Plays work best when dealing with big feeling: not just feelings – big ones. My wife – Cuban-born – says “filin” (accent on the second “i”) when she talks with passion about feeling; this seems a perfect word.

Filin has the Lorca-like power of summoning the duende, the blush of all that is truly alive within us all. Plays are designed for precisely these blushing revelations.

Feelings are faster than thoughts; you can feel something pass over or through you before you can identify necessarily what it is exactly that you just felt. Since this is essentially true of the human vessel, and since plays are about people, this must be a home base, a taking-off point, for the young writer.

Plays are emotional constructs before we even begin to deal with intellectual architecture. They hit the bloodstream and can actually cause the blood to rush in an actor, which enacts a chain of feeling causing this same blood rush – or blush – in an audience, almost as if for a moment we were all one great organism.

This blush is the coming together of big feelings and open-ended questions. It is the moment when we are caught somehow with our pants down, embarrassed and naked, yet truly ourselves. In this moment, we can feel free and safe to ask the biggest questions in our hearts.

The big feelings and questions within us are so powerful and necessary that being true to them will affect a play on all levels. In the wake of such elemental feelings and questions, that most difficult of technical concerns – story – will often take care of itself, forming on its own into a plot that makes emotional sense, unique structure and homegrown integrity.

The young dramatist needs to ask the beautiful questions with every line written, to take note of each blood rush and to build from there. Where will you take us? What kind of person will you show me in your play, so that I can see myself with new eyes? What beautiful questions wait to be asked tonight? What filin will move from your heart – your blood – to mine?

Mayer will premiere “Dias y Flores” Jan. 16-Feb. 8 at the Company of Angels Theatre at Alexandria Hotel, 501 S. Spring St., Los Angeles.