For this assignment you will write a three page play with at least three characters using the “tasks of the playwright” and dialogue. These plays will help you develop an idea of how scenes unfold as written literature, ready to come alive on stage. Use the play we’ve read in class as a guide for formatting. Your play should have an obvious beginning, middle, and an end. You might try eavesdropping on a conversation, recalling an important moment or discussion in your life, or conjecturing about an important moment in history. Be creative, imaginative, and perhaps apply a sense of humor. Of course, I’m not looking for everyone to craft the next great piece of dramatic literature. If that happens, GREAT! The main goal of this assignment is for everyone to experience, enjoy, and empathize with what a professional playwright goes through. It takes immeasurable amounts of time, energy, creativity, patience, a deep sense of human behavior (warts and all) and craftsmanship to create interesting material for the stage and/or screen. It certainly isn’t as easy as one might think! The second goal is for all of us to appreciate that fact.
1. THE OUTLINE
DUE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH, BY 11:00pm
You will first submit a working title, genre, description of each character, the location or setting, and a brief summary of your scenario. Once this is approved by the instructor you may begin your three page play.
Working Title: A working title, sometimes called a production title, is the temporary title of a product or project used during its development. Titles themselves capture the essence, the theme, the message, or the moral of a play. Titles may also simply identify the main character whose story the play belongs to or even simply state the location. Above all, your title should capture the interest of the audience and intrigue them. It should inform them about what it is they’re about to experience!
Genre: What category of drama are you interested in? Which one would you like to play within or explore? Which one would best describe your scenario?
Character description: Look at character descriptions in the text. How are they written? Describe the people you want to write about not only in terms of qualities like age, race, and gender but in terms such as social status, desires, emotional well being, or their actions.
By considering these things you will be more able to decide how they would talk and act in your scene.
Setting: Where is your short play set? Look at your text for examples of descriptions of setting. Describe it in full detail so that your audience can get a sense of what may happen there. Describe the space in terms of emotion and atmosphere as well as more literal aspects like dimensions, geography, or furniture.
Scenario: How will you choose a topic on which to write? What are you passionate about? What do you like? What do you hate? What intrigues you about being human? What baffles you about the human experience? Good art comes from people acting on their convictions. Is there a memorable moment from your life that you’d like to script, heighten, rewrite entirely, or share with audiences? Id there a moment in history you’d like to rewrite for comedic effect or heighten/dramatize and celebrate. Choose an incident that involves some form of a strong immediate conflict and discuss what will happen in your short play. What type of action will be taken by the characters to confront their conflict. Describe what you think the out come would be. How will it resolve? Will they conquer or succumb to their struggles? You can change your mind as your write, but having an outline will keep you get started.
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