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A play... hopefully.

Well I have decided I am going to try my hand at playwriting.  I had an idea and then made up several characters and now am going to try my best to write it out.  Since everyone here is a writer of one sort or another I firgued I could use this wonderful group of people to bounce ideas off of.  So I may be posting here every now and then when something new is done.

First of the idea behind the show is this.  There are no actors, or rather the actors are acting as if they are memembers of the audience.  I am still not sure if I want them to interact with the audience or totally ignore them and have them act like they are the only audience there.  

The cast will be made up of people who are out for a night of theatre.  They go to see an experimental piece and they don't know what to expect.

I am thinking the play will start like any other play, with lights going out.  But then the lights all come back up again, and one of the actors starts complaining about how they have been sitting in auditorium for 15 or so minutes waiting for something to happen.  One of the people will get up and discover the doors are locked.  Then they will sit around for awhile talking, exploring the theatre, and trying to figure out why they are locked in a theatre.

I am sort of thinking of this sort of like a Breakfast Club thing, with all sorts of different people getting to know each other.  Some will have relationships already, some will probably form them.  So that is my basic idea.  More will be posted as I work it out.  Probably a character list since I already nearly have that thought up.  

So any thoughts?

I like the premise.  Especially if the audience doesn't know much about it before hand.

I agree with Atreyu. And I think that a little improv work with the actual audience would be fun.

Hm....Just a though, but having the doors locked might cause panic.....
Just a thought.  Smile

Especially in this day....

The doors wouldn't actually be locked, though, right? That's just a part of the acting, eh?

I like the idea...I'm a sucker for metafiction.

They'd still panic thinking the doors were locked.

People are stupid.

Yeah I had thought of that, I would probably put a note in the program, doors not actually locked.

Still wouldn't help. You'd probably have to make really big font or something... and then it would almost give away what the play is about.

Hm....signs on the doors maybe?

How truly sad, that we can't trust our fellow humans to act rationally.... that the first thought this idea brings to mind is "People are stupid, they will freak out at the closed doors and cause total chaos".

I say go for it, it's a fun idea. Make it obvious from the acting that the actors are actors and not part of the audience. If some witless sheep still freak out that's art in itself. Tape it and make a film, it'll be hillarious (in a really sad way)

... My first thought is that it might be quite harsh on people sitting right at the front, or other places where the action is hard to see...
But apart from that, it seems like a great idea.

Possibly an ampitheater? That way it would be good distrabution atleast...

But that indeed sounds like a fun idea. Post a script for us to see maybe?

Ooo, an amphitheatre could work better... 'cos you could see other parts of the audience pretty much wherever you are... kinda...

This does look very interesting, and I'll eagerly await further news of this.

Ok, so this hasn't been forgotten compleatly but is going slowly.

First off I think that I would like this play to be preformed in a black box theatre.  That is basically a big empty room with movable seating in it.  Ussually with seating on three sides of the open center stage.

So onto the characters I have thought up.  I may end up cutting some but right now I plan on overwriting the crap out of this play.

"Musician lady" - Here we have a late 20's women making her life as a singer.  As such she isn't the richest by far and dresses in a hodgepoge of clothes from thrift stores.  Proud of her indivuality she isn't a classic beauty.  A fact she often claims put an end to her idea of acting for a career.  She likes to flirt with the "young actresses boyfriend" to get on her nearves.  Probably ends up with "Shy Guy".

"Young Actress" - Unlike the "Musician" this here is you "classic beauty" tall skinny and blond.  She has acted in several smaller roles on stage and is really hoping that her career will take off.  She is always "on stage" and looking for any oppertunity to get her big break.

"Young Actresses Boyfriend" - A "techie" / stagehand.  Meet Young Actress during a show and started dating her.  Tries his best to ignore her when she flirts with other men.  Oblivious to when he flirts with other girls.

"Shy Guy" - A young man who more often then not just observers.  He avoids conflict as much as possible.  He claims this is because his parents had an abusive relationship with each other, this is a lie and he is really just scared of conflict.  He also plays the guitar.  More then likely gets into a fight/shouting match with "Musician" but ends up leaving the theatre with her.

"Single Mother" - Trying to enjoy a night out, babysitter cancled on her so she had to bring her kids with her.  They end up causing all sorts of trouble.  She is stressed and seems to have a passed relationship with the "Addict".  ((Most likely to get cut along with the "Addict".))

"Addict" - A man who loves to smoke and drink.  He is actually the father of the "Single Mother's" childeren.  But hasn't been around.  I really need to figure out how this will work.  I would like to have a big reveal after a bunch of bickering between the two of them.  Who knows.  May be cut.

"Old Women" - Brought to the theatre by her husband.  Once a beautiful young women she has aged and now suffers from alzheimer's.  She often falls asleep in her chair at the theatre missing most of the conversations.  She often loudly askes questions to her husband.

"Old man" - Married to "Old Women" and deeply in love with her.  He has had a hard time dealing with her alzheimer's but has found ways of just dealing with it.  He lived a long and very eventful life, travling and seeing the world.  He will probably recount some of his stories during the play.  

So what you think?

No offense McBish, the play sounds great, but it seems a bit like you're stereotyping the main characters a tad. I don't have great experiance, but I have been in a lot of plays, and my Drama class created a completely original play and performed it, so I have a bit of an idea.

It might help if you give them bigger descriptions. Names, hobbies, ect. If you'd like, I could give you a type of the character questions we had to use to make our characters. But the titles "Musician Lady" "Young Actress" and "Shy Guy" are sort of steretypes.

Oh absolutely.  I won't claim I am not sterotyping them with the titles.  Those are just there due to me hating picking names.  At the moment I only have a bit of an idea of what I am going to do with them.  

The character questions you mentioned might be great.  I may have heard a couple of them but still couldn't hurt.  

And I will say this.  Sterotyping isn't always a bad thing.  We often like to see sterotypes so we can understand who these people are quicker.  Plus I like the idea of setting them up as just sterotypical characters and then throwing in a twist of some sort.

But yeah thanks for the advice.

Hmm. Seems I've lost it. Damn.

Oh well. I see that teacher tomorrow anyway, so I can either get him to email it to me, or print it off. It'll be good for me as well, because I'm doing a bit of writing myself as well.

Dinner theater would certainly calm down the panic of having the doors be locked. I mean, there's a nice meal in front of you, why panic?

Or, if you want to do the stage theme, have an usher that seems keen on keeping people in their seats and from panicking.

Here you go McBish!

What is your character's name and age? (Pick a specific age)

When and where was your character born? Where do s/he live now?

Give the height and weight of your character.

Describe your character's health. Give examples of physical abilities and activities. Decribe health habits or health problems.

Describe your character's childhood. Were they rich, poor, happy, sad ect? Describe their parents and siblings. Who were their friends? Tell about specific childhood activites.

Describe your character's sense of humor. Include a favorite joke or funny story.
Name your character's favorite food, and explain why.

What is your character's goal in life? Why?

How does your character see himself? How does he treat others? Is he respected by others? Give specific examples.

How intelligent is your character? Describe their educational background. Give specific examples.

Describe something your character is passionate or emotional about. Be specific.

How would your character define joy? Write a quote about the meaning of joy.

Describe the saddest event or day in the life of your character.

Describe your character's most embarrassing moment. Why was it embarrassing?

Describe the bravest thing your character has ever done. Explain why it was brave of them.

Describe the meanest thing your character ever did. Explain why they were cruel.

How would the character's friends describe him. How about his enemies?

Tell a secret or something special about your character.

Hope it helps!

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