Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RIP Peter Nicholls

I found out today that a former member of NYCPlaywrights, Peter Nicholls, died recently. Peter and I had our ups and downs while he was a member of the group, primarily because, like so many people who ask for post-reading feedback, he didn't really want to hear criticism and took offense to it. The concept of honest, unvarnished feedback is foreign to most playwrights groups, and so NYCPlaywrights' practices often came as quite a shock. Not that anybody was required to get feedback - I always gave a speech at the beginning of the meetings advising writers that there would be no effort to enforce "positive" responses, and so if they were likely to be upset by criticism, maybe they should think twice about asking for feedback. But almost everybody asked for feedback every time, even for tiny snippets of readings. *sigh*

But I did like some of Peter's work, and told him so, because I am as free with praise as with criticism. This video clip contains an excerpt of his ongoing play, GUNNY, which he called BASIC TRAINING in its 10-minute play version. I thought GUNNY had promise. I don't know what he died of, but he was too young to die. RIP Peter.