Friday, October 26, 2012

Brainstorming & Charles Busch

Plays often start with a conviction, a belief, or some issue that a playwright wants to expose, examine, or discuss. In the plays we have read, such themes as suicide, HIV, dying, racism, self-deprecation, aging, dating, feminism, etc. have been used.

In order to begin your journey into writing plays, join a group of 2-3 and take a moment to brainstorm some ideas:

Brainstorming; Doodling or Cave Drawing; Listing:
  • If you were going to die tomorrow, and this play includes your last words to the human race, what MUST you say before you go? Make a list of things you HAVE to say to the world.
  • Make a list of common, ordinary settings. Make a list of uncommon or unusual settings.
  • Make a few quick sketches of important moments or scenes.
  • Jot down time periods that interest you. Choose time periods other than our contemporary period.
  • Make a list of secrets that people you don't know have. Assume a good friend told you these secrets. What are the secrets?
  • Make a list of relatively well known stories, poems, books, or films that you hated (or loved) enough to poke fun at. 
Charles Busch:

Please take a look at Charles Busch's blog. He has placed a variety of play video clips here. Take a look at a few of these. His official website is located here.

Please watch a few video clips, read an interview or two with the author, and learn a little about his background. Please take the next 15 minutes to view this material.

HOMEWORK: PLEASE READ (on index card, write a one-sentence summary of each article and 1 important fact or detail you think is essential or interesting):
  • An article about cross-dressing and theatre
  • Since theatre began, cross-dressing has been a common occurrence on the stage. As far back as ancient Greek theatre, male actors acted both male and female roles on stage. Later in pantomime, commedia dell'arte, and medieval theatre the tradition continued. Of course, Shakespeare and his contemporaries also used cross-dressing in Elizabethan theatre. Many of Shakespeare's funniest comedies use the trope of cross-dressing, for example: Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and even the Merchant of Venice.
  • Charles Busch's Introduction (ix-xix) 

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