THE THREE P’S: PEOPLE, PLOT AND POETRY.
The goal of this system is to get a first draft out relatively quickly and then take a longer time with the rewriting process. The process must later include live readings and feedback from actors and/or audience members, but in the beginning the work is very simple and focused and private.
The only three rules for success are:
1. Be honest (don't censor your true self!)
2. Have fun (write what interests you, surprise and tickle yourself with ideas)
3. Stick with each step (Don't jump ahead or hang back or quit when the going gets tough)
The first P of Playwriting is People (character)
Who do we want to write about? What sort of person do we want give life? There are several types of characters: heroes, villains, victims and jokers. The inspiration for character comes from various places: history, current events, books, films, comic books, personal history, everyday life, witnessing strangers, pure imagination.
The second P is PLOT (Story Structure)
We structure carefully after researching character. What sort of genre do you want to explore: science fiction, horror, comedy, drama, musical comedy, a western, vaudeville, magical realism, soap opera. Is there a story we are dying to tell from history, current events, books, films, comic books, personal history, pure imagination? Or is there a set of feelings you want to look more closely at, following the characters and allowing the story to unfold as the structure develops? Is there a message or a political theme you want to work with, or something you want to get across to the world about human circumstance?
The third P is Poetry
Poetry is the individual and specific cadence of character voice. It could be a dialect, a vocal impediment a vocal quirk like an eccentricity of volume or rhythm, or where the voice is pitched in the face. Getting the voices of the characters nailed down is key to having the dialogue reflect the message of your play authentically and uniquely, not to mention making the play a pleasure to hear.
I offer a wide spectrum of playwriting theory (analysis and plot structure) and practice. I focus on 5 specific elements of training:
1) Tools: offering a comprehensive skill set to students so that they will be prepared to write theatre that is of quality and purpose. I bring a variety of exercises so that students discover what tools work for them, cultivate curiosity about varied forms of theatre, and become independent creators with a full toolbox of practices and methodologies.
2) Freedom: encouraging students to the liberty of their own self-expression while I simultaneously.....
3) Instill Rigor: asking for a rigorous attention to the details of character voice and story structure.
4) I support Courageous choices: motivating students to take creative risks; I want writers to own their ideas and defend them clearly. I urge students to go deep as long as they feel safe to do so.
5) I promote Listening (to their physical voices, their writing voices, their character’s voices, to the voices of their fellow classmates and to the world around them).