Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Written for You

Written for You
by Joseph Cognard
published by author
August 2012
ISBN n/a
Why Read?: Review
Challenges:  E-Book, 100 Books in a Year

As the artistic director of a community theatre, I am always eager to read new plays, so I jumped at the chance to read Joseph Cognard’s Written for You, a three-act contemporary drama about an aspiring author just trying to get his book read while going crazy in the process.

Bob took his therapist’s advice and wrote a book, but no one will read it – not his therapist, not any of his coworkers at the publishing agency, not even his family.  Already stressed out from his finance job, this sets Bob on edge and he begins hearing voices.  When people who have actually read his book go missing, Bob is convinced his book is somehow responsible.  On the brink of total madness, Bob discovers that he is not all that far off from the truth.

Cognard’s style of writing slightly absurd realistic situations reminds me of a cross between Christopher Durang and Sam Shepard.  However, there are some parts of the play that point to a first-time playwright – mainly, the minutia in the stage directors, which are normally not seen in a play, or if they are, they are added into the print addition from the stage manager’s book after the initial run.  Also, while the dialogue is strong, the lack of action in many scenes made it feel less like a play and more like pages of conversation in a novel. 

Written for You is not a bad first attempt at a play, and with a little tweaking, I can see it going on well in smaller, experimental theatres.  Joseph Congard has some quirky insight into the writing and publishing industry that really made Written for You an enjoyable read.

Rating: 3/5

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