Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10-Minute Play Draft & Sample Plays

A - Task ONE. Today, please get into groups of 3-4 to read "Einstein & the Angels", "Esla & Frinz Go Partying", and "Deer Play", three 10-minute plays. Each play has a beginning, middle, end--just like Aristotle said they should, and the characters and situations are creative. This is not the same old, same old blabbing with tired and typical characters. As you read, note how the playwrights use character, situation, and build plot--all within a few pages.

After reading each of these plays, discuss with your group 1. 3 things you noticed, observed, or had questions about the play, 2 things you learned about playwriting, and 1 thing you would have changed had you written the script. Write your comments on the sheet provided to hand in for participation credit.

B - Task TWO. Alone, go back to your seats and prepare to write your 10 minute play draft. Review play script format, if you need to (see links and previous assignments). Use any of the brainstorming activities of the past few classes, along with your character designs from September (your journal) and look for interesting choices. Create a play that is imaginative, but takes into consideration the form of stage writing and the constraints. Your play is short (5-8 pages) and should focus on one main conflict or idea.

If you get stuck or need a break from writing, watch these videos for advice on playwriting. Watch them, even if you finish your play. They have some good advice that will help you succeed.
Video #1: Top Tips
Video #2: Status Quo
Video #3: Building a Plot
Video #4: Formatting a play script (optional viewing, for those who don't understand the form)
HOMEWORK: Please read Trifles by Susan Glaspell. Post a response to the forum by next class (Monday, Oct. 24) in which you examine the status quo; identify the major dramatic question and whether or not you felt the playwright kept your attention. If she did, how did she do it? If she didn't, why not--what would you have changed? and finally, pick one of the characters and discuss how this character is utilized by the playwright in the play. What is the author's purpose for this character? How does the character help develop plot, conflict, or theme?

If you get lost or need assistance understanding anything in the script or its characters, look here.

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