Theatre is a collaborative art; the “it” that is theatre cannot exist without the contributions of a vast array of talents and skills assembled together: actors, directors, stage managers, lighting designers, sound designers, make-up artists, publicists, and many others, including of course the playwright.
From the perspective of the playwright, the act of writing in and of itself is therefore not entirely fulfilling. For the poet or the novelist, once the writing is done, that’s it. A reader will read the work (one hopes!) and the connection to the art will have been shared. Not so with the playwright. The words on the page are not an end unto themselves, but a tool for the many other contributors to the art to use in creating and realizing characters, scenes, moods, and so forth.
For me, then, there are many stages of the play-writing process that I enjoy: the writing itself, of course, but also the first time I hear the words spoken around a table; the first time I see the scenes brought to life in a rehearsal; and of course the first time I can observe an audience’s reaction to the opening night performance. All these are for me very much parts of the process that I value.