6: Sharing of Script Cuttings
Students will demonstrate their understanding of strong script structure by sharing five pages from their final scripts and critiques other students’ work.
Students will need a five page section from their script.
Have several tables arranged in the room to form a large conference table where all of the class can sit and see one another. You may also set out food on the table for your story conference today.
TRANSITION: Have everyone sit at the table and bring their five pages from their script.
STEP 1: Have each student share the title of their play, a two sentence story synopsis, one strong visual element, and their favorite moment. The strongest visual moment can come from any part of the script, no just their five page cutting they have today. Their favorite moment must be from their five page cutting. Not every student will be able to read and share their five page cutting today, but this will give each student a chance to briefly share their script ideas.
STEP 2: Select a student to share five pages of their script. The playwright must assign readers for each part and then let the readers do their part. Encourage the playwrights not to coach or correct the performers. The script must stand on its own.
STEP 3: After each script is read, ask the class to discuss the effectiveness of the characters, relationships, and dramatic action. Some questions to ask:
Did the readers feel that they understood their character?
Did each character’s position or role in the script make sense?
Did it capture your attention as an audience?
Did the dialogue fit the style of the piece? Did the lines sound right?
STEP 4: Ask the playwright to respond to the reading. Did the actors perform it as the writer envisioned? Do new ideas for the character or script come forth when heard by other voices? Did the pacing work when hearing the script in real time?
STEP 5: Read as many cuttings as time will allow. You can decide whether it is more important to hear more works read or to have lengthy discussions after each. Both approaches will benefit playwrights who do not get a chance to have their work read.
Students can be assessed by showing you their completed five pages and by participating in the discussions and activities.