Author:
Lori DeLappe
Subject:
Performing Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Level:
Community College / Lower Division
Tags:
  • Arts
  • Diversity
  • Diversity in Theater
  • Diversity in Theatre
  • Diversity in the Arts
  • Plays
  • Playwriting
  • Theater
  • Theatre
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English

    Celebrating Diversity in Theatre

    Celebrating Diversity in Theatre

    Overview

    Diversity in theatre has come a long way, and it has a long way to go. This industry has been dominated for far too long by one sector of the population and other stories have not been told. This project encourages the students to tell their stories from their varied and unique backgrounds and share that with their classmates and community. 

    Playwriting is a unique way to tell a story, and this is an avenue that many may not have considered. This project will broaden the scope of the students view on theatre and encourage them to step up and make their voice heard.

    Project Scope

    The purpose of this project is to help students learn that they have a story to tell, and that telling that story is important to the community they reside in. Theatre needs to be diversified and this is one step.

    Theatre is storytelling. Everyone has a unique story to tell but they do not always get a chance to tell it. The world of theatre has been dominated for centuries by one aspect of the population. It's time that changed.

    This project will give each student the opportunity to tell a story about their cultural and personal experiences. The focus is to choose a story that hightlights an aspect of their individual experience and then to share that with others. 

    Each student will write a 10-minute play based in their cultural experience. Here are some guidelines:

    1. On average, 1 page equals 1 minute - give or take. Always read it out loud to verify it's long enough.
    2. Avoid too much exposition - don't tell us, show us.
    3. Write in dialogue, not prose. This is not a novel.
    4. No more than 2 scenes  - in a 10 minute play, there's not enough time to change things too often
    5. Keep fighting (stage combat) to a minimum. If you do include a fight, just say "fight" or something like that, don't describe the fight. Leave that to the director.
    6. No more than 5 - 6 characters.

    The final goal of this project is to share these plays with our department for small projects by students of other classes who need new materials. Students will be able to opt out of the sharing process if they prefer.

    Instructions

    Brainstorm 3 ideas for your play. Pull from all your personal and cultural resources. Be creative. Dig deep.

    One of these ideas will be the basis for your 10 minute play with at least 3 characters but no more than 6. Your play needs to have character, conflict and action.

    A play is written in dialogue, like a conversation, instead of narrative like a novel. Please check out the resources provided to learn more about how to format a play.