Monday, November 7, 2011

Adaptation Project & Some Writing Advice

Most beginning playwrights start with short one-act plays. Usually these plays are anything between 15-minutes to about an hour long. In this way, the one-act is similar to a short story (not a short-short or sudden fiction, we'll leave these to the 10-minute play category) but a one-act has time to develop characters, perhaps in more than one scene, but usually consolidates time, setting, and number of characters. It generally deals with a single important action or incident in a character's life that is developed and examined through the play (as opposed to longer full length plays that have subplots). These plays are usually continuous in time, taking about the same amount of real time as the play takes to act. Theater companies usually produce more than one one-act at a time.

Some tips:
  • Keep a single set (and try to keep the unity of time)
  • Limit the number of characters (remember that small roles can be doubled, but this is not realistic so use it sparingly)
  • Keeping your set and prop requirements simple is the key to being produced as an unknown playwright. Keep that in mind as you write.
  • Remember your actors; make sure the part you are writing for them is interesting enough and compelling enough (this goes for the director as well). 
LAB WORK: Please complete your play adaptations. The first draft of these "one-acts" will be due at the end of class. If you do not finish today, please complete and turn in on Thursday.

HOMEWORK: Please read the play Salome and post a response to our forum. Complete your adaptation, if you did not complete it today.

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