Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Full Length Play Project

• At least 20 pages of script (this is the minimum, not the average or maximum).
• The 20 or more pages should be divided into at least two acts.
• Each act should rise to an appropriate climax (with the last act resolving the conflict)
• Your script should follow the proper playwriting format (if you don’t know what this is yet, see me immediately!)
• You must have at least two characters in your play.
• Remember you are writing for the stage, so the play should be able to be produced by a relatively poor theatre company
• Include stage directions, but consider that the audience will not know information unless it is told to them by the characters speaking.
• You must work alone on your play (working with partners, you should double the page limit; i.e. both of you are responsible for 20 pages or more).
• Proofread and correct your grammar before turning in your play.
• Include a title and a cast list (see rubric).

Due: Jan. 19

Expanding your script can be difficult, but it can also allow you to move in directions you didn’t think possible. A longer script is often more detailed, character driven and, therefore, ultimately more dramatic (lots of conflict!).

Some ways to increase your plot size:
• Add characters who want something (motivation moves action!)
• Consider what dramatic conflict happens before or after your original script if using an existing script (create a second draft, for example, and look for places to add detail)
• Add monologues which explore the history and important events in a character’s life
• Remember to include a few incidental beats (particularly at the beginning of the play or during actor’s quick changes). These beats are functional only, they often don't need to advance the plot, but help develop characterization.
• Examine your theme. Broaden and explore the idea of the play before you begin writing. It may be helpful to write the plot out in a summary before you expand to note where you are going. Look on the internet to see what other people have said about the theme or issue you are writing about.
• Include sub plots or smaller plots that echo or redefine your larger theme; for example in The Seagull, the theme of unrequited love (relationships that are one-sided) recurs not only in Constantine Treplieff's relationship with Nina, but is echoed in the relationships of Trigorin & Arkadina, Masha and Medviedenko, but also Paulina and Dorn.

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