Theatrical Conventions and Some Advice for Your Play Projects:
- Give characters irreconcilable needs. Place obstacles. Make sure characters fight to the finish.
- Use the "locked cage" (keep characters on stage where they belong!)
- Use the ticking clock (time lock); give your characters a time limit/deadline.
- Use the vise; increase the stakes for your characters.
- Use personal traits, qualities, state or conditions as reasons for confrontation.
- or allow characters to break societal, religious, or moral laws as reasons for confrontation.
- Cross-gender (costume/casting)
- Use of a narrator (seen in "memory plays" like The Glass Menagerie or Brighton Beach Memoirs)
- Synecdoche (part represents the whole); a prop might suggest a character type, etc.
- 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
- On-stage deaths; stage fights
- Physical theater; mime & dance to communicate or narrate the story
- Unities of time, place, or action
- Transformation of time, character, place, or through props
- Heightened language; unrealistic speaking patterns
- Placards, signs, and multimedia
HOMEWORK: Choose 1 of the OTHER plays in the collection The Tale of the Allergist's Wife & Other Plays and read it. Write a play analysis of your chosen play. Choose from: The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Psycho Beach Party, Red Scare on Sunset, or The Lady in Question.
This analysis is due Friday, Nov. 1.
EXTRA CREDIT: You might like to see Putnam County Spelling Bee. If you go see it and write a critique of the show, you can gain extra credit.