On top of being isolating, writing the dissertation can zap one of creativity. It’s all archives and analysis and arguments. I am a nerd, and I love that stuff, but I’m also an artist and a writer. I need some real theatre in my archive. I need to fill up the creativity tank.

This past weekend I participated in a 24 Play Festival as a playwright. The theme was “Out of Context.” The five playwrights grabbed text messages from our phones that we thought would make good titles, then traded them. My title was “Real Life, Dolphin Unicorns.”

My first thought was “What the hell am I going to do with that?” The title suggested something fantastical,  but I didn’t really want to write something dealing with a new world – I’m too type A to not have the rules established of a fantasy world. The person who supplied the title told me he was telling someone about narwhals. For some reason, narwhals make me think of Lisa Frank art, which made me think of life in Mansfield. I got very nostalgic – thinking about how easy things were when I was kid – but it didn’t last long, because I prefer an adult life here than a kid one there.

Then – KABOOM.

My play would be be about a girl, 23, who left her job as a high school teacher early because she got called Ma’am. She builds a fort in her living room, names it narwhallia, and chooses to reject real life for a land of dolphin unicorns.

It was a silly little play, but I enjoyed writing it. I enjoyed seeing it produced. I enjoyed being creative.

Tank filled – back to the archive.



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