Is the final product ever what you hoped it would be?


When a play is written in its final form I never know what I have, exactly, and only an ideal first production, or close, can really tell me what I was after (or remind me). I suppose I also hope that the final product might be something beyond what I wrote, the result of the sacred actors, and even the text rearranging itself a little in the drawer. Some texts disarrange themselves in the drawer. Between the peculiar stage in the head and the true stage, the text leads a funny old life. But four times out of five now, the final product, the play produced for the first time, has been beyond my hopes. Good score.

                                — Sebastian Barry


By the time you get to the final product you no longer have the faintest recollection what you hoped it would be.

                                —Michael Frayn


Is there ever anything "final" in the theater? Everything seems to be provisionally final. Most playw…