I Am Not Afraid of Death but I Am Afraid of Playwriting by Paloma Fernandez

I absolutely despised playwriting my freshman year. I thought all plays had to be serious to be “good” and respected. Unfortunately, last year our playwriting unit got cut short due to the pandemic, and during that unit as odd as it was with distance learning, I realized I enjoyed playwriting, maybe I was even good at it.

Coming up on the one year anniversary of school closures, and our playwriting unit being cut short, I reflect on how my love for playwriting and screenwriting has grown over the past twelve months. One could view the conversations in playwriting as a substitute for all the real-world interactions we would normally be experiencing. I find that a little sad even though it’s true, at least for myself. I get to create characters and eavesdrop on their conversations. At times I even insert characters similar to myself in hopes that it will make me feel like I’m apart of the conversation. I am fully aware that sounds odd, but after a full year in quarantine, I’ve realized how much I miss interacting with strangers, all characters start out as strangers anyway. 

So, I guess that all I am attempting to say is that my freshman year hatred for playwriting has somehow turned into nothing but love and admiration. I realize now that I perhaps never actually hate playwriting, I was simply scared of it, and rightfully so. I still find playwriting terrifying, you would have to be completely fearless not to. But, let me tell you, playwriting is completely worth every moment of terror. The most accomplished I have ever felt in Creative Writing was when I shared a play I had written, completely convinced it was not going to land, and people actually ended up liking it, maybe I could even say loved it but that may be too egotistical. 

Paloma Fernandez, Class of ’22

Playwriting Classes

PlayGround’s 2011-12 Playwriting Intensives

Sign up for PlayGround’s monthly two-hour playwriting master class series with leading Bay Area dramatists and(re)discover your potential as a playwright. All classes take place at A.C.T. Studios, 30 Grant Ave, San Francisco on first Mondays, 7pm-9pm, October through March. Registration is $15 for the October 3 class only; $35 for all subsequent classes ($40 at the door); $100 for six-class subscriptions (a 46% savings!).

For complete class descriptions and instructor bios, visit http://playground-sf.org/classes.shtml.
To register, visit http://playground-sf.org/register.shtml.

October 3 – The Working Playwright, Revisited: Everything You (Still) Need to Know with Aaron Loeb

November 7 –Back to the Basics with Philip Kan Gotanda

December 5 – Writing with an Eye for Staging & Physicality with Mark Jackson

January 2 – Adaptations with Anthony Clarvoe

February 6 – You Write Funny with Peter Sinn Nachtrieb

March 5 – Finding the End with Lauren Gunderson

Suggested Reading: Best of PlayGround series (2001-2011)

Founded in 1994, PlayGround is the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator. Over the past seventeen years, PlayGround has developed nearly 600 original short plays by 170 early-career Bay Area playwrights and in just the past eight years has commissioned 34 new full-length plays with 7 currently in development. PlayGround works can be seen at the monthly Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series, annual Best of PlayGround Festival and PlayGround co-productions in partnership with Bay Area theatres. For more information on PlayGround programs and the upcoming 2011-12 season, visit http://playground-sf.org or call (415) 992-6677.