Monday, December 14, 2009

Steel Magnolias, Chekhov, and character

Your scenario is due today. Please make sure when you drop it in the "in-box" or "drop-box" that your name is on the file.

According to the handout on character (given to you last class), "Building a play is the act of writing a character study...the playwright discovers and creates the elements that makes a given character tick." (Downs & Russin, 112)

Effective drama is character initiated!

It may be helpful to you to deconstruct your character(s) before you write:

PHYSICAL: What does the character look like, what medical problems or health issues does the character have? What does the character wear? What is the age or sex of the character?

SOCIOLOGICAL: What are the character's relationships (family, friends, society, work, etc.), What is the character's nationality, upbringing, religion, culture, occupation, career, and financial situation?

PSYCHOLOGICAL: What are the character's superstitions, beliefs, talents, ambitions, disappointments, inhibitions, fears, personal tastes, morals, temperament, hobbies, etc.?

BACKGROUND: What was your character's childhood like, what was their education like, relationship with parents or family members? What was your character's greatest moment of happiness/sadness?

Remember: We get to know a character through characterization (or in other words: what a character says about themselves, what other characters say about the character--both these use dialogue! and what a character does or the actions the character performs, i.e. ACTING!) We don't get to know a character through STAGE DIRECTIONS!

After our short talk about Steel Magnolias, we will be getting the play "The Seagull" from the library. Please return "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Steel Magnolias" if you are finished with them.

After returning from the library, look here for some background information about Chekhov.

More information about The Seagull will be forthcoming.

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