Monday, November 8, 2010

Play Structure & the One Act Play

A one act play centers around one main conflict. While you are more than welcome to mention or even present other issues, the short one act form needs to focus on a major idea and one major idea at that.

Today, please write monologues for each of your three characters. We need to know who these people are and why they're on stage. Use your skills at writing monologues to further develop your play. You may put your monologue ANYWHERE in the script.

TIP: monologues slow down the action. So you might want to use them where you want this sort of effect. For example, as a transition or near the beginning of a scene.

Done with your monologues? do the following:
1. Keep writing and developing your play scenes.
2. Identify your beginning (inciting incident) and climax (point of highest tension in your play). If you don't have one, build these into the script.
3. Tired of writing? Check out the blog entry below this one and get advice from other professionals concerning writing plays. There's even a short one act play in there somewhere.

Play Structure (intro):

Ever wonder about the spelling of playwright? Why not playwrite? Well, it's because a "wright" is someone who builds. The idea is that a playWRIGHT carefully constructs and builds a play. We craft plays, not just write them.

Way back in antiquity, Aristotle (that famous Greek philosopher) wrote a book called the poetics about how to write a play. He said that every play needs the following elements:
1. Plot
2. Character
3. Thought (by which he meant theme)
4. Spectacle (special effects, props, costumes, scenery, etc.)
5. Diction (effective dialogue)
6. Song (music)

Apart from #6, all plays usually include these things. But dialogue can be beautifully written and with enough imagery and detail can come close to song.

We know that a play needs conflict because all plays involve human struggle. That's what they are written to examine. A playwright is like a philosopher in that all effective plays (even the funny ones) deal with human struggle and use human themes to communicate the human condition. Plays are an attempt to understand some truth about humans and our world. Make sure your play speaks to this tradition.

Please turn in your homework ?'s concerning Structure, Scenario, & Writing

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