Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Picasso At the Lapin Agile

Steve Martin

The contemporary writer, actor, producer, performer, comedian Steve Martin wrote the play Picasso At the Lapin Agile in 1993. His plays The Zig Zag Woman, Patter for the Floating Lady, Wasp were to follow. Recently his musical Bright Star just opened in September in San Diego. He co-wrote many of his comic films, written fiction and novels, wrote his own stand-up comedy routine, and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine.  Check here for an interview with Steve Martin.

Picasso At the Lapin Agile takes two very well known modernists (the scientist/genius Einstein and the artist famous for creating cubism, Pablo Picasso) and drops them in a Parisian bar in Montmartre, the Bohemian-artsy-avant-garde neighborhood of Paris. His historical play reminds us that writing history can be playful, fun, and, to a large extent, completely made-up.

Charleston Stage Advertisement (Picasso At the Lapin Agile sample production)

Some of Steve Martin's films:

The Jerk
The Man With Two Brains
Top 10 Steve Martin performances

As we read the play, notice how the author introduces characters, situations, complications, and how he handles dramatic and comedic situations while presenting a theme and a reason for people to pay to see a play. His use of dialogue is snappy and effective and we can learn a lot about contemporary play writing by reading this play. So let's go to it!

HOMEWORK: Perhaps none if you have already done your work. Your historical plays are due soon. Again, I suggest writing your draft quickly (pretend that the play is due Monday, so write it Sunday night like you probably would do)--so that you have time to revise, edit, polish and craft your work before turning it in for a grade. If we don't finish the play today in class, we'll finish it on Monday. Keep writing!

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