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KATHRYN'S NOTES FROM 11TH FEB

Creating the world of your play:

1. In prose you describe the mood the world of your story. You can do the same in a play, but remember that the audience wonít be reading the stage directions. Therefore, itís important to consider other ways to indicate the environments and situations of your characters. Here are three key areas to consider: embodiment of characters, setting, and the passage of time.

2. Embodiment of characters: How large is your cast? Who is essential? How else, besides through a physical on-stage person, can characters be represented? Is it more appropriate to represent certain characters in other ways? How do your characters speak? How does this reflect their background? Do they have any habits or tics? Do they have a home space within the setting?

3. Setting: Consider complexity and detail. How realistic is your setting in connection to budget and technical capabilities (companies are unlikely to select plays that canít afford to realize)? What parts of your setting (including props) are essential? How many settings occur and how will they be changed? Is your setting style appropriate to your story (realism, abstract, etc.)?

4. Passage of time: What rate is your play set at (i.e. real time, years in an hour, seconds in an hour)? How does time change your characters? How does time change your setting? How do you communicate time passing? As a common method for indicating time passing is to change scenes, how do you do that (blackout, shift in props, etc.)?

5. Quick exercise: Write down a one sentence story idea for a play. How many characters and how are they embodied? Where is the play set and how is the setting communicated? What rate is the play set at and, if applicable, how are jumps in time communicated? Remember to consider how they all fit together. A bit like planning a themed party.