Hard work pays off
I think I am going to faint.
TMA 3 results back in for my Masters.
83% a high merit and incredible feedback.
TMA 1 62% (Script genre)
TMA 2 82% (Fiction genre)
TMA 3 83% ( Script genre)
Here is the 700 -ish word commentary submitted for my TMA 3 and the feedback.
I believed I couldn’t do this MA. I believed I was shit at writing but maybe…… with practice I can be a better writer and achieve great things.al.
Using my words to change society -however insignificantly, is a goal of mine.
COMMENTARY TM3 Approaching script writing the Aristotelian way.
My challenge was to write a whole play in 18 minutes. I believe that there is too much exposition and would suit as a longer script. When I cut, or slowed certain dialogue-it’s original appeal became lost to a different type of play. The characters lost what made them unique. This is where I rely loosely on morality play techniques. This story could have started in many ways. I felt it best to reveal the turning point and the how and why’s at the end of the play. It is linear and has a beginning, middle and end reminiscent of Greek Tragedy plays.
I often use a stream of consciousness technique to get into a writing zone. For scene 1, I started typing on a blank page and let characters come to my head and speak whatever they wanted. This was how the first scene was produced. I was tempted to discard it until I received positive and constructive feedback on the TGF forum.
A possible subconscious influence for early drafts came from reading the chapter on David Edgars’ how to write a play, (chapter 2 page 17). In TMA 2, I focused on creating characters to reveal the plot and as exposition. Upon reflection, after reading the on-going debate about the primacy of plot versus characters, I think to an extent this true of, e.g., medieval genre morality plays.
Difficulties arose to make the characters more 3-dimensional when using archetypical/universal characters. I relied heavily on a strong plot to drive the narrative and the characters through to the conclusion of the script. TMA3- plot informed the characters and their motives.
Other influences came from conversations with my blogger acquaintance, Clarissa Simmens( Simmens C. 2017) who is from Roma gypsy descendant, and my own great -grandparent’s lineage who fled the Russian 1918 revolution to live a life in the slums of Paris. The setting and background gave the characters more complex motives and inner conflict. Panacea is an old woman who was left with her second sight and not accepted by society or her Nephew.
In this world, it seems society is lured by visual aids. Vladimir was more ready to accept Eve’s gift of soothing people’s problems because of how she appeared outwardly. Vladimir is complex, he was left with third-degree burns from the 1903 revolution, lost his parents, went to live with his “strange” grandmother.
Hopefully, a writer will get a true sense of Vladimir’s character by the end of the play. He did what he had to do to survive. He is human. Flawed. He didn’t stop and analyse whether he should save baby Eve in the Revolution; instinct took over. My inspiration for how he and Eve arrived in Paris (maintaining a high-status life during and after WW1) is taken from George Orwell’s book ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ set in 1925. There is a reference to espionage and a secret Russian society, whom paid people to convert to communism after the war (Gutenberg.net.au. (2017).
The music in the piece serves as a device to vary the pace of the play. I hope that the melancholy moments of when Eve/ Panacea plays will give the audience a time to pause, or at the very least, vary or change the pace of emotion.
Genre: this play is not one type of play. I describe it as an experimental, immersive drama with elements of morality play themes because the characters do indeed impart the audience with a strong message.
Humans are complex. There is a clear theme of choices and consequences.
I don’t want to ignore any doubts about this piece: H.R. made constructive comments on the language and the exposition of the piece (refer to XX FEEDBACK (2017)). I hope that the timelessness of dialogue and language could very well take place in Paris, or indeed a modern society setting of today. My choice of setting reinforces to emphasise that these stereotypical characters still function inside time. Does Eve deserve her fate? Probably not.
Time has moved on, wars still occur yet society still seems to dwell on escapism i.e. Piano music metaphor to deal with life, dwelling on people who seem to have the illusion of the perfect life/ status. Society still struggles with acceptance of identity, race, ethnicity, mental health status etc. We’ve made advancements in technology/society but what about advancements in what type of human we should strive to be?
MY TUTORS FEEDBACK –I have kept her name anonymous for obvious reasons.
PT3Thank you for handing in TMA03.
This TMA accounts for 35% per cent of your continuous assessment mark for the module.
There are three parts to TMA 03:
a creative writing element;
extracts of peer review contributions.
Write a stage script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a radio script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a film script ?18 minutes running time.
Please state clearly on the first page which medium (stage, radio or film) you are writing for.
Your script can be either a stand-alone work, complete in itself, or it can be part of a longer play or film. If the latter, it should be structurally resolved (e.g. it might be a complete act from a larger piece; it should not finish mid-action or mid-scene). If providing a section, provide a summary of the larger project ? no more than 200 words ? situating the submitted section in relation to the larger work and offering some context. This summary will not be assessed in itself, and it won’t feature in the word or page counts.
Your script should not be an adaptation of work by another author or an adaptation of a piece of your own work which has been submitted for an earlier TMA.
This part constitutes 15% of this TMA?s grade.
Write a commentary (700 words) about the process of creating your work, the context in which it was developed, and your relevant further reading.
WHERE YOUR TMA SUCCEEDED
A Fair Wish World is powerful piece about loss, vision (actual sight and second sight), mental health and how war and conflict shapes or rather twists people. It’s full of big ideas and you work within a very imaginative immersive theatre setting. Also you have two people, one of whom has apparently saved the other, when it turns out that Vladimir is more reliant on Eve. History is full of unusually talented women who have surrendered their power to a man (Doris Day’s third husband was abusive and stole her money, Billie Holliday was permanently attracted to abusers). There’s a link here to the depressing litany of young women and their exploitative lovers, so this theme has a timeless resonance (although Vladimir isn’t a villain).
There is an interesting piece I’ve linked below here about Peter Brook (he’s 91!!) and his latest production – how stripped back and bare it is and how for example a single piece of cloth can represent several things, eg a piece of cloth is twisted into a snake at one point. This is, in my opinion, a true sense of live theatre, where the audience invests their imagination as opposed to being passive observers – as we are a bit with television. (Also it keeps costs down!) So your idea of the immersive, promenade production is a good idea as well as showing that you are using the medium of theatre as fully as you can.
All the characters resonate, but none more so than Panacea (I’ve got this image of Coco Chanel in my head) and Vladimir, the Russian aristocrat. Panacea because of her contrasting powers and down to earthiness but Vladimir because it was only a few years since the entire Russian imperial family, the Romanovs with their five children were murdered at Ekaterinburg in 1918. The British royal family offered mealy mouthed excuses for not offering them shelter but the real reason was they were afraid of a similar revolution in England, as I’m sure you know. I read the play a couple of times before I read the commentary, so I wasn’t pre informed. I really like the way that Eve can ‘see’ certain things and how when her sight returns, it becomes a curse. You may to have to indicate this quite strongly to the audience but it’s a bold and exciting idea.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NEXT DRAFT
I have a few suggestions for the next draft (and I really hope you continue with this play). Firstly it would be to add some more movement to scene one it as it’s currently a little static. I’m wondering if Eve could get up from the piano and be doing something – getting dressed perhaps in her evening finery? Panacea could offer to help her lace her boots or maybe at some point she could loosen Eve’s corset so she can breathe or brush her hair? You could even have Eve trying to find things which have been placed among the audience – depending on whether you want the audience involved or not.
(I recently went to a promenade production of ‘Jane Eyre’ in a stately home. At one point, the actress playing Jane had placed the sketches she was going to show to Rochester on a piano and an audience member was leaning on the piano without realising. There was an awkward un-Bronte moment as Jane tried to yank the sketches from under the audience member’s elbow!)
Because Panacea comes across as a slightly mystical character who just shows up, I wonder if she could be slightly earthier, in contrast to Eve’s more romantic language. She does have some lovely moments such as her laughter over how useless mirrors are to her, but as much of the play is between her and Eve, and she is a magical creature, perhaps making her the more down to earth seeming would contrast more brightly with her supernatural gifts. See my L4 comment.
In the final scene there is quite a bit of explanation and it feels just a bit squashed. With maybe ten or fifteen minutes more you could find a way to blend in the back story a little more but I understand the difficulty of covering an entire play in eighteen minutes.
Overall, I think you’ve written a big, brave play, which tackles big subjects. It has flaws and needs some development but it’s part of your development as a writer that you take some risks, and personally, I don’t think you can really tell whether a play has legs until you’ve heard it spoken out loud by other people. But I’ve read it out loud and it packs a punch.
You’ve probably already heard of the London Playwrights Blog but if not, they publish opportunities every week. There’s no substitute for
In your commentary you discuss the process of writing the play, in comprehensive detail including the difficulties, and with references to course materials and a commendably large amount of outside reading.
As this is an MA, a high level of both analysis and presentation is required, and your presentation is fine here. It can be helpful when you are sick of the sight of your script/story to give it to a trusted friend or at least leave it a while to give yourself some space.
You don’t have to agree with course or outside materials, either, just show that you have reflected on the ideas within and show how they might have affected your own creative choices. It’s also helpful to explain briefly what you intend to reflect on – such as characterisation, structure and dialogue (maybe picking one area you feel confident in and another where you may feel less confident). Your tone is good, in that you are aware of your own style and what you are trying to achieve without adopting the I-have-achieved-a masterwork-and-now-I-will-reflect-on-aspects-of-its-awesomeness. Instead your tone is curious and questing and always willing to learn.
Thank you for the peer group references. You have always been very active on the forums. Also your references are very good.
I’ve given you a high merit for both the script, and the commentary, an overall high merit pass of 82% As mentioned, scene one is a little static, and the final scene has a slightly ‘expositiony’ feel, but these are very fixable. What I would suggest now for the script is to read out loud and perhaps workshop it as the most difficult bit is letting it out of your head and into the mouths and bodies of actors. You’ve done really well Tasha and taken risks with your writing. Well done.
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.
I can’t believe it’s Easter already. This will be the first Easter where me and my family don’t go and see my Gran in her care home. I’ve mixed feelings about this.
I don’t get to see my gran – 😦
I don’t have to go into a care home this year 🙂
credit to all the care workers out there who deserve a hike up on their wage. We should invest gratitude and time and resources to the people who look after the vulnerable people in society – in my opinion- of course.
We are all going to my Ma’s house on Sunday (family tradition). Gran will be in our thoughts.
How do other people celebrate Easter?
❤ Daisy xoxo