Sept. 16, 2014 8:43 AM PT FacebookTwitterShow more sharing optionsShareClose extra sharing options Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Copy Link URLCopied!Print An occasional series appearing in Sunday Arts & Music. Read more 1Entertainment & Arts But how will it translate? His own failure to understand a situation leaves the ‘Bengal Tiger’ creator mulling some of the subtlest aspects of communication.2Entertainment & Arts Stephen Belber: ‘Is it better to write for Hollywood?’ The playwright ponders the relative ease and financial advantages of turning out movie scripts rather than toiling over theater projects, which have their own rewards.3 Entertainment & Arts Playwright Theresa Rebeck likes to tell stories And that’s precisely what bothers some people. All that structure and all that plot may keep the audience interested, but some say they confine creativity.4 Entertainment & Arts 2008 Pacific Playwrights Festival Write, test, listen, cut, rewrite. Five playwrights on the drama of development at South Coast Rep5 Entertainment & Arts Richard Greenberg’s fresh perspective The phrase ‘sad little play’ hung in his mind -- no way did he want them applied to his new script. Perhaps it was time to rearrange his thinking.6 Entertainment & Arts Comden & Green (and now add Beane) Adapting Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s ‘The Bandwagon’ was a labor of love for Douglas Carter Beane.7 Jane Anderson knows it’s time to let go Yes, the director should be in charge now, only the author is the director. Fortunately, she’s learned humility.8 Entertainment & Arts Dramatist Donald Margulies sees the stage in a fresh light To lure a new generation, shelve the tried and true. Let the audience learn to imagine again.9 Entertainment & Arts True stories and other modern-day fantasies In a world where fact and fiction blur, sometimes invention is the shortest route to truth.10 Entertainment & Arts Casting for the stage should be color-blind When great actors are denied great roles because of their skin color, there’s a problem. Even if they are white.11 Entertainment & Arts Can’t TiVo it. No iPods used. Dead? Just the opposite. Theater is very much alive, because it’s live. And best of all: You get to share it.12 Entertainment & Arts The spread on `Spam’ What would boost the odds of our Round Table romp becoming a Vegas success -- a nude King Arthur on ice?13 Entertainment & Arts Embrace the bad to find the good Whenever I try to write a worthwhile play, I find it helps to see just how awful I can be.14 Puppeteer or poet, all paths lead to the page My wildly careening career ride may have seemed like a string of detours, but as it turned out, it didn’t take me a single mile out of my way.15 Letting life fill in the blanks There’s no mapping it out. Stories can come from the dramas that just happen to unfold, often things you can’t foresee.16 Ah, those stinking badges Responsibility is a burden, and we in Culture Clash often feel its weight. But would we be true to ourselves if we settled for a song and dance?17 Finding laughter in the grief Billy Crystal started writing “700 Sundays” as a meditation on his father’s premature death. Reliving the anguish, healing and humor, he’s learned to trust his instincts — and his audience.18 Truth, and other overrated ideas Lying. Some people might call it pathological. Rick Cleveland calls it “The Beginning of How I Became a Writer.”19 Attack of the creeping misnomer That movie, that play, that war — its title may not be logical, or barely true. One can rail against it or, quite simply, join in.20 Don’t shush the house The road to “Avenue Q” has had more than a few bumps and turns. But the audience is always there giving clear directions about which way we need to go.21 Entertainment & Arts The outsider within us One wouldn’t expect an elderly gay transvestite to be so beloved, but rooting for the underdog is a reminder that through insecurity comes strength.22 Entertainment & Arts Stage invades history Art takes us to a place that journalism can’t: the psychological heart of the characters in an epic story like the buildup to war against Iraq. Hence my play “Stuff Happens.”23 Drama, served up on a plate Nothing’s better than a coffee shop — or a deli or barbecue joint or taco stand — for overhearing honest conversation and witnessing L.A. life uncensored.24 A telling tradition In studying the folk tales that were handed down by my people in bondage to teach and comfort, I learned vital lessons about the people themselves. And that led me to create “Flight,” set on a plantation in 1858.25 Loss and joy: Music leavens the agony of an era in “Caroline, or Change.” I had a happyish childhood. 26 Shaped, in bits, drips and quips If we’re formed by our experiences, shouldn’t our work be as well? Even Shakespeare cribbed from Cervantes and other earlier work.27 Into each play, some life intrudes Writing books is scant preparation for the collaborative land mine of writing for stage or screen.28Entertainment & Arts Brooklyn as a metaphor Playwright Donald Margulies finds in his home borough not only a tug to the traditional but the allure of the unknown.29 Entertainment & Arts Staging our political reality The West Coast’s brand of democracy beckoned, and I had to heed the call. Somewhere between the paid petitioners and tree-sitters, I found a spirit to admire.30Entertainment & Arts The analyst triangle How the relationship between Sabina Spielrein and Carl Jung -- and Freud -- inspired me to dramatize Jung’s tormented life.31Entertainment & Arts Proof of What Happens When You Just Let Go Part of writing a play is letting it go. 32Entertainment & Arts The drama of listening The effort to really hear the dialogue, as well as the pauses in between, is the theatergoer’s greater reward.