|Image: 'Playwriting is Like' from flickr.com|
I am not completely new to playwriting. Pauline Walker, one of the contributors of my third anthology Hair Power Skin Revolution, was inspired enough to write a play called '24 Hour Divas - a comic tale about hair and identity'.
I had a go at writing the first scene of '24 Hour Divas'. Nevertheless, Pauline was keen to write the play on her own. We worked in collaboration to produce the one-act play, which was supported by Talawa Black Theatre and previewed at the Rich Mix Theatre in October 2011, as part of Snapshots, a bite-sized festival in 13 parts celebrating East London in its Olympic year with its fourth instalment, Black History Month...Black Future. The preview was a mixture of performance and play reading. Judging by the speed at which 24 Hr Divas sold out (over 100 tickets booked within one week), this is a subject that black women feel strongly about.
In March 2014, I signed up to the Live Theatre on-line Playwriting Course, covering structure, character, dialogue and theatricality, culminating in writing a play with the potential of getting it produced. Beaplaywright.com is designed to be completed at your own speed. I completed/submitted my play script in March 2015.
The course has encouraged me to read as many plays and see as much theatre as possible. This is because it is important to start to analyse why plays work and also to begin to identify the ways in which a playwright can shape their material to make it dramatically effective.
To date I've read the following plays:
Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.
Little Sweet Thing by Roy Williams.
The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov.
A Number by Caryl Churchill.
The Filleting Machine by Tom Hadaway.
Cooking with Elvis by Lee Hall.
Toast by Richard Bean.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
To date I've seen the following plays:
Macbeth in Pitch Black at the Castle Theatre.
King Lear by William Shakespeare, a National Theatre Live Broadcast.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, a National Theatre Live Broadcast.
The Rite of Spring/Romeo & Juliet, presented by Concert Theatre.
Stories of Migration - Losing Sight of Home, a rehearsed reading written/directed by Paula David.
Medea by Euripides in a new version by Ben Power, a National Theatre Live Broadcast.
Talawa Black Theatre
So You Want To Be A Playwright? by Tim Fountain
Write a Play and get it performed by Lesley Bown & Ann Gawthorpe
The Methuen Drama Book of Black British Writers
National Theatre Live - Behind the Scenes