When I speak of the need writers have to acknowledge their audience, I am not referring to some faceless demographic served by the writer in a quest for some degree of acceptance and popularity. Audience is not "out there" - it is not the audience in theatre, but the audience-as-character - a perspective that contrasts with the writer's point of view. Audience, in this sense, is not a given, but another part of the creative-finding process that is the essence of story-making. Audience is "other", the personification of the writer's alter-ego - the dissident, the agitator, the adversary, whose position in regards the story is to undermine, subvert and possibly destroy what the writer is intent on doing. And because audience is not a given, it is up to the writer to imagine and inhabit a character that stands in opposition to writer's assumptions, expectations and prejudices regarding the tale that is trying to get itself told. I have seen many a film that came undone or never got off the ground because of a writer's and/or filmmaker's inability or unwillingness to grapple with the question: Who is this for and why?
- BILLY MARSHALL STONEKING