"The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life—and one is as good as the other." -Ernest Hemingway.
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Theory of Spectatorship
Script Analysis Directory & DramLit
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Know who your main characters are, where they came from, what they want, where they are going.
Know why you are writing the play. Plays happen in the present so... Ask yourself why now? What's so special about today (in the play) that shouts out for it to be written down?
Make sure you have a story, something to tell, something the audience can get a grip on. Avoid having a bunch of characters on stage speaking at the audience about some shared problem. Without a story, the audience will prefer not to share in the problem.
My favorite: imagine that the action is happening as you eavesdrop. Imagine you are a mere recorder of events and speech. These events are happening whether you like them or not and you're just writing it all down. Write down what you hear and see, not what you want to hear and see!" [ wrightofplay.com ]
Did you see pages "wright" and "write"? Do you know why I have it, the page "right"?Your First Play, Second Edition * Roger A. Hall, a professor of theatre at James Madison University, had taught playwriting for nearly 20 years. Many of his students have gone on to write for theatre, television, and the screen. He has written numerous plays and articles and has acted and directed extensively in the theatre.
Yes, I know the wrong. Because I am doing it wrong for long, long time. I write plays, I don't wright them.
To write a play is wrong.
You have to organize it...
Look, I have problems even with "writing" (do not consider myself a writer), but playwrighting is much more complex. "Dramatic Poetry" (Aristotle) is higher than poetry. More than just writing.
And this is the first mistake. "Writing" is just a skill, like reading. (In my youth I use to say that the only good readers are writers). We can speak, most can read, many can write, and -- very few can play-wright. Why?
The answer is obvious. If you a writer, you have one reader (even if the millions read). If you "wright" a play, you have to write so well, that your readers (actors, directs, designers) could write their own texts for the public.
Oh, friends, you have to wait -- The Playwright's Process: Learning the Craft from Today's Leading Dramatists Unique among playwriting manuals, this volume offers readers instruction tested in playwriting workshops and based on interviews with famous dramatists. Quotations from authors such as Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Marsha Norman, Wendy Wasserstein, and others reveal methods concerning every facet of playwriting, from developing the initial idea to producing a workable piece, and more.
new: Bergman, Ibsen, scripts online
adaptations: 3 Sisters, HamletDreams, The Possessed
DramLit & Playscript Analysis classes online *
* Forum dramlit * subscribe!
the role of action in drama;
developing action and conflict to reveal character;
writing powerful and persuasive dialog;
writing from personal experience:pros and cons;
how to begin the story and develop the storyline.
This new edition is thoroughly updated and contains new examples based on contemporary plays. The author has added additional writing exercises and a new student-written one act play. It also contains a new chapter on how to sell your play once it is written.
With examples based on student work, this text both inspires and educates the student and fledgling playwright, providing solid tools and techniques for the craft of writing a drama.
Roger A. Hall, a professor of theatre at James Madison University, had taught playwriting for nearly 20 years. Many of his students have gone on to write for theatre, television, and the screen. He has written numerous plays and articles and has acted and directed extensively in the theatre.
method acting for directors
Russian Play (new)
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Drury-lane Prologue Spoken by Mr. Garrick at the Opening of the Theatre in Drury-Lane, 1747
1 When Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foes 2First rear'd the stage, immortal Shakespear rose; 3Each change of many-colour'd life he drew, 4Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new: 5Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign, 6And panting Time toil'd after him in vain: 7His pow'rful strokes presiding Truth impress'd, 8And unresisted Passion storm'd the breast. 9 Then Jonson came, instructed from the school, 10To please in method, and invent by rule; 11His studious patience, and laborious art, 12By regular approach essay'd the heart; 13Cold Approbation gave the ling'ring bays, 14For those who durst not censure, scarce could praise. 15A mortal born he met the general doom, 16But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb. 17 The Wits of Charles found easier ways to fame, 18Nor wish'd for Jonson's art, or Shakespear's flame, 19Themselves they studied, as they felt, they writ, 20Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit. 21Vice always found a sympathetic friend; 22They pleas'd their age, and did not aim to mend. 23Yet bards like these aspir'd to lasting praise, 24And proudly hop'd to pimp in future days. 25Their cause was gen'ral, their supports were strong, 26Their slaves were willing, and their reign was long; 27Till Shame regain'd the post that Sense betray'd, 28And Virtue call'd Oblivion to her aid. 29 Then crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as refin'd, 30For years the pow'r of tragedy declin'd; 31From bard, to bard, the frigid caution crept, 32Till Declamation roar'd, while Passion slept. 33Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread, 34Philosophy remain'd, though Nature fled. 35But forc'd at length her ancient reign to quit, 36She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of wit: 37Exulting Folly hail'd the joyful day, 38And pantomime, and song, confirm'd her sway. 39 But who the coming changes can presage, 40And mark the future periods of the stage?-- 41Perhaps if skill could distant times explore, 42New Behns, new Durfoys, yet remain in store. 43Perhaps, where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet died, 44On flying cars new sorcerers may ride. 45Perhaps, for who can guess th' effects of chance? 46Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance. 47 Hard is his lot, that here by Fortune plac'd, 48Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste; 49With ev'ry meteor of caprice must play, 50And chase the new-blown bubbles of the day. 51Ah! let not censure term our fate our choice, 52The stage but echoes back the public voice. 53The drama's laws the drama's patrons give, 54For we that live to please, must please to live. 55 Then prompt no more the follies you decry, 56As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die; 57'Tis yours this night to bid the reign commence 58Of rescu'd Nature, and reviving Sense; 59To chase the charms of Sound, the pomp of Show, 60For useful Mirth, and salutary Woe; 61Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age, 62And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage.
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin
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