Eventually I collected this stack of notes; and people asked for ones they missed. This book collects my little lessons, organizes them and made me think about what was important, what was useful and what could be dropped.
Author: Albert N. Pergande
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
"The Playwrighting Talks" began in a small Orlando playwrighting group called "Playwrights' Round Table." We meet once a month to read members' works, and several times a year present them to a local audience on stage. Our members rarely studied English, literature, or have a theatre background; they are engineers, lawyers, contractors, retirees and theatre fanatics. Our reading critiques began "What did everyone like?" Then we moved on to the dangerous "What didn't we like?" Discussions were heated, and passionate, and fun; but next month's version of the script rearranged the words, shuffled the action, but still had fundamental problems. Clearly, this method did not offer a useful path to a better script. I volunteered to write up some talking points about how stage plays worked, and went over them at the beginning of each month's session. The aim was to improve our member's writing process. My topics ranged from elements of storytelling to character motivations and development to attending theatre. They were often motivated by omissions in material we read the previous session. Our readers were asked to look for the elements of the day's topic in the pages, and this formed the basis of our discussion. Now the material we saw a second or third time was stronger, the writers more confident, and the rewriting process easier as script's fundamental problems became obvious. Eventually I collected this stack of notes; and people asked for ones they missed. This book collects my little lessons, organizes them and made me think about what was important, what was useful and what could be dropped. As I complied it examples of famous plays that did not adhere to these rules flittered through my thoughts. But those examples, often by Beckett or Sartre or Wilde, were written by authors who knew enough to know when they were breaking rules and had good reason to do so. But beginners need guidance; here I offer my version. There are many playwriting books on the market, most by authors much more qualified than I am. But these are things I struggled to learn, and I've mixed them with a few bits of advice on getting things on stage, either at the hands of a theatre company you may never meet or by your own efforts. You may never make a dime, but whatever happens, it WILL be interesting.