Postgraduate Diploma in Writing for The Stage

Outside Writer on Dramatists Tools (2)
7 Edge Lane
M21 9JG

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.

With the seniors I gave the playwrights practice in writing scenes for larger ensembles.
We took interior monologue, created from four or more connected characters from a project they were currently engaged in.
The monologues were then gived time and place, for example a railway station in the present, a futuristic living space, a barbecue in 1990.
An inciting action was then found for each set of characters, something that disturbed the ritual and caused the internal world to become external via speech and action.
For example, at the barbecue banter became a heated discussion that developed into a blazing row when one of the characters sprayed yoghurt onto one of the others and then stumbled backwards into the Bar BQ.
In the futuristic piece it was the human need to embrace and be embraced, which brought action to an otherwise static piece.
We worked with actors, in semi improvised situations, to refine the scenes. The writers rewrote, the scenes were re-workshopped, and in all cases the goal, to produce scenes where at least four characters were taking place in simultaneous dramatic speech and action, was achieved.
With the first year student we went from original idea via title and synopsis to first draft. Themes discussed in depth were the structuring of an idea and action. Organizing a narrative. How to connect with themes that are of a personnel relevance to you, not strictly autobiographical fiction but using the molecular theory of fiction as proposed by Pagett Powell…
“there are atoms of autobiography, they can be the moment when the curtains opened on a room, or they can be an enitre day spent with Grandad, but they are always an event or sequence that can not be split. These atoms are placed together in new ways, glue must be written, and is these atoms, and this glue, that creates pleasing molecules of fiction.”
My main role was motivation and guidance over a six week period, the time that Checkov gave, in his advice to young dramatists, as the right amount of time spend on the first draft.
I mentored Catherine Kay, who got a Bursary at the Soho Theatre London, then later had her play, BUBBYSAURUS, produced by The Happy Theatre Collective for The Contact Theatre Manchester.
Julian Hill, another student, is now an important member of PANDA. A respected and exciting collective of performance and theatre artists in Manchester.