Every time Karl Miller writes one of his (infrequent, sadly) posts, it's a call for celebration.
His latest is no exception. Give it a read here. It's hilarious and it even has a plot twist! I particularly enjoyed this:
A brief note. "This play benefits from an accelerated pace. The characters are fast-talking, the action is hyperkinetic, the emotions are volatile. A ponderous interpretation is anathema to the spirit of the play." I've seen some version of that caveat in front of so many scripts that I now deliberately force myself to read at half-pace just to see what the author wants to cover up. This forced gloss on the composition means the writer has failed in two ways. First, a fast, hyper-kinetic, volatile play shouldn't need a note to be understood as such. Playwrights can suffer from mangled tone, genre-tweaking, or bad design, but therhythm of a play should be self-evident. How many Mamet imitators do we have today? This is not to say that a director or actor can't betray the rhythm of a script; many do. But if this betrayal is so chronic as to merit a note in the script, the playwright should seriously ask themselves why they keep falling in love with the same asshole. Second, the desire for speed usually means there are other weaknesses in the story that the writer would not like to confront. The dialog is chaffy and impersonal. There is no theme or thrust to the story, so one must be imposed after the fact.
Because MilkMilkLemonade definitely relies on a brisk pace, but that's not in a note, it's evident when you rehearse it. (I would also say that most plays benefit from a brisk pace that renders the subtext as sub as possible. A pause should mean something.)