Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Baltimore Waltz

Theatrical Conventions:
  • Masks
  • Cross-gender (costume/casting)
  • Asides
  • Soliloquy
  • Stillness/silence/pauses
  • Use of a narrator (seen in "memory plays" like The Glass Menagerie or Brighton Beach Memoirs
  • Synecdoche (part represents the whole)
  • Suggested scenery (consider the set in Driving Miss Daisy, for example)
  • Costumes & props
  • Multiple casting (one actor plays several roles)
  • Lights or lighting changes
  • Soundscapes/sound effects
  • The fourth wall; Breaking the fourth wall (addressing the audience)
  • Flash forward, flashback, slow motion, freeze
  • Tableau
  • Montage
  • On-stage deaths; stage fights
  • Physical theater; mime
  • Unities of time, place, or action
  • Transformation of time, character, place, or through props
  • Songs
  • Choruses
  • Heightened language; unrealistic speaking patterns
  • Placards, signs, and multimedia
Look for some of these conventions in the following short play: The Play That Goes Wrong.

Paula Vogel's The Baltimore Waltz.

Image result for the baltimore waltz
Image result for the baltimore waltz

Paula Vogel on The Baltimore Waltz. For a full master class discussion on playwriting by Paula Vogel, check out the Dramatist Guild's video. (120 minutes...)
Image result for the baltimore waltz
Plot forms:
  • Linear: plot is told from a beginning point to an ending point. The most common type of narrative.
  • Shakespearean/Epic form: episodic scenes that culminate in the traditional plot structure...
  • Circle: beginnings become endings, that become beginnings that are endings...
  • Pattern: a repeating pattern is formed to frame the narrative...
  • Generic synthetic form: text is comprised of a variety of hypotexts (texts that come before) that function as models or a structure for the new text...(so Star Wars was a hypotext for Family Guy's Blue Harvest, for example; The Odyssey was a hypotext for James Joyce's Ulysses, etc.) 
Paula's advice: Steal. Pay homage. Read as much as you can. Write away from the subject you most want to write about but can't.

Scenes from the play: The Baltimore Waltz
The film noir film: The Third Man (1960), The Ferris Wheel Scene from The Third Man (1960)

HOMEWORK: Complete The Baltimore Waltz if you did not finish it during class. Complete a play analysis sheet for The Baltimore Waltz. See the links above for details about the play and Paula Vogel.

No comments:

The Murky Middle (Even More Advice)

Aristotle wrote that stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. Middles can be difficult. You might have a smashing opening to a stor...