Since we last posted, the ensemble has been hard at work developing three storylines that will come together into one performance. We have already created the skeletons of these stories -meaning we have chosen our characters, fleshed out their backstories and determined the major events that will happen in the play.
Our current challenge? Weaving all of that information together and creating moments of action and dialogue that embody that story onstage. Telling such a complex story well takes specific playwriting skills. One way we develop our skills as playwrights is to read other scripts and discuss them critically.
Here, Leo and Southern read from a script as the rest of the ensemble watches.
Afterwards, we all discuss script elements like: objectives (what do these characters want?) and tactics (how do they try to get what they want?) After we uncover these things, we approach the scenes from another angle . . .
One way to access different tactics and discover dialogue for our script is to improvise moments from our story. Improvisation is the art of creating a scene on the spot, without a predetermined script. To maintain group ownership of the play, we all take turns playing multiple roles – even if we need to play across gender.
In this scene, Mike (played by Bonnie) tries to break up
with his controlling girlfriend, Angela (played by Eliana).
During this improvisation, Mike (played by Southern) approaches his friend Abraham (played by Jorge) to find out why Abraham has been avoiding him.
This ensemble works hard but we also have a LOT of fun! Here are some pics of our latest goofy moments . . .
At the end of every rehearsal, we do a check-out ritual. During a recent check-out, we asked students, “If you were a cartoon character right now, which one would you be?” Courtney chose this little dude, who lives on the wall of our rehearsal space at the Griffin School. Our ensemble is still debating about what name we should give him . . .