Playwriting: What Really Happens [TOP SECRET]

By Isabella Waldron

As first semester winds to a (long and tedious) close, so does the Senior elective of playwriting. Now, for those on the outside, the playwriting class might be something of a mystery.

First, I will attempt to paint a picture of what happens in this class. Picture episodes of The Office but now add in dancing images of Arnav. Still confused? So are we.

This Thursday, after our X-period of scenes we’d written throughout the class were presented to you fine folks, we took D block and lunch to travel all the way to Shari’s. Stuffed in two booths at the back of the restaurant, we were each instructed to behave as a random character we had drawn in class the previous day.

Somehow I ended up sitting next to a man with a fear of applesauce called Coyote Blender (a character created by our very own Abraham). Abraham was to my side and was SUPPOSED to be a man who had an ability to communicate with his food, but he failed miserably and ate his Cuban sandwich with no remarks.

My table started out strong with our characters, attracting many admiring or “confused” looks from neighboring Shari’s customers. However, as the plates of apple pie and fries and pie-shakes (which are objectively awful and taste like sandy milkshakes and obesity epidemics) piled up on our table, our characters lost traction and we fell into the role of hungry teenage Shari’s fans.

I noticed that the other table was still going remarkably strong. Art Ward was supposed to be Donald Trump and was talking loudly about his money while Arnav looked sadly at the remains of his waffles. All in all, it was a most successful learning experience and we left with full stomachs and a very confused waitress.

Another key component of the playwriting class is the one-acts. In an attempt to let you in on the brilliant ideas of not just three, but ALL the one-acts, I solicited members of the class for brief summaries of their one-acts and am filling you in on them now:

Thomas P.: “My play is antics.”

(Still a bit unclear what this means…Thomas P. is a man shrouded in mystery).

Steven C.: “My play is about a struggling married couple that finds out that their 12 year-old daughter has incurable brain cancer. It mainly focuses on the struggles of the couple and how they deal with the situation.”

Abraham A.: “My play is about a family that thinks an ear infection is fatal. They end up meeting a woman named Destiny, appearing on the 700 Club, and some other weird shit happens. This play has been called a “mess” by some critics, but a “fun mess” by others.”

Elie D.: “​I have no clue how to explain my play. It’s about a senior in high school (Ezra) who’s arrested for murder, and how his parents and younger brother (Xan) deal with it. It’s a mystery (until the end) when…..” (I will not reveal the ending to you, eager reader).

Arnav B.: “​My play is a humorous story about a robot trying to find his emotions. The main character, Gerald must struggle through Franks’ programming to make him realize that he indeed does have emotions. While the play does end on a sad note, Frank’s sadness allows him to push through the barrier and find his emotions.”

Mark F.: “Featuring four characters, this one act entertainingly reveals the family structure of two fathers Claude and Edwin, and their children Alice and Darrin. Hilarity ensues after a new home is purchased without proper consultation, and comedy rules the day.”

Andy S.: “Two high school boys embark on a relatable emotional coaster that shows what it’s like to grow up.”

Danrong W.: “My play is about the past, present and future of a couple in their forties who has recently divorced.”

The other lovely six students in this class failed to respond to my bazillions of emails, so we’ll just say that their one acts are about a lonely dog named Billy who finds love with an old mermaid in a time-space continuum.


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