Open Forum

Creating your own work

  • 1.  Creating your own work

    Posted 6 days ago
    I'm looking for some suggestions, resources, ideas, any information you are willing to share about creating your own script. I've been reading Alice In Wonderland scripts for weeks and haven't found one I'm crazy about. Someone suggested I adapt my own. I'm thinking this is the route I may want to take, but I'm a bit nervous because I've never done something like this before. My idea is create the script with the cast, but I really don't know where to start. Can anyone offer some advice? Thanks!

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    Kristi Jacobs-Stanley
    Louisiana Co-Chapter Director
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  • 2.  RE: Creating your own work

    Posted 5 days ago
    I'v adapted a couple of books, under permission from the author and publisher, and my approach was to read the book several times; come up with an outline or scenes and chapters; and then-- work with a cast in rehearsal to a) read over the chapter to be adapted b) improvise scenes using the text for key dialogue and then c) type scenes up at home with the help of an assistant writer who also participated in the rehearsal and treatment process.  Then, the next day we would read over the adaptation and get suggestions from the cast.  It is a very fun process.  I've also adapted works on my own, like A Christmas Carol and then presented those pages to a cast for read through-s and I must say I prefer the collaborative process.  In the first process, my students chose characters to focus on and also completed research to time period and the text on their own-- I think they brought a deeper understanding to the work-- more so than I could have done on my own.

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    Michael Johnson
    Trinity NC
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  • 3.  RE: Creating your own work

    Posted 4 days ago
    We've done this with Alice in Wonderland and Christmas Carol. Both Are in the public domain. The students/cast created the script together after reading the novel collectively (we listened to an unabridged audiobook) It was an amazing experience both times!  Broke them into groups, assigned each a chapter to adapt, they worked on laptops and wrote together on Google Drive. I gave them a page limit but they could "negotiate with another group for extra pages if that group didn't need their full allotment. Message me if you want specifics ��

    Ron Parker 
    Appleton North High School
    Renaissance School for the Arts






  • 4.  RE: Creating your own work

    Posted 5 days ago
    Probably the easiest is to adapt a work if this is your first time. If you're doing the Alice, you might want to think about getting the students involved in it.

    I'd get input from the students about the work they'd like to adapt (if you want to open the field)/  (Otherwise, make sure it's in the public domain.) Have the students discuss what characters/scenes they like to include in the play. Do you see any kind of theme emerging from what they are selecting? You probably will.

    Have students improvise roles, perhaps put some of it in their own language. You might want to record these sessions in case you want to capture some of the dialogue they create. Feel free to change scenes around.

    At some point, you and the students might want to have a discussion about where you feel this adaptation is going? Why have they chosen the characters and scenes they have? What is their particular play about? How is their Alice different from the original? How does their version relate to their current experiences?

    Also, there's a a free download in Script Magazine with tips on writing plays: https://www.scriptmag.com/playwriting

    Good luck. You can do it. If you decide to go ahead with this project and get the jitters, feel free to message me.

    Here's another link to an article you might find helpful to start with: https://www.edutopia.org/student-playwrights-project-playwriting


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    Jean Klein
    Playwright/Founder HaveScripts/BlueMoonPlays
    Playwriting Teacher in MFA program, Wilkes University]Virginia Beach VA
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  • 5.  RE: Creating your own work

    Posted 4 days ago
    If you have the time to work with students in class, give groups short sections and have them create scenes. You could allow them to read the section of the book once, but then they have to create the scene without looking at it again, that way it is in their own words, and they will (theoretically) only include the important stuff. After they show their scenes, have another group take what they did and put their own spin on it - tell it in a different style, or from another character's perspective. Create tons of material at the beginning, then talk about which scenes stood out and why, or which scenes would fit together logically. From experience, keep switching things up, including group members, so things don't get stale.

    If you do create your own work, please let us know what process you used and how it went!

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    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA
    http://mcintoshtheater.org/

    Theater kills ignorance
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  • 6.  RE: Creating your own work

    Posted 4 days ago
    These are all great thank you! Please keep the ideas coming. Next question. How do you run auditions for this process? Normally I would do sides for an audition, but with no script what do you do? Improv exercises? Ideas please! Thank you!

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    Kristi Jacobs-Stanley
    Louisiana Co-Chapter Director
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  • 7.  RE: Creating your own work

    Posted 3 days ago
    Yes to improv exercises. Also, maybe put them in small groups, give them five minutes to create a scene given some parameters (specify a few things they have to include, like a certain character or action) and watch to see who works well with others with out taking over, and who generates productive ideas. I think I would want to include a monologue as well - have them choose. This way, you can look both for strong creators and strong actors.

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    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA
    http://mcintoshtheater.org/

    Theater kills ignorance
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