NWC #2- "Imbalance" DUE Nov 3rd at 8am CST
Imbalance and asymmetry are at the heart of conflict and drama.
Form a STATIC image on stage. Use human bodies interacting with something VERY LARGE. Set something into motion that causes imbalance. Return to balance.
Challenge: Start with balance and then let there be imbalance - physically on stage. We need to see it and the characters need to feel it. Take the rest of the play to NEARLY fix the imbalance. The struggle exposes imbalances in their souls or relationship. The fix? Does it happen? From "the gods"? From within? From inner peace? Up to you.
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF YOUR FIRST THOUGHT
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF CLICHE
Dive in to those things deeply, deeper, more! Grab on and wrestle with it. Get it dirty. That's where the good stuff is.
ABORTIVE NEW PLAY IDEA THOUGHTS BEFORE REALIZING I HAVE ANOTHER ACTUAL WRITING DEADLINE I AM AVOIDING
1) Is it wrong that my first thought was orgy?
2) No, but since you've never been in one, it may be hard to stage.
3) Not if you play it for comedy.
4) Is it wrong that my second thought was Twister (the game, not the movie)?
5) No, but it's not as amusing as orgy.
6) Stop thinking about Human Centipede. Stop thinking about Human Centipede. Stop thinking about Human Centipede.
7) OK, I am so grossed out now, I have driven myself into the waiting arms of an actual writing deadline that I used yesterday's challenge to sidetrack me from :)
BUS PLAY #1
(There is a bus.
On the ice.
Among the Art Shanties on White Bear Lake in Minnesota in February.
The bus is decorated on the outside and the inside with pictures and words.
It is a descendant of the bus called "Further" driven by Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters back in the 1960s, chronicled by Tom Wolfe in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."
You were either "on the bus" or "off the bus."
This bus is called the "Vehicle of Expression."
It is dedicated to the art of the word.
There is poetry. There is fiction.
And there are these plays.
Short interludes written by five different people.
This is one of them.
There are seats in pairs down each side of the bus.
On the back of every bus seat, there is an envelope.
Every envelope has a number.
In every envelope there is a script.
Each partner in a pair of scripts is placed in one of these envelopes.
The "bus driver" (an actor) asks an audience member to pick a number between 1 and 10.
That number determines which script will be read in any given space of five minutes.
The people sitting in the seats that face the envelopes with that number will pull the scripts out of the envelope.
They have a choice.
They can hand the script off to an actor - who will also be sitting in one of the seats, clearly marked with a name tag that says ACTOR and extremely friendly. Ready and willing to read.
Or the person with the script in their hand can choose to read the script themselves.
The other person with the same script may be seated next to them.
The other person with the same script may be seated at the other end of the bus.
They will turn to each other.
They will make eye contact.
They will decide if they want to be in their current proximity to each other
or if they want to move
to get closer
or further apart.
Do they stay in their seats?
Do they stand in the aisle?
Do they perform for the rest of the people on the bus?
Or do they perform just for one another?
We might ask them to do something like this - )
We need to decide who will be reader 1 and who will be reader 2.
It doesn't matter to me.
Being polite sure does slow things down
READER (at the same time)
I'll be reader number _____ (pick a number)
Did we just pick the same number?
Yes (or No) (depending)
OK, I'll be reader number _______ (pick a number)
Thank goodness we got that settled. It's cold out here and this scene is only supposed to last a couple of minutes.
(smiles at #2 - for a while, says nothing)
(looks back at #1 as if to say, "Why are you smiling at me?")
(shrugs, smiles engagingly at the rest of the audience on the bus)
[The other people on the bus are: nervous? smiling as well in spite of themselves?]
(shrugs as well)
(waves to #2)
(shrugs, waves back to #1)
(waves to the rest of the people on the bus very enthusiastically)
[The other people on the bus: laugh nervously? also wave?]
I thought this was supposed to be a scene. Doesn't anyone have any lines?
I think you just had one.
So I did.
As did I.
This is a bit non-sensical.
Yes, but essentially harmless.
I suppose theater isn't that scary after all.
No scarier than being on a bus on the ice in the middle of winter.
It could be scarier.
It could be the end of winter and the ice could be melting.
So we're saying that we're actually happy that we're stuck in the middle of winter in Minnesota.
Well, under the circumstances, it's much safer.
Thank you, Minnesota winter.
Thank you, bus.
Thank you, random strangers.
And so we continue.
(waves to the audience)
(waves to the audience)
[The other people on the bus: applaud? laugh? wave back? all of these things?]
[The two readers now speak to the others on the bus.]
BOTH #1 and #2
[The bus driver asks an audience member to pick another number - and on we go]