This isn't a lecture, it is great that someone as renowned as Athol Fugard insisted it be something other than a lecture and that it involve other points of view other than his. What came out of that is a discussion among Athol Fugard Jez Butterworth and Rebecca Lenkiewicz about writing plays, how working on and seeing a play produced effects the work and the effect that collaboration as well as other experiences of the writer has on the play. It reminded me of what the American playwright, Madeleine George had to say about her experience of having her play, The Zero Hour, mounted in a production as part of the 13P experiment in playwrights taking charge and being the artistic directors of their own work. Especially what Fugard said about having to be an actor and the director of his plays in the beginning of his career because he was the only one who was going to do them. George's talking about how it was necessary for her to go through the same steps in order to really come to terms with her own play was something that musicians know from our everyday experience, the difference being that theater is always and inevitably a collaborative creation and what you come up with as "the play" is going to always be a joint creation. I doubt that even many of the monologuists do their own costume, sets, lighting, etc.
I had gone to look at various ways that artists had come up with to mount the performance of their work, short of coming up with a corporate company or school or something. In reading about it, 13P is interesting and I'm sure there are lots of things that can be learned from it but I don't think it would work with music because what you do to do music isn't the same thing as putting on a play. But listening to the 13 playwrights and the several people who acted as executive staff for the project was really interesting.
It does make me wonder why more actors, directors, etc. don't get together and "do" plays that they will never, otherwise get to perform. How many times is there a production of any of the major works of the repertoire during any year or decade as compared to the number of good or even just ambitious actor who should have the experience of playing that role? I've never heard of actors getting together to work on a reading performance or a chamber performance the way that musicians inevitably do, without any prospect of performing the piece in public. I think that's one of the things you can generally tell, seeing an actor who has done some kind of performance of things in performance and those who just do movies or TV. Maybe those wouldn't stink as much if the actors who do them had done more acting of things worth thinking about.
My reading of the "bad plays" attributed to Shakespeare has led me to reading a lot more plays, something I used to do a lot of. I've read dozens of times more plays than I've ever seen, in person or on TV. Have to say that I'm really enjoying it, a lot.
Hate Update: I've known a fair few actors and a few directors and I never heard of them getting together to work on a play apart from a theatrical production. I don't recall ever reading about actors getting together in the way that musicians get together to play chamber music or even 4-hand versions of symphonic work. It must be a deeply secret practice among them or you're just doing what you always do, lying.
Hate Update 2: Produce a description of actors getting together, outside of the context of a theatrical production or other performance to go through a play the way that musicians will study chamber music together, something published in a book or even a magazine, not some bogus claim that you sort of remember.