a dance/theatre maker, Alexandrowicz, now works as an artist/teacher within the academically situated University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre program. For a recent production, he was surprised at the amount of money available to academically situated researchers as opposed to his experience with funding for professional theatre (Personal Communication, Practice based research workshop, June 05, 2013, Canadian Association of Theatre Research, UVic). Prior to his obtaining a research grant (SSHRC), Alexandrowicz explored his staging of a play he wrote and directed, inspired by the story of composer Partch. As a dance theatre artist, his work is more physically presented than mine; he considered questions close to what I have been doing with my inquiry. While I am concerned more with the auto/biography of the source idea and its influence on the playwright, he offers a 161 ‘biography’ that focuses on production with The Boy Who Went Outside (Alexandrowicz, 2013, pp. 1-23). We both share a wonder about the challenge and difficulty of not only pursuing the playwriting idea, but also being pursued by that same idea. Despite the possible overwhelming nature of such ideas, Alexandrowicz concluded, “we are condemned to keep telling the stories that we feel are important, even crucial; to keep exploring; to keep asking why; to keep playing” (Alexandrowicz, 2013, p. 22, italics in the original). Writing in the foreword to the small but informative book Theatre and Education, internationally renowned UK based playwright Bond engages with the question, “Why did our species create the arts of theatre?” (2009, p. x) I note his plural use of the word art in homage to the oldest interdisciplinary profession. Bond has a personal significance for me in that early in my career, I produced and directed a combined professional and youth production of his translation of Wedekind’s coming of age play, Spring Awakening (1891/2012). When I immerse myself in this drama of young people’s stories—one of horrible individual repression—which would presage the unfolding of the savagery at the start of the 20th century, I marvel at the fearlessness of the writer Wedekind (imprisoned for writing the play). I equally marvel at his translator and fellow artist through the latter age, Bond. I hold the same questions that Bond writes in later the same foreword earlier referenced, “Why the awesome categories of Tragedy and Comedy? What made Theatre so fundamental to civilization?” (2009, p. x) I witnessed the development, growth, and challenge of the young people and their audience with this intensely involving play, Spring Awakening. From even that one example of which Bond is one progenitor, I can agree with his assertion that “put roughly, drama uses the same emotional and intellectual—and psychophysical—means by which, from birth onwards, and critically, during childhood, each of us creates a ‘self’” (Bond, 2009, p. xi). There is an inherently breathtaking 162 power in the art(s) of the theatre and drama in the work that it can do, as Bond implies, from birth onwards and through all the life ages of a person. I wonder if the artist must resist the instrumentalist inclination towards art in service of measured outcomes of education research out of concern for blunting that power. I am guided by the notion that the theatre has always been a form of engaged education and research into the human experience. Since ancient times of Sophocles and even earlier, as we know from Aristotle’s explications, Playwrights/Poets have endeavoured to make the “invisible visible” (Brook, 1968, p. 4). In so doing, I suggest that they have built upon and contributed to the making of a more empathetically human community by inviting a gathering together through this form of sharing stories. This inquiry explores how the playwright’s story informs the process of finding an idea towards crafting the first draft of a play. Through this exploration, I hope to more clearly define education’s knowledge of the starting place of this written communication. Heathcote (2000) reminds us that a teacher using drama is more a playwright than a director and students deepen their understanding of their learning through drama by playwriting. Dunn, Harding, and Marino (2013), in their synthesized study of the literature on drama and student literacy, conclude that drama helps “students overcome the ‘the hurdle of the blank page’” (2013, p. 257). And while an excellent primer for teachers on using acting techniques mentions the value of different theatre artist skills useful for a classroom teacher, it fails to enumerate playwriting (Tauber & Mester, 2007). From my observation of working both within the school system and as a theatre artist for several years, I agree with O’Farrell’s (1993) still relevant call to include professionally dedicated playwrights and playwriting more in the practices of how and what is taught through our schools’ humanities curriculum. 163 In a review of 10 years’ worth of arts-based dissertations at UBC, Sinner, Leggo, Irwin, Grauer, and Gouzouasis (2006) concluded that a/r/tography has been well suited to understand what it means to move with this flow and study the self in transitional moments. Hence, through this methodology, I examine my own process as a playwright in order to more closely see how I author upon a starting idea and how that idea authors upon me. As one of the understandings of this inquiry, I am now more able to see my playwright’s story as that of including a researcher and, in turn, my artistic work standing as inquiry and research in and of itself. I hope from these specific examples that I further the contribution from my within my immediate community of practice to seeing a playwright’s art is also research and a form of education from conception to eventual production. Irwin offers that: “A/r/tography begins with Being. Perhaps it is all about Being” (2008, p. 71). I interpret this by drawing an analogy from my experience where I understand that those of us in the theatre do theatre because we cannot be any other way in the world. In further discussing this idea of “Being,” with reference to Agamben (2008), we are invited to see “being is beside itself in an empty space into which life unfolds” (p. 71). I was struck by how this is exactly the same phrasing of the title of Brook’s (1968) book on theatre, which I will discuss in a later chapter. The synchronicity of phrasing and meaning from two different ways of knowing and two different time periods in my life suggested to me that I am headed in the right direction. With this study, I found that I needed to be inside the creative power of this empty space and I returned to its liminality throughout the research and writing. 164 Scene 7: Conversing with the Community I As a playwright, Creature knows that she must communicate information in action though elements of structure such as plot and story and the implied visual and oral presentation. A While we might recognize the importance of the story of a playwright’s personal process in the writing of a play, it has rarely been fully examined by a practicing playwright while immersed in the process of writing the play (Mackenzie & Belliveau, 2011). B So what? I Referencing the great tragedian, Sophocles, the philosopher Aristotle implied (and the notion was later made more explicit by Horace) that the purpose of drama is to help the audience to learn through delight, or to please in order to instruct (350 BCE/2000; Marangoz/ Cciplak, 2012). B Inquiry participant, Amiel Gladstone, Waldorf educated graduate, do you agree with this ancient statement: A (AS AMIEL) Funny, although I have a negative idea about the broad theme of education, I think I agree with the statement. I love it when a play teaches me something I don’t know. Whether that’s about human relationships or that’s about a community’s relationship to the world…or whether a new metaphor or how somebody lives in a way I hadn’t imagined... B Inquiry participant, playwright Dave Deveau as a fellow creature, do you see playmaking as a Teacher? Can you name an example of something that the process of your writing taught you as a person or the craft of your play? A AS DAVE Yup definitely, My Funny Valentine taught me, well first of all the final version of My Funny Valentine is nothing like or to do with the first, second or third draft even. It bears the same title and that’s about it. Source material certainly but none of the same characters, content, anything, and that show, that was the 1st time I recognized that I needed to write people that/who I did not personally agree with or necessarily care for, in an honest human way. And it was very hard, and very much worthwhile. (In person interview, February 2013, as part of the inquiry.) 165 I Making the clear connection of art and education within this arts based research project, Aristotle is further referenced by Irwin (2004) within the foundation of a/r/tography, and his three realms of knowledge; theoria (knowing), praxis (doing), and poiesis (making). Playwrights, who literally make the play, at least on paper, have a long tradition of at the very least a sublimated educational purpose. The Ancient Greek playwrights such as Aeschylus, Aristophanes and Sophocles (directly relevant to this study for his play Oedipus) were named and known through the word poiesis, eventually itself becoming Poets. They were the central figures in the making of the play from writing through to staging for an audience. I suggest that ancient and constantly cumulative knowledge through applied practice that informs the making of plays is inherently a research process making the “invisible visible” (Brook, 1968, p. 48). B Still, there are pragmatic concerns of craft… I As a playwright, Creature knows that she must communicate information in action though elements of structure such as plot and story and the implied visual and oral presentation. Each choice is an education. A A play is to be acted. As the word “wright” implies, a play is made, by doing. The potential of that doing may be imagined on paper through stage directions, which must be sparing, arising out of immediate necessity. I In her work, creature hopes the dialogue is the primary instrument that will show the action and thematic content of the play. All of these elements are open to a constant pull towards revision. Dialogue goes through revisions because the work must be communicated in a live setting which in turn effects both the internal and external actions of the characters. Considering the importance and malleability of all these elements, as other playwrights do, creature revises toward both a physically embodied and emotional interpretation which happens as a/r/tography suggests, “in and through time” (Irwin, 2004, p. 34). And by the implication of being in-between this also happens with a varied and transformational space (Irwin & Springgay, 2008, p. xxvii). B A/r/tography invites fluidity for this inquiry. 166 A Excellent, then we agree, all three of artist, researcher, and teacher identities arise naturally from the making of art. I As a playwriting theatre artist, creature needs to continually draw upon artistic sources of inspiration from an a/r/tographic “community of practice” (2008, pp.71-80). Creature sees his playwriting community represented in those with whom he has learned from auto/biographically; it is timeless and international as well as immediate and local. A Even prior to starting, such source place may already have been working upon you in subtle and deep ways. As accomplished American playwright Edward Albee said, “one day, I am with play” (as cited in McLauglin, 2007, p. 43). (I methodically moves from A to B, gently tracing their faces with his hand.) I Creature desires to acknowledge that sense of the local and immediate group is present in the underwriting of this dissertation. He first became aware that there were playwrights who wrote locally in Canada, when Creature read the book, Stage Voices, while still in high-school. The book was edited by a nun, (yes, a nun), Geraldine Anthony (1978). She had interviewed fourteen contemporary playwrights, including Canadian literary iconoclast, Robertson Davies. Creature is grateful she started the conversation with playwrights and has continued the conversation professionally throughout his life. A Participate as a peer with a local community of playwrights and theatre artists. The idea will flow… (I now traces the lips as A speaks and then traces B’s lips with the lightest touch of fingers to lips.) B Attend and consider play productions by playwrights. Learn from Judith Thompson who advises playwriting is to give away a bit of yourself, a finger, a little toe, and the whole process leaves one prone to identity panic. But you are not alone. A Others have been here before. Reflect upon the choices made by those peer playwrights. Then listen when it is finally your turn to join the conversation. Note the responses from the company of artists and audiences who collectively created the first public staged reading of the play. 167 B As Wade’s hybrid identity of the writer and the theatre artist in the room. You don’t know where that place we are going is, but we will get there. A From birth to this life to live or die, our little I, now make your offer. The chat’s over. Get back in your box. (The speaker I is felt inside a large cardboard box. A balloon is released with the word “ART” printed on it. The balloon deflates and flies around the space.) I Help me! I don’t know where I am or even how I got here. Is there anyone out there? Hello? Can you hear me? (Slight pause, the audience might answer back.) This in-between space that arts based researchers within A/R/Tography speak of is NOT a comfortable place to be. Coldly bright and hotly dark. Burning winter. The infinitely unfolding mutability is immediately terrorizing. It is the nightmare of the waiting room in Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You Will Go (1990). You can get stuck, and some people do get stuck—forever. That won’t be me. Remember the hero of that story finds her way through. I know. Such a paradox, no knowledge can be been gained without being in the room and without knowledge there will be no place to go. Am I in that room? This is someplace else. Hello? Does anyone hear me? I have been inside many changing in-betweens for over a year now. In and through and back again. I want to own that place for my art within the academy. (Speaking, remembering, bolstering) I have followed this call of artists and researchers to embrace the ambiguity and be in the in-between and I am almost shattered. (Quietly, looking out from the box) Vulnerable to be human, to have needs, here in the darkness. Lit by liminal tears in the liminality. Born time’s dreg; time’s death; time’s idiot. (Holding it out from the box, quickly, in hand) But I have my garlic plant and seeds of crab grass and I search for the rhizomatic relationships. Onward through with the renderings of A/R/Tography: contiguity, living inquiry, opening… Their meanings only become apparent within the tension—like a 168 I (continued) live high-voltage wire—danger!—threading and weaving through your identity, but still in pieces, palimpsest. So easy to say one is an artist and researcher and teacher. Those slashes seem so benign and grammatically polite. But with their sharp points, they are brain etchers. And we apply them consciously and willingly because we know there’s always a self yet to be (MacKenzie, 2011). I make the person in the same moment I am made. (Turning to the audience and asking directly of anyone listening) Might we have a playmaking education that creates the invitation from art and also allows that call to be heard and acted (written; painted; danced; played) upon? Might we embrace the core? *** End of the dialogue I, Interstial 169 CHAPTER 4: FATHER/AUTHOR(ITY): AUTO/BIOGRAPHICAL REFLECTIONS ON HUSTON’S “FREUD” In this chapter, I offer a summary reflection on the external sources and their historical interactions with the author that inspired the working draft of the play, The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John.9 “Hell is other People” Jean Paul Sartre, No Exit (1944/1989) As we have read within the play, Huston’s 1962 black and white film Freud: The Secret Passion, known more popularly as Freud and starring Montgomery Clift, was embattled with the more than usual production difficulties and tensions, possibly as a result of what can happen when creative people attempt to collaborate on a difficult subject. As a professional theatre artist, with several years of experience, I empathize with the collaborators’ struggles and as a direct result I have explored the source of that empathy by writing The Freudian Palimpsest of Monty and John. From the start, I have intended to document my process as a playwright in a contiguous manner (Irwin, 2004) as I encountered the source material. An early version of this chapter, written a year before I wrote any image of the play, is the first formulation of elements of the larger inquiry. Rather than argue towards a conclusive thesis, in keeping with the tradition of an exegesis it is my hope here to describe and elaborate on some personal observations of a phenomenon. To begin, I shall elaborate upon my approach/context to auto/biographical work in the theatre. The work is based on the lives of real people; therefore, my inquiry is akin to Grace’s recent theatre-based scholarship where she says such works provide “meaning, identity and 9 Citations in this chapter and the play may not have specific page numbers as they refer to files in the Herrick archive as fully listed in the references at the end of the dissertation. 170 possibly even order” (Grace, 2003, p. 108). A compelling Vancouver example is Coghill’s writing/performance on Emily Carr, Song of This Place, acutely understood by Grace more as “Coghill's self-portrait, a version of her autobiography" (Grace, 2003, p. 108). My work is guided by Earle’s (1972) careful articulation of the general value of the autobiographical in his book The Autobiographical Consciousness. there are some reasons for believing that the autobiographical, the biographical, and the poetic and the humanistic modes of insight and expression are very far from being informal or uncontrolled science, and they are not merely anything else at all, but rather the most faithful, subtle and profound comprehension we have in the world being of which we can have any comprehension at all: ourselves. (Earle, 1972, p. 87) In this context, I understand Earle’s idea of the poetic to mean the creation of art. While the editors of Life Writing and Literary Métissage, as an Ethos for our Times suggest that autobiographical writing might still be the “bastard child of the academy,” they also assert “the transformative potential of autobiography for educators” (Hasebe-Ludt, Chambers, & Leggo, 2009, p. 33). Throughout my study, biography and autobiography intersect, so I have referred to the way of writing these words as auto/biography. As Aoki lyrically suggests, the slash or crack invites us to “wonder what it may be like to be enlightened, living in the spaces of between, marked by the cracks in the words” (Aoki, 2005, p. 321). What I expect to do through this method (Pinar, 1994) is reveal the writing process of a playwright while in the midst of grappling with the source material and the formulation of the play. At a certain point, like most playwrights, I must get the words of the drama on paper. But revealing to my own consciousness and crystallizing on paper those thoughts about the forces at work in what gets written before it is written is a palimpsest puzzle, especially when the source subject for this inquiry is considered. 171 Defining Father/author(ity) As I elaborate throughout, the source subject centres on the tracing of an idea as it is understood in the hidden qualities of the human male self. I have been open to the changing ideas as they have arisen from the long-term process of the inquiry. But early on I also identified the common conflict for all the players, including myself, the force within the underwriting that I have named: Father/author(ity). I acknowledge there is the influence which might be represented by the less gendered term of parent/author; I am focusing on the specifically male experience as this is where the artmaking has led me. I am extending this notion from Freud’s “Father Complex” (a precursor to Oedipus Complex). In a 1910 public lecture, Freud credits Jung for the term ‘complex’ and inaugurates the entire phrase to describe “the most important” resistances in a male patient which “seem to be derived from the father complex” (1910, 1957, p. 288). Freud goes on to say that these resistances “express themselves in fear of the father, and in defiance and incredulity towards him” (1910, 1957, p. 289). This address to his psychoanalytic colleagues occurred 10 years after the publication of his key work, The Interpretation of Dreams. This text was the result of a four-year self-analysis catalyzed by the death of his own father, which Freud characterized as “the most significant event, the most decisive loss of a man’s life” (as cited in Gay, 2006, p. 89). For the purpose of my inquiry, I considered the word paternal in place of father for its distancing effect, but I appreciate the simplicity of the word father, which for me carries the full spectrum from benevolence, to gentle caring, to forceful, or dismissively patronizing. I have added the word “authority” which connotes author of an artwork as well as externally granted authority, such as leaders or supervisors, or assumed authority with all of its potential for abuse. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word author is etymologically also understood 172 as father, creator, and originator (OED, 2013). I have split the word authority, bracketing the suffix “ity,” as well as adding the slash after father. Similar to the a/r/tographic slashes that suggest a moving through these identities, I want to suggest a spectrum of action with father/author and how the overall concept changes with the presence of the suffix. The word author also may be used as a verb meaning an “action” (OED, 2013); something a playwright must do with ideas, concepts: show them as actions through character. I also want to have the full richness of the individual words seen and understood separately. I have left the word complex as silently implied within the term. The Father/author(ity) is manifested through a variety of ways, from life mentorship and guide, or protector, exploiter, nurturer, or destroyer. The film Freud ends with the title character embracing the gravestone of his father, while Huston’s voice-over references the Socratic notion “Know Thyself,” which by chance also begins Earle’s book. Through the project, I continue to wonder if such self-knowledge that the film postulates that Freud invited through his theories might lead to “enlightenment,” a kind of freedom Immanuel Kant engenders (Kant, 2007). I’m intrigued by the ironic paradox because Freud was considered to be much more deterministic. The result of my inquiry made its way into the play. There I have explored through Freud, the playwright and Clift in particular that an individual’s freedom is found through recognizing, confronting and working with the internalization of Father/author(ity). Personal and Theatre Interactions with Father/author(ity) “Call me Ishmael.” From Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851/1967) Father/author(ity) is a captivating theme in my life and my work, and I would like to now briefly elaborate on a few notions as to why I believe this is so in relation to my inquiry. 173 From the simple act of reading to my early growing up as Catholic and to my relationship with my father, Father/author(ity) has a profound presence. My understanding of the world was expanded and authored upon by closely reading biographies through my formative years. The authors of these books, who shared their lives with me, were, in effect, implied fatherly influences. My excited interest in biographies and autobiographies, usually on subjects related to the arts, led me through stories that had messages to implicate myself, such as: Charlie Chaplin’s, My Autobiography (1966). (How can you expect a butterfly to sing?) George Orwell, “Down and Out in London and Paris(1949/1961); Notes on a Cowardly Lion, by his son John (Lahr, 1969), which led me through biographies of great clowns in history, and I recall a side-trip into the creative non-fiction of Helter Skelter by the prosecutor of Charles Manson (Bugliosi & Gentry, 1980). I continued to read biographical/true life stories, off and on, throughout my twenties, usually about actors or writers or filmmakers and other creative arts professionals. Two life stories return me now to the overarching source of my interest in the subject of this chapter and the play. I read Montgomery Clift’s biography; Monty (LaGuardia, 1977) shortly after it was published. At age sixteen, I was given, as a Christmas present, the moviemaker John Huston’s autobiography An Open Book (Knopf, 1980), and became intrigued with the parallel accounts of a lesser known film Freud (Huston, 1962) by the director and the actor. I was fascinated that such seemingly opposite men collaborated on a biographical art film on one of the most noted and controversial intellectuals of the twentieth century, Sigmund Freud. With Monty and John named in the title, I put that polarity upfront. Understanding these men helps me to also understand more about how Father/author(ity) moves within my life and work. “Father” is a traditional concept of divine power well beyond my authority. The concept 174 started for me as a prayer said at least once per week; especially because I grew up in an Irish Canadian Catholic family. I prayed the “Our Father” as a young boy in my small-town church, underneath a large, life-like statue of God the Father’s bleeding son nailed to a wooden cross. The wood was bare. I was told as a Catholic boy that I was born with the original sin shared with all humanity, for which the son of God died—the father—and I realize Father/author(ity) is inherently part of my immediate family culture. It is part of the where and who I have been since even before I was born. Alongside this religious and other-worldly representation, I also encountered the happy and sad moods of my distant working-class father. And as a Canadian boy growing up in a small town, due to my proximity to the dominating Father/author(ity) of the United States, I was influenced by the political dominance of that country. As a child of the elder Trudeau era of Canadian federal politics, I am reminded of his quip, which as I later learned was delivered as part of a speech to the Washington National Press Gallery, 1969, “Living next to [America] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt” (as cited in, Beall, & Zarefsky, 1997, p. 305). Leaving aside overt politics, I was affected by many American pop-culture industry representations of maleness and fathers. For example, when the hero of Star Wars (Lucas, 1977) Luke Skywalker is finally told in the oft repeated scene that the evil Darth Vader is his Father, Luke screams, “No!” It’s a scream I feel when I know how much of my inherited Father/author(ity) is within me—good and bad— despite my desire to be the author of my own person. Moving from the teachings of religion, and pop-culture figures from another land, to the physical reality of my relationship with my earthbound father obviously proves just as fertile a 175 space for understanding Father/author(ity). As one good example of what I mean, I recall a visit home more than a decade or so ago, while working for a touring theatre company. Even though more than almost two decades had passed since moving away from home right after high-school and even with the distance, the tension of the relationship with my father could still affect me. I had accepted a touring show for elementary schools: two shows per day and travel in a van, eighteen weeks, all over the province of BC from the January cold to June's first heat. I was playing Robinson Crusoe. One of the tour areas was the coastal community where I grew up—a small, working class town, where the major industry was a pulp mill. Aside from sports and fishing, drinking stubbies and hanging out late at night on the beach were the preferred activities of people my age—older teens. But now I was a card-carrying professional actor so many years later, and I asked my father to attend the show. I thought this would be of double interest to him because it was happening at his Grade One granddaughter’s school (she is also my niece). He refused my invitation. Later he revealed his rationale: “You’re better than this work, performing in school gyms.” "But it's where I got my start." No comment back; not even a laugh. I pressed further (hit me, hit me right here), "Are you ashamed to see me?" "Yes." There I was, standing near him in the home I had grown up in, and I was a chastened child again. I stared out to the trees beyond out back and then just shook my head. I was angry at him, but I was also angry at myself for caring about his opinion so long into my adult life. The scene in this room was simply a repeat of others that had gone before and starting with my original decision to pursue my early interest to study and to work professionally in the theatre. At that time so many years previous, I made a decision that was strongly influenced by 176 my father. I would pursue an academic degree, instead of the more professionally mandated conservatory style of training. My dad was a son of the great depression and liked to give this practical advice. "Get a saleable skill son, first; but, if you must, do your theatre as a hobby, and with a university degree, you can always teach." I chose to compromise and please my father and pursue the degree. No support from him though during the degree. Towards the end of my theatre school program, he travelled over to my university and attended a play in which I was the lead, an expressionistic drama. Noticing the poster for the other main-stage show after the performance, he asked why I was not in the more traditional costume drama. I smiled. I know he meant well enough. But I was the lead Dad! Like the Crusoe moment so many years in the future, all this was just another repeat of the underlying feeling that even as I decidedly pursued a career in theatre, I had the voice of a negative Father/author(ity) in my head. I did not know it when I started out to study the theatre in earnest, but as it was earlier on in my life, that voice, one that is my responsibility for yielding to its power, would become a persistent shut-up judge, or to borrow a phrase, "cop in the head" (Headlines Theatre, n.d.; Boal, 2002, p. 206). A judge that would be there waiting, onstage or off, throughout my years, in the face of the need to be human and vulnerable for the work I hoped to do. So of course, one day, eventually, I had to kill this way of Father/author(ity). And I did in the professionally workshopped play production of Thomas at Mile Zero (Mackenzie, 2008) Reflecting on Thomas… for this inquiry, I noticed that in my connecting the death of the father to the elements of nature shows that while there is a fathering authority present, it is in a more positively generative and giving form. Thomas also explores how as a writer I feel most at home 177 in the elements of nature, particularly near or in water. William Earle first suggests that people might seem insignificant when they consider the vastness of nature, but Earle goes further to embolden us with a call to understand the "infinite possibility" (1972, p. 79) of human consciousness. I am grateful to my own father for providing a home close to the forest and sea where my imagination was freer to be and become. Speaking of Julius Here is another personal example of the concept of Father/author(ity) directly intersecting with my theatre work, but this time as a teacher and director. When I was still in my twenties and Artistic Director of the Victoria City Youth Theatre Company, I recall hosting the post talk back discussion of a condensed version of our production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The audience has a few tourists who have chanced upon our afternoon matinee for a high-school aged audience. I ask the audience what the company of young players have asked themselves during the rehearsals. “Have any of you considered killing someone before?” I hear a few stifled laughs and then I ask for a show of hands. Almost everyone in the audience including the two teachers raise their hands to say yes. Four hundred years after it was written, the play still has the power to provoke and make public a subconscious, unthinkable desire. As the lean and hungry conspirator Cassius says, “Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence/ Shall this our lofty scene be acted over/ In states unborn and accents yet unknown!” The mix of Canadian accented youth had acted the killing of the father figure of the state and the audience/witnesses had seen it plausible that they too might have done the same. The American tourists stayed after the exit of the final actor and shook my hand, “We had not thought of the story quite so personally before. Your company 178 of young actors have made our holiday.” They smiled more and thanked me, walking out the century old door to the outpost city of British Empire on Canada’s west coast. Theatre repeats the killing of fathers and the necessary confrontation with Father/author(ity) throughout its history of plays. As I have stated at the outset, theatre references I include are ones with which I have personally engaged in; they have become part of intellectual ephemera of my life. In this a/r/tographic reflection, I am reminded of reasons for their continued resonance. Shakespeare’s Hamlet begins with the impossible charge by the ghost of Hamlet’s murdered father: avenge his death. How does Hamlet remain an intact and unsullied self and yet also fulfill the demands of a dead father to kill the usurping state authority? (He doesn’t.) David French’s Of the Fields Lately (1975) begins with the building of an unbreakable wall between father and son. The two solitudes of male authorities representing French and English Canada are unmistakably part of Michel Tremblay’s darkly funny two character play Hosanna (1974). That the title character eventually loses the authority he only gained by dressing in his female drag persona may be seen as a sublime performance of demonstrating Father/author(ity); especially as the character appears naked at the end of the play, unassumingly accepting his male identity. More darkly ironic than sublime, is the childless couple of George and Martha, representing in namesake the first father and mother of America, in Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962)? Here, the key characters battle through psychological gameplaying and venomous language around the power of similar masculinized authority. Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, a favourite play I have seen in five separate productions over the years including a heretical (to Beckett) all female version, features two tramp/clowns interminably waiting for a father figure who is forever absent (1953, 1982). First Nations’ playwright Thompson Highway’s Dry Lips Outta move to Kapuskasing (1989) offers an existential sight gag. His characters 179 wonder where God is during their troubles, and God is revealed, trousers down, in an outhouse, groaning, set above the main playing area of the characters. From classical theatre, through Canadian theatre to modern American classics, the power and powerless of Father/author(ity) leading as a catalyst to conflict is found throughout stage literature. It is the timeless power of certain drama, (or at least, a good sight gag.) Huston Jokes with Father/authority Returning to the auto/biographical objects of my study, John Huston also marks his first real education in storytelling through stage or screen with watching his father rehearse and perform Desire Under the Elms (1960) by the father of American stage writing, Eugene O’Neill. The impressionable young Huston recalls “that the rhythm and flow had gotten into his bloodstream” (1980, p. 33). O’Neill deliberately brings a sense of Greek tragedy to the play and in effect a Freudian determinism. In the play, the septuagenarian patriarch, Ephraim Cabot (played in the original production by John’s dad, Walter) returns to the family farm with a new bride half his age, Abbie. The farm had been bought out from the older sons by the youngest after their mother’s death. Oedipal desire and unconscious primal forces sing in the silences between the triangle of characters. The son and his step mother, Abbie, fall in hopeless, lustful love and a child is born, which leads inevitably to a tragic confrontation. Huston (1980) summarizes the experience of watching the creation of the play throughout the rehearsals and into production: What I learned there during those weeks of rehearsal would serve me for the rest of my life. Not that I was aware of it at the time. I only knew that I was fascinated. (Huston, 1980, p. 33) Creating the opportunity to witness the work of Eugene O’Neill so closely was part of the profound professional support given to the younger John by his father, but only after drifting out 180 of John’s life from the age of three. (A pattern repeated by John with his own children.) Partially as a result of the absence of his father, John “never experienced a normal family life and had no stability as a child” (Meyers, 2011, par. 18). Walter died fairly young at age 69 and Huston recalled that he and his father “were as close as a father and son could be. He was my companion and my friend” (1980, p. 181). The tribute to his father continues for a short chapter, including the touching line that suggests the humour shared between the two men: “There was no one else with whom I would laugh in the same way or share the same freedom” (1980, p. 185). And that brings me to an interesting event apt for my inquiry. Walter made an uncredited cameo appearance in the first movie that John wrote and directed, in what may be seen as one of the first film noirs, The Maltese Falcon (1941). In character, Walter was to stumble into the office of Humphrey Bogart’s character, Sam Spade, fall, drop the falcon, and die. John killed his father for over 20 takes and then he had one of the actors impersonating the production secretary call the next day and tell him the print was not working (Grobel, 1989). At face value, this is John’s practical joke sense of humour, but scholar Lee Edelman in an extended article has analysed this small scene in a Freudian sense introducing it as “an effective way to register the pulsions of Oedipal aggression…[by]… obsessively, even sadistically, reenacting that scene in which the force of Oedipal repetition can seem so strikingly to play itself out” (1994, p. 70). Even in jest, Father/author(ity) has a particular significance for those who might be men, or living within the non-traditionally gendered masculine polarity. The significance is redoubled for those who subsequently become and live their lives as fathers, either in the physical/progenitor sense or in the assuming of state engineered father roles, and much like the character of Caesar. In an older story, as presented by the playwright Sophocles, in the character 181 of Oedipus, it is both a state father, and a personal one that must die. Considering the power of this ancient cultural myth a few millennia old, am I as a man doomed to kill my father? Or is it some form of Father that I must confront? Freud would have us believe this is so. Acting out the Oedipal story may be the journey one has to endure in order for one to become the authority that is ultimately the completion of the cycle of birthrights. We are as Freud would have us forever discontent because we must live within civilization; participate within the social roles demanded of our place (Freud, Strachey, & Gay, 1989). We must repress desires that would leave us discordant. It seems a faithless bargain we play out for ourselves every day. But how does a man become more than the sum total of his daily submission to civilization, unless it is to find within his own self, every day, the father of the man he is being and actively becoming. Life then could be seen as a cycle of killing the father; or, more politely, but still not without an element of hot blood, subsuming him, in a truly rhizomatic scene. Father/author(ity), shifting in its guises of authorship and author and father and the power to influence, or impose, or submit to a will, is part of the underwriting of the film Freud right from the beginning with the director and the actor. John Huston’s distinct and authoritative voice is the voice-over narration for the prologue and epilogue. By such method, Huston further inserts himself into the unquestioned authority of his subject, reminding us of Freud’s powerful “puncturing of man’s vanity”(Huston, 1962), and the illusion of man’s control over his destiny. At one point, he even takes on the internal monologue of Freud’s character. Clift’s biographer noted that a consulting analyst on the film Freud, Sir Stafford Clark, theorized Huston imagined himself a father to Monty on the filming of The Misfits and when Monty transformed himself from a confused cowboy into the bearded genius Freud…Huston developed a love/hate relationship” (Bosworth, 1978, p. 368). During the film production, in an extreme circumstance, 182 Huston turned the relationship into a violent chair tossing, shouting fury. This episode was witnessed by Huston’s nine year old daughter Angelica, later documented in the feature article, “My Bullying, Beautiful, Brilliant Father” (Phillip, 2006). Figure 4: John Huston and his daughter Angelica Huston, St. Cleran’s Ireland (publicity photo, Wiki-Media Commons, Accessed December, 2012) From my playwright’s perspective, the process of making the art and the subject of the art may have blended. The film Freud conflates Freud’s development of his major theories of the subconscious. Examining the production and the discourse around the creation today, one can see the uneasy interactions between the subject of the film and the particular relationships between the key male collaborators, especially the director, the lead actor, and the uncredited screenwriter, playwright and philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre. As a playwright, I look for associations and connections to help me understand the world I have encountered to this point. To that end, I have reviewed the film Freud from the development to the production looking at the concept of Father. I hope to further elucidate a playwright’s process in the continuing and what I would also call spiralling act of creation. 183 Source Reflected through the Playwright Self/Story Now I wish to examine and explicate a representation of how to view the connections within our subject. Each person may become a character in the play I’m writing, and for my purposes, I refer to them here as characters. There are four characters within this part of the exploration. As the play developed, there are two other significant characters based upon the real people, the producer/writer, Wolfgang Reinhardt, and the important character inspired from the actress who played the composite character, Cecily, Susannah York. As a starting place, I limited this exploration to the four primary men in both the development and production of Freud, especially as it applied to the history of the idea in the personal story of the playwright. 184 Figure 5: Playwright’s writing diagram working with the source. Graphic/related concepts © Donard Mackenzie Clift, Huston, and Sartre intersect on Freud, who is also a character. Freud appears twice because I need to see him both biographically through his own work and how he appears as a character in the movie. Sartre connects as the original writer of the original screenplay. Huston connects paradoxically as the interpretive artist of all three. It must be noted that as the actor, 185 Clift creates the character in action. Clift is seen to give a literal inspiration—give flesh and give breath to the character of Freud. All of them, including Freud, the character as he appears on the screen and in the screenplay, and Freud the man upon whom the character is based, present themselves as men who have negotiated their own sense of freedom from around the force of Father/author(ity). As the playwright interested in finding human drama within this world, I contend with my view of the Father. Hence, all representations are set on a field I’ve labeled “Father/author(ity).” With the layers, including the angles, the illustration also presages the palimpsest, but in the form of the pieces of broken glass left by Huston’s confrontation with Clift (see act 1 of the play.) All of the people, including Sigmund Freud himself, reflect back through my work as the playwright. The entire diagram is therefore set within the field I’ve titled Source Reflected through Playwright Self/Story. Rather than seeing this in psychological science terms, I concur with Earle, who said, “great poets have said everything relevant” (Earle, 1972, p. 73). So as Leggo suggests I prefer to see the concept of self and identity poetically, in other words, as a self in story (2008, p. 2). As the writer of the work I bring my story as an identity; all of my fears and joys and contradictions to this process. In the same context mentioned above, Earle goes on to say, “It is quite possible for an ego to choose or take on among many possible attitudes toward its life as a whole” (Earle, p. 73). The choices I make as playwright are crucial, as the subjects/ characters play upon my inner-self. Here, I’m humbled by the warning found in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where Hamlet admonishes his schoolmates, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to play a flute. When they confess they cannot because they don’t know the notes, he catches them with their own presumption: “'S’blood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me” (Shakespeare, 186 1972) While I’m not going to present a true Freud, or Clift, or Huston, or Sartre, I’m going to present my understanding of them, and to my own end, which will be unavoidably an insight into my unique and subjective self. As UK based scholar Deidre Heddon questioned of her own text, “Is Autobiography and Performance (italics in original) an autobiographical text? No not at all and yes of course” (2008, p. 19). Disinterring Huston as a Character Figure 6: Headstone for John Huston and his mother, Rhea, Hollywood Forever Cemetery (photo by N. Blakely, as part of the inquiry) I have lived a number of lives; I'm inclined to envy the man who leads one life, with one job, and one wife, in one country, under one God. John Huston, An Open Book (1980, p. 5). The beginning of this work is my own encounter with the film, which itself began with the director John Huston. I have ruminated that an auto/biographer is digging in the graves of selves long since interred, but towards lessons for new selves of the writer yet to be lived. While I feel a slight unease that I am treading on private matters, even by choosing to place the earlier picture of Huston and his daughter, Angelica, that cautious sensitivity points me towards what needs to be written. 187 Huston is interred with his mother at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery behind the Paramount Studios Lot off Santa Monica Boulevard. The above photograph was taken as part of my inquiry as was a still picture outside of the Freud Museum, London, UK, and the Academy Film archive, Los-Angeles, where the bulk of Huston’s papers on the Freud production are kept. I see the picture taking, as more than a souvenir, but as simple representations of the journey of where my engagement with the art project has taken me internally. As Heathcote said drama demands “we walk in other people’s shoes” (as cited in Heston, 1993, pp. 9-10), but it has sometimes felt the walk has taken me into dream lives and I needed guideposts, such as Huston’s quotation. I placed Huston’s phrase quoted above directly into the play I have written because the rhetorical construction resonates with my work. As I see the life I have lived, mine is the reverse of Huston’s envy. His story becomes a story of the type of human decisiveness I might have awakened in me. I have glimpsed his personal life through the archives of both his films, the personal working papers available in the archive and published biographies, including the most recent, by Jeffery Meyers: John Huston: Courage and Art. Meyers aptly states in his epilogue that: “Huston could be noble, generous and kind as well as selfish, callous, and cruel. But he should be remembered, for his intellect, his imagination, and his charm” (2011, par. 20). I confirm what I first felt as a teenager reading his autobiography An Open Book. He remains a critical exemplar for today’s filmmakers, and according to Meyers: “Huston shot forty pictures in forty six years, between 1941 and 1986, and probably made more great film than any other director” (2011, par. 1). As I later discuss with Freud, Huston has also been refracted through the public treatment beyond his own professional work. Reflecting upon his life at age 73, he recalls his one recurring 188 dream was being broke and even too ashamed to go to his father for assistance. And that event actually did occur and his father was pleased to help. But of this recurring dream he asked, “Why then should I have that dream in which I feel weak, dissolute, and shiftless?” (1980, p. 5) Huston didn’t have an answer, and even as he wrote those words, he still had great work ahead of him, including The Dead (1987), a film he made with almost his last breaths, as he carted tanks with oxygen to help his hole-speckled lungs. He continued the thought regarding this recurring dream, “It doesn’t match up with anything, symbolically, or otherwise. It’s a random dream…” (1980, p. 5). And so he ends the prologue to his life story, with a dream of being prostrate to his father, and one that seems to momentarily put aside his many gifts as a filmmaker and his honours by the profession. He has this in common with the subject of the movie Freud, and I shall further explore how there is something of this anxiety in all the men attached to my creative project, as they manoeuvred through the fields of yielding and wielding Father/author(ity). Huston was an actor; a short story writer; screenwriter, director, city champion boxer at age 15; survived a near death illness and a swimming brush with death by age 10; and a talented but amateur visual artist; and a courageous champion against the lies of McCarthyism (Huston, 1980; Meyers, 2011). I know his flaws; and still I admire his living his life from the disciplined wild of the moving edge of the next country to film from, or his openness about his sexual and romantic relationships. I am shaken by his contradictions, one of which becomes a subtle trigger in the play and finally, I am in awe of the changeable range of the lifetime of his artistic work; for example, such films as his first as writer-director, The Maltese Falcon (1941) or the adventuring morality play, The African Queen (1951), both starring his lifelong friend, Hollywood’s golden age star, Humphrey Bogart. Of the latter film, Katherine Hepburn, co-lead, 189 wrote a light, funny auto/biographical account, well summarized in the subtitle, "How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind” (1987). The African Queen inspired an additional profound rendering that involves documenting the intersections of a life lived in art and the artmaking process. Peter Vertiel wrote a creative non-fiction story about the making of The African Queen titled White Hunter, Black Heart (1941). Sent an early draft, Huston was said to have made suggestions on how to make the Huston-based character even more flawed in certain actions. The book was adapted into a movie of the same name, starring Clint Eastwood as the Huston character questing to kill an elephant with tragic results for his African guide. As this fictionalized film ends, action on the first shot of what will be The African Queen begins, all while drums continually echo from village to village with the beaten message: white hunter; black heart. Perhaps due to the unusual turn for the star, using Huston’s bass drawl, Eastwood’s movie was a box-office failure, but critically well received. Huston’s influence on actors is still felt within contemporary cinema. Recently, Daniel Day Lewis was noted to pay homage to Huston by choosing a character voice for the acclaimed movie There Will Be Blood (2007). And while Arthur Miller, screenwriter for the Huston directed The Mistfits (1960), commented that he knew of Huston’s reputation for “sadism” with actors (and writers) (1987, p. 465), he noticed nothing of the sort on the set of that movie, which starred Clift, Gable, and Monroe. Indeed, Meyers referenced filmmaker Woody Allen, who said the performances in Huston’s movies were “superb” (2011). Speaking again specifically of The Misfits and his troubled wife, Monroe, Miller stated that Huston “never begrudged people their temperament—the unconscious was not his business, nor could he afford to take it into directorial consideration” (2011, p. 466). Miller observed that Huston’s working relationship 190 with the actors was about seeing “resiliency . . . and courage in people, probably because he saw himself as a lifelong fighter against impossible odds” (p. 465). Such odds led Huston to a low point early in his personal life, of which he later wrote in his autobiography a telling comment worth quoting in its entirety. I could have called Dad and help would have been immediately forthcoming, but I refrained from doing this. I felt it would be no use. I knew I couldn’t get out of my bad streak that way. The sources of bad luck reside in the unconscious. We inflict it on ourselves as a kind of self-punishment. At the time I only thought of myself as unlucky—under a dark cloud undoubtedly emanated from my own spirit. I examined myself to the best of my ability, but couldn’t come up with any answer. I didn’t know where the illness lay, or how deeply chronic it was. I had neither the equipment nor the inclination for analysing myself in depth, nor did I have the wherewithal, time or money to consult a proper analyst, so I did nothing. My hope was that if left it alone, my innate health, given time, would overcome whatever the hell was wrong. (1980, p. 68) As I shall further discuss later in this chapter, the concept of the unconscious became a contentious point for the filmmaker and his hired screenwriter, Jean Paul Sartre. In the above, Huston was in his late twenties and near the end of his first marriage. His luck seemed to have entirely run out and he blamed it on what he perceived lies in the unconscious. In a letter to his lover, Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre was dismissive of Huston: “He pointed to his head and said, in my subconscious, there is nothing” (as cited in Pontalis, 1985, p. viii). Even in publicity stories during the making of Freud, Huston suggested he had no need for analysis and no trouble with his unconscious mind (Herrick, 1960-1963). In the reflective action of writing his life story years later, Huston admitted to such an unconscious force, and that he too had struggled with something beyond his considerable reach. Perhaps, given his early brushes with death and his own determined and impulsive nature, he was gifted without the need to repress as he lived out his unconscious world through the dreams he authored with an assured hand for the darkened theatre or the later living rooms of children not yet born. 191 My relationship as would-be actor with John Huston’s work started early in my life. I saw Huston’s film from Melville’s book, Moby Dick (Huston, 1956) when I was five years old. Afterwards I acted out all the parts on top of an overturned oversized rowboat in a field behind our house. I searched for that whale dozens of times well into the twilights of several days. It is one of my earliest and sharpest memories of what has become a career of playing make believe. Found in that search by me, which is as humbling and daunting as Hamlet’s challenge, are all the parts that might be played or written—a good metaphor for my continued pursuit as a dramatist. Huston’s art gently Father/author(ity)’d me into my own understanding of the world beyond my immediate family. I admit I was not yet ready for the dark irony and cruelty of competing contract killers in Prizzi’s Honour starring Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner (1985). But his final film, an adaptation of James Joyce’s short story, The Dead (1987), spoke to me of themes of longing and love and dropped me inside the haunted, hushed reality of an Irish mid-winter holiday. I experienced the fine lived detail of the single night of family celebration that is the focus of the story. His own daughter, Angelica, played the woman who shocks her husband with the passion she helplessly reveals for a long dead boy she once loved. I saw this film when I was barely an adult and it too haunted me throughout my life the way an earlier experience with Huston’s version of Melville’s Moby Dick had done. That particular tense working relationship with slightly built screenwriter Ray Bradbury also resulted in an intriguing artistically informed scene: the filmmaker character was killed by the creation in the story, Banshee. The story was later adapted for the small screen in Ray Bradbury Theatre starring the celebrated actor, Peter O’Toole (1986). In the archive, there are leather-bound copies of most of Huston’s films placed behind glass display cases, as there are for other directors of his time. The gold embossed scripts stand 192 as summative trophies earned and once proudly displayed after the picture was “done.” The final version of the Freud screenplay does not speak of the dozens of versions within the archive, some with several margin notes attempting to credit who wrote what. Clearly, the Freud project began with a difficult subject, and as a dramatist for the empty space of the screen, itself a projection of 24 frames of interstitial spaces per second, how did Huston attack this subject for the movie Freud? To further elucidate the beginning inspiration of the material for the film that became the creative source of my project, I will further discuss Huston, which will lead into Sartre and then Montgomery Clift and finally my own concerns about approaching the ideas and characterization of Sigmund Freud. Authoring with the Source Idea "This race and this country and this life produced me, he said. I shall express myself as I am." James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916/1964) John Huston was born into the profession of acting and drama. Huston became arguably one of the first auteurs long before the term was invented. Working through the Golden Age of Hollywood and as the son of noted character actor Walter Huston, he was granted a certain amount of independence, which he also earned from his talent as both a screenwriter and director and occasionally as an actor. Made initially possible by the close professional relationship with his father and his creative sensibility as a writer and adaptor, he eventually gained patriarchal control as a film director. The position is popularly referenced as, although the phrasing varies, “a sanctioned dictatorship” (Barr, Hickenlooper, & Coppola, 1991). Huston’s work does not invite the application of the critical term “auteur” as a rule because his work varied so much, and Huston felt he was more the director of a story than the overall author of a film. Much of 193 Huston’s work was not filmed from the studio back lots but from exceptional locales around the world. Huston’s own work on Freud began from his experience working on his World War Two era documentary, Let There Be Light (Huston, 1946). Here, the writer/director examines the arrival of emotionally traumatized American soldiers to a post-war recovery base. Even today, I found this film to be a stunning piece of filmmaking for its intimate invasion of such deeply personal moments in the returning soldiers’ lives. The soldier who could not walk at the beginning was taken through hypnotic treatments until, by the end, we see him joyfully running the bases in a baseball game. The U.S. Army banned the public showing until over 35 years after it was made; odd because there is such a carefully crafted uplifting end to the film. Perhaps the disturbing image of broken men and the questioning of the country’s civil and family structures jarred with the corporate and state messages in the era that followed. The expert and patriarchal gaze of the doctor bring to mind Foucault’s concept of “The Gaze” (Foucault, 1975) and its implications of power. Such effect is seen both in the documentary and in the fictional film Freud. Figure 7: Hypnotized soldier, Let there be light, still frame (U.S. Government Archives, Public Domain) 194 Here, I provide this one example from Let There Be Light. While it represents an image of hypnosis, the implication of the power inherent in the older doctor’s view is also present. The scene is a mirror image of a staging in Huston’s Freud and is one piece that helps to show the direct lineage of the concept behind the movie Freud. The same doctor in the still was seen as a nurturing father figure and he told the men in a group session that if they missed the love or nurturing they received when they were younger, they would search for it until they received it. I believe one soldier rightly speculated that perhaps “their own poverty and lack of opportunities” (Huston, 1946) had something to do with their well-being. The doctor did not follow-up on this and the self of the soldier was subsumed within the authority of the doctor as surrogate father. It must be noted that all this took place in a military context where submission to at least a metaphorically parental authority was a given condition for the lives of the soldiers. Similarly, the film Freud opened with a stunning scene of a young Sigmund making the rounds with “Herr Doctor”—Dr. Theodore Meynert, the first Father/author(ity) figure we encountered that Freud must overcome. A female patient displaying paralysis was seen to “be shirking the responsibilities of life” under the watchful gaze of “Herr Doctor.” In the first display of many challenges to Father/author(ity), young Dr. Freud demonstrated to “Herr Doctor,” in front of his junior colleagues, that perhaps something else was going on that was not immediately apparent. After this challenge, we saw that Freud would not last long working with “Herr Doctor.” The direct application of Freud’s work fascinated Huston as a means of helping these soldiers rediscover their own sense of self and he wanted to present the source of the “amazing” results in a fictional dramatic film. He wanted the film to tell a journey as scary as “Dante’s descent into hell” (Huston, p. 301). Such theories of self could be readily applied through the idea I have previously mentioned, “core identity,” found within the work of a later protégé of 195 Freud, psychologist Erik Erikson. Huston experienced this during his production of Let There Be Light. Erikson first defined the concept of “core identity” after working with World War II returning soldiers (Kroger, 2000). As Erikson related, they knew who they were, they had a personal identity, but it was as if, subjectively, their lives no longer hung together—and they never would again . . . . this sense of identity provides the ability to experience one’s self as something that has continuity and sameness and to act accordingly. (Erikson, 1963, p. 42) I’m intrigued by this concept of identity both within the context it arises from, and within my own understanding of my work as an actor and a playwright. I will elaborate on this in my discussion of Clift, but I also wish to make note of a few autobiographical points. As an actor, one hopes to create a sense of existence apart from oneself, but it only happens by an artful manipulation of voice and body and something less tangible, an inner-life that becomes compassionately entwined with the character one is playing. The French theatre practitioner Anton Artaud explored the concept in his book, The Theatre and It’s Double (Artaud, 1938). Imagine as well the closely akin work of the playwright or the screenwriter, attempting to give language and action to the characters. The starting place is the playwright’s own identity. Canadian Governor General award winning playwright Judith Thompson asserts, “identity panic is a result of my using the very essence of myself to create character in dramatic work” (Thompson, 1996). Shakespeare confronts this paradox of identity in the form of his character Hamlet, who wonders of an actor’s passion: “What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba/ That he should weep for her? What would he do, Had he the motive and the cue for passion/That I have? He would drown the stage with tears” (1603/1972, act II, sc ii, p. 935). Sartre: Authoring the Self through the Father Huston turned to celebrated French intellectual and playwright Jean Paul Sartre as the screenwriter for the Freud film project. Perhaps it was Huston’s experience directing Sartre’s 196 play No Exit, which was set in hell, that led him to Sartre as screenwriter, but Sartre’s own beliefs about Freud’s ideas were almost antithetical to the man he would attempt to write about. Gertrud Koch related the background to Sartre’s relationship to the material and working with Huston. Koch fully quoted a letter to Simone de Beauvoir from Sartre, in which the philosopher/playwright was clear: “I don't believe in the unconscious in the form in which psychoanalysis represents it to us." He goes further: The result is that his description of psychoanalytic phenomena is not exempt from a sort of mechanical rigidity. Sometimes he succeeds in overcoming this difficulty. But most of the time his language gives rise to a mythology of the unconscious, which is unacceptable. (Sartre, as cited in Koch, 1991, p. 5) Yet Sartre took on the project, even within his bad faith philosophy, perhaps because of his own tax problems and need for the money. Huston was aware of some of Sartre’s reluctance, calling him “anti-Freudian”: Sartre disagreed with Freud in a social sense rather than in a scientific sense. He regarded Freud’s studies as valuable for what they discovered about the human mind, but of little social import because the role the psychoanalyst was in fact so limited. (1980, p. 294) Despite this, Huston thought Sartre knew the works intimately enough and “would have an objective and logical approach” (1980, p. 294). The screenplay Sartre eventually submitted would have made for at least a five-hour movie. Huston initially disagreed with Sartre’s focus on the development of Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex, but the central objection was how Sartre related in “prodigious detail Freud’s relationships with several surrogate Fathers” (1980, p. 295). Huston felt it was simply too much to put into one movie and they met for two weeks for long and detailed meetings at Huston’s estate in Ireland. Huston did not hide his frustration at working with Sartre: “Sometimes I’d leave the room in desperation—on the verge of exhaustion from trying to follow what he was saying; the drone of his voice followed me until I was out of earshot, and when I’d return, he wouldn’t even have noticed that I’d been gone” (Huston, 1980, 197 p. 295). The chasm became too deep and Sartre refused to work further on the screenplay. The original cables found in the archives tell the story. Huston wrote to his producing partner, Wolfgang Reinhardt, “I am shocked by such a demonstration of irresponsibility by a foremost authority on ethics” (Huston, 1961). Huston’s appeal to Sartre’s authority as the philosopher he thought he had contracted subtly demonstrates the assertion of the force of Father/author(ity) within the creative project. Huston wrote further, “You may inquire of him how a screenplay some four times the length of Ben Hur’s might be reduced without considerable rewriting” (Huston, 1961). Eventually, Huston and his producing collaborator, Reinhardt, began to work on the screenplay to whittle it down to a filmable length, with a greater focus on Freud’s development of analysis as a means of reaching the unconscious. Sartre eventually had his name removed from the credits, but not without first giving the explanation as to why he left, demanded of him by Huston. I have animated these exchanges within the play. Sartre’s text for my play is primarily sourced from the seven pages of a small font, single spaced typed letter, which was an angry condensation about art and authorship. Because I was recovering from my own right to my authorship of a different play, Sartre’s letter spoke profoundly to me. His words, hard imprints on the velum, lived well beyond my cool hours in the archives of the converted former Beverley Hills water treatment facility, where this letter lives for future storytellers and scholars of drama and philosophy. As I was with all the particularly personal material, including the letter from Monroe, I was thrilled to read it in the original and, much as Leggo asked about attending to the stories of pop culture personalities, I too ask “why I pay such eager, almost addicted attention” (2008, p. 3). 198 Figure 8: Jean Paul Sartre (Wikimedia, Public Commons, Accessed: December, 2012) “Before the problem of the creative artist analysis must, alas, lay down its arms.” Sigmund Freud in Dostoevsky and Parricide (1928) Upon reading Jean Paul Sartre’s The Freud Scenario, as edited by noted French psychoanalyst J.B. Pontalis, I recognized a connection to Sherril Grace’s observation about biographical work in general. The synopsis was first structured around the theme of self-analysis. Here Sartre provides an intriguing definition that also applies to my inquiry as a playwright: The subject of the scenario is really: a man sets about knowing others because he sees this as the only way of getting to know himself; he realizes he must carry out his research upon others and upon himself simultaneously. We know ourselves through others, we know others through ourselves. (Sartre, 1985, p. 505) It is clear that at the same time Sartre was working on this Freud Scenario he was working on his own actual autobiographical project. As Pontalis noted, Sartre wrote down his own dreams as part of the project. Pontalis went so far as to say that for a time, Sartre saw “himself as one of Freud’s children like the rest of us; but as an indefatigable child” (Pontalis, 1985, p. xv). By showing Freud’s own struggles with the surrogate fathers, Sartre is appealing to his own inner struggle with an absent father, what that might mean. Sartre’s autobiography, The Words, attest that his understanding of the authority of a father was unequivocal. 199 There is no good father, that's the rule. Don't lay the blame on men but on the bond of paternity, which is rotten. To beget children, nothing better; to have them, what iniquity! Had my father lived, he would have lain on me full length and would have crushed me. As luck had it, he died young. (1964, p. 19) He spoke with bitter truth; that he was burdened with freedom to be his own person, denying any feeling that being without a father did not matter. Denial of feelings establishes male identity, but in Sartre’s case emotions were channelled in and through the art project (Boule, 2004). The autobiography was direct and unsparing in this observation of his father, and he brought the same spyglass to his vision of Freud. Long before working on Freud, Father/author(ity) provided for Sartre a fertile source for his writing. He carried the father surrogates in the Freud Scenario to the extreme, even to the point that an early draft of the screenplay noted how Freud demonstrates his acquiescence to a man he considers to be his better. The screenplay extended the biographical element that Sigmund Freud was Jewish and, more importantly, the overall identity from his father that affected his career path. Freud himself wrote about the disappointment he felt with his father, including in The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud, 1965, p. 230). Biographical scholar David Grubin noted in the text for Young Doctor Freud, a Public Broadcasting System documentary film, that “all his life Freud masked his disappointment in his father, even from himself” (Grubin, 2002).10 After the rebellion with Dr. Meynert, Freud decided to leave to work with Charcot for a year. The early scene from the produced Huston film showed Freud saying goodbye to his family at the train station. His old father gave him a watch. Clift played the scene with some impatience with the doting and ponderously charming father and quickly boarded the train. As the train whistled, Freud stumbled and the watch fell and broke. We learn later that something traumatic 10 Grubin’s documentary is available for viewing online at http://www.pbs.org/youngdrfreud/index.htm and text from the film is available on the website, from the section in Families, entitled “Fathers.” 200 happened to him on a train that involved his father. Even with the rewriting after Sartre by Wolfgang Reinhardt and John Huston, the final film still shows the wide variety of ways Freud dealt with his attachment to Father/author(ity), which led to the key element of his understanding of the subconscious. These other characters even refer to themselves as “spiritual fathers.” By the end, he had to deny, or I should say overcome, the last spiritual father, Breur. That leaves, of course, the most important father to the man, Freud himself. At least that would be my conclusion from the experience of my life so far, that I am a father to my life. The film itself, through the voice-of-authority epilogue narration by John Huston, challenges us with this question: When we have the knowledge of self, how do we use it? Sartre accepted an incredible challenge when he agreed to write the first screenplay. The sources for his and Reinhardt’s and Huston’s work included reviewing Ernest Jones’ biography of Freud, Freud’s own writings, and what was a recently published book on the first version of Freud’s letters to a key friend, William Fleiss (Roudinesco, 2008, p. 46). As a dramatist, I marvel at the sheer hard—like coal-mining—work that Sartre demonstrated in the versions of the screenplay. As noted elsewhere, it was not necessarily an artistic endeavour, but more a personal challenge (Pontalis, p. viii). For example, despite the highly expurgated Fleiss letters by Freud’s heirs, which hid certain mis-steps, Sartre’s dogged determination to follow Freudian analysis led to a portrait truer to the essence of the man (Roudinesco, 2008, p. 49). The initial synopsis at 97 pages was itself almost three times the standard length, and despite requests to keep subsequent scripts to a shorter length, they too grew. Since the initial writings were so comprehensive, one can see clues to the writer’s inner choices at work that were more obvious; for example, he uses the rather easy structuring device typical of Hollywood “bio-pics” of having Freud appear first as sixty and recounting the story of his own self-analysis, and then having the story turn back in 201 time (Such a technique was even used for the relatively more recent Chaplin) (Attenborough, 1992). This structuring device was wisely not seen in the later scenarios, nor in the final cut of the film, both due to Huston’s desire for something more like an “intellectual suspense story” (Huston, p. 303), and Sartr
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UBC Theses and Dissertations
The story of an idea : moving with a playmaking education MacKenzie, Donard Anthony James 2015
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