Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Playwright's Craft

  • Storytelling
ü  Use of suspense
  • Use of flashback
  • Use of elaborate stage directions
ü  To highlight costume
ü  To highlight characterization
  • Use of language

Function of each Technique
  • Storytelling
ü  One central character used to pass on information to the audience
ü  The story teller is both a bystander as well as involved in the action
ü  The story teller has control over when and how information is relayed as well as how much of it – this creates the suspense
ü  The story teller – allows for the smooth transition in time – whether an incident is elaborated on or merely mentioned.
ü  The perspective from which the story is told is skewed – based on the teller’s intention - typical of storytelling – the aim is to allow the listener to see things from his or her side.
ü  This technique also allows for greater engagement with the audience – as it allows for direct interaction with the storyteller.
ü  other characters – (Ms. Aggy and George) are allowed to tell their side of the story about specific situations.
See notes in text book (latest edition).
  • Flashback
ü  Helps in the transition of time – helps in connecting the events of the past
ü  Aids in the use of suspense by the storyteller
ü  Provides information for the audience as well as characters in the play about specific situation.
ü  Eg. Ms. Aggy goes back in time to inform Len about how she met George – this is for both Len and the audience.
  • Elaborate Stage Directions
ü   help in understanding the function of costume, and characterization.
ü  Costume aids in shedding light on personality of characters as well as their status in society.
ü  Provide a guide to the characters so they know how and when to behave
ü  Help in the passage of time – it is through these that characters know when and how to freeze and unfreeze so the action can continue.
  • Use of Language
ü  Language is used to represent status, educational background and generational gap.
ü  Pa Ben and Ms. Aggy – use words and expressions that are of their generation. Pa Ben invents words to facilitate his storytelling craft – to be impressive
ü  Len transitioned from speaking with Pearl and his mother to a more sophisticated and restrained language.
ü  Lois’ use of language is representative of her exposure and educational background
ü  George manipulates his to get what he wants – difference in how he speaks to Len, Ms. Aggy, Bertie and even Lois – George able to switch register comfortably.

Pa Ben's roles as:
  • narrator
  • social commentator
  • charactor
  • director
How the concept of 'Old Story Time' is presented and maintained
  • his narrative of the past - how it was done by his father and the rituals involved
  • summoning of the village or villagers - repetition of 'ole story time'
  • names of events, places and people of the past eg. Pa Zaccy
  • use of common courtesies  - eg.  All well all well - 'everybody hearty'

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