Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


BCWJ Article – Creativity Through Planned Reflection

Please note: I am continuing my practice as a freelance dramaturg with Hamilton Dramaturgy. The office is still open! I am still actively pursuing the activities that I have conducted for 24 years – freelance dramaturgy, script development, research, career advising. I am accepting new clients. hamiltonlit@hotmail.com

Here is my last Bucks County Women’s Journal column – Page & Stage (October/November 2015, column shared with Linda C. Wisniewski)

Creativity Through Planned Reflection

By Anne M. Hamilton, MFA

Last summer I made a conscious effort to set aside time to clear my mind. I took a short hiatus from my dramaturgy practice after teaching the playwriting workshop at the Philadelphia Writers Conference in June. Planning the break took a great deal of effort, because it involved notifying all of my writers and editors that I would not be available for a short while.

As an adult, I find that I have to work twice as hard to find space to rest. Yet if I don’t rest, I can’t regenerate. During my deliberate break, I looked to other women for inspiration. I read photographer Annie Leibovitz’s PILGRIMAGE, a thick coffee table book with photos that she took not on assignment, but from her own sense of interest. She began by visiting writers and artists’ studios, and then began to photograph landscapes and objects. Some of the creative settings belonged to Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Louisa May Alcott and Georgie O’Keeffe.

I returned to some of the things I love to do most. I took a trip to the sea, I visited old homes and churches, and bought fresh produce from local farmers. I walked in strange cities. I took road trips. I walked by rivers and looked at the scenery. I spent more time with people I love and avoided the ones who cause me stress.

What does all of this have to do with what’s happening on stage in Bucks County? Well, what eventually appears on the stage comes from the heart, mind and hands. I did an experiment to change the foundations of my thinking and perceptions.

As a playwright, I don’t know yet what kind of new stage work this break will inspire; I didn’t write anything new during my hiatus. Yet I noted the journeys taken by every one of the women in Leibovitz’s book – whether of isolation, wandering, or exploration.

As Amy Goodman recently said, “Go into the silence.”

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Anne Hamilton has 24 years of experience as a dramaturg. She is available for script consultations and career advising through hamiltonlit@hotmail.com. Her drama THE SHOEBOX is a winner of Little Black Dress INK’s 4th Annual Female Playwrights Onstage Project – OUTSIDE THE LINES – National Festival of New Work. It was read in Minneapolis and Los Angeles and received a production in Arizona in August.

Dowload the article here: BCWJ Article -Creativity Through Planned Refection by Anne Hamilton