First things first: I am willfully ignoring the fact that I forgot to blog on Tuesday. Let’s just move past it.
Now, on to better things. 🙂 Some of you may know that I don’t actually have any kids. Therefore, the title of this blogpost may confuse you. But in this case, I am referring to “my kids” from the playwriting workshop I’ve been teaching since September. These ten individuals have impressed me with their dedication (they voluntarily came to a 2-hour writing workshop on Saturday mornings!) and their creativity.
If you live in the northeast Pennsylvania regions (roundabouts Clarks Summit/Dickson City/Scranton) and would like to witness their creativity first-hand, you’ll be pleased to know there is a staged reading of their ORIGINAL PLAYS (all ten minutes or less) tomorrow (Saturday) night, 7 p.m., at the Abington Library.
I wanted to take a moment and use this blogpost to praise the next generation of up-and-coming playwrights. Playwriting is not something most kids learn in their high school English class; it’s something they MAY learn in college IF they have the right major. But let’s face it — I didn’t even know correct playwriting format before entering my master’s degree program. What a fantastic opportunity, then, to introduce kids (I work with 7th-12th graders) to the theatrical world of writing! We all started somewhere; we all had that moment of realization, that voice in the head that said, “wow…maybe I could be a writer.” It’s my hope that as I continue these workshops a student may walk away with that seed planted in their mind.
Here’s just a taste of the creativity my students have cultivated over 7 weeks time!
(*Playwrights include: Havisha Bache, Vihisha Bache, Edward Baumeister, Julia Fessenden, Joel Gardoski, Jacob Ingalls, Abby Mappes, Steven McKnight, Abby Rodriguez, and Ellie Sullum.*)
Some of my favorite stage directions/actor directions:
Setting: A small, enclosed room. The walls may or may not be padded. Decoration minimal. Neutral colors only. A mattress lies in the upstage left corner. A toilet, lid down, sits in the upstage right corner.
Note: All characters speaks in a British accent. WIL talks in a high, clear voice. LIAM talks in a low, gravelly voice. Everything LIAM says is said disdainfully. WILLIAM’s voice is even and neutral. Oh, and in case you don’t know, WIL and LIAM are played by one actor.
Setting cont’d: WIL is sitting on the toilet (lid down), HIS head in HIS
hands. HE sighs wistfully, then, upon catching sight of the audience, HE sits
(Interrupting, sits by pile of dishes on the love seat)
(disgusted by this ignorant description)
(begins rocking ARPESIO, who is doubting MADLINS sanity)
(Becomes very seriously slightly creepy)
(Smiles) I’m no one’s fool… I’m a prince, (grows louder with each one) I’m a prince, I’m prince! (Starts crying) I’m the only prince… (Grows happier) I’m the only prince… Yes, I’m the only prince!! (Expression turns serious) That’s right dear Crown Prince is no more. I… I… killed him… (Gets loud) but it wasn’t my fault it was his fault! After all, I
only did what my mother asked of me! (Runs around the pillars)
FORTHWIND jumps upon his horse—named HORSIE– and rides out of the scene.
YSELLIAN: (Voice sounds like Sean Connery)
A Wyvern’s call is heard as YSELLIAN swoops in. The rest is for he who watches the play to figure out. Was YSELLIAN really peaceful? Or was he about to kill Silverstarians as he was raised to do? — End of Play.
Inside a university dormitory room. There is rain outside and appropriate classical music playing softly.
(THEY descend into loud, unintelligible conversation, including phrases such as “you’re wrong” and “I don’t really care what you think” then are interrupted by a loud knock at the door. Enter EDDY.)
And now a few of my favorite lines:
WELL, LOOK WHO’S IN DEEP DOODOO NOW!
KATIE; Ok guys. First, we’ll play something called duck toss. We’re going to use Ducky, my duck.
ERBENZIE: Here’s Ducky
I guess you don’t like talking on the phone. There’s actually a phobia for that. I think they call it telephobia.
KEANA: Ok. I’ll start. Maybe Dempton’s workers are in decline due to decreased dump mining profits for less gold, meaning Marworn’s workers were not getting paid so-
KEANA: (breathes in and continues) Marworn told Dempton to start working faster. They
didn’t, so Marworn stepped into their mines, causing boundaries problems. That’s
why Dempton issued war.
FAROUN: I think you have just solved it! Thank you, Keana. You saved me a frustrating debate with the debaters. I will call the blacksmith to make you a rabbit cage by noon. I’ll see you then.
Shakespeare once wrote that “All the world’s a stage”. Well if that’s so, then I guess you
could say that I’m the audience.
I am so very proud of my kids and all the hard work they’ve done. They all started from scratch; perhaps not new to writing or new to the stage, but definitely new to writing for the stage. I’m very pleased with how far they’ve come and I can’t wait to see them go even further. This is one audience member applauding young dramachicks (and dramadudes!) and begging for more.