Monday, 28 November 2011

Spread the Word 3

In the session we began to explore structure.

Branwen Davies the Associate Tutor began with a small exercise on sketching out what happens in a scene.

The idea in this exercise is to focus on drawing out plot and character without thinking too much about the actual dialogue.

We were asked to create 2 characters, to think about the relationship between the two characters, think about the setting or location of the characters. We had to think of a conflict so that they want something from each other. We were told that all dialogue had to use no more than 3 words.

I used my two main characters from the play that I’m developing for the Spread The Word project effectively for the opening scene in the play.

Richard has just found out that she is using personal details of their life in her stand up comedy routine, Hedydd needs him to leave as she is about to start a group therapy session with clients due to arrive any minute.

We were given ten minutes to write the scene and I came up with the following,

R: Feel so betrayed
H: Stop whingeing.
R: How could you?
H: Get out.
R: How could you?
H: What’s the problem?
R: The problem!
H: It’s just jokes.
R: My life.
H: Our life.
R: It’s private.
H: It’s your fault.
R: It’s wrong.
H: They’ll be here.
R: I’m not leaving.
H: Get out now
R: Never again.
H: If I want/
R: /it’s over/
H: it’s been over
R: I love you
H: I hate you.
R: I hate you
H: I hate myself.

It’s easy to see how you can quickly create an outline for a scene moving things forward using this technique.

We then looked at scenes that everyone had written based on the overheard dialogues. It was great to see the individual voices emerging, the differences in approach and the things that had attracted each writer to the different pieces of dialogue.

We then began to look at the idea of Time and Space in a play; open and closed time, open and closed space. We talked about the difference that these impose on plays, such as the energy created by closed time but complications that come with closing time or the expositional demands caused by choosing open. Not forgetting disrupted time - two different timescales and disconnected time - different storylines happening in same space.

I have a tendency to head for disrupted and disconnected but at the moment I'm trying to force myself into one space and time so I'm closing them both off and seeing what happens.

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