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Friday, Oct. 12

October 14, 2012
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Songwriting: Today we recorded vocals for “Pants Purgatory.” Certainly a highlight of my week. Next week we’ll hear the mix.

We spent the second half of class reviewing some of the songs submitted for the LP CD. Your assignment for next week is to rewrite a verse or a chorus for this song, which you can get the lyrics for here, and download here.

Critical Reading: Today I gave you a general outline of the ideas we’ve covered so far. We went over your homework, which was to investigate the subtext of an advertisement. We started talking about finding subtext in other works, going back to the well of opinion pieces from the NYT. In class we read an article about body image in the media, then discussed it briefly. We then began to read a critique of this article from NYMag. Make sure to read both of these articles for next Friday as we will finished up our discussion then.

Also for next week: read The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Flannery O’Connor.

If you were absent, all of these materials are waiting for you in the box on my desk.

Act I: Today we watched a version of “Sure Thing.” Hopefully, you noticed the ways in which 1) the rapid “repeats” added to the comedy, particularly the ones in which the same point got done and redone several times in a row, and 2) the actors reinforced the scenarios in the way they positioned and re-positioned themselves for each repeat. (It’s a very physical play.)

I gave you handouts about the three main components of any play: the exposition, complication(s) and resolution. In these bell scenarios, the complications are very easy to identify. Exposition can be trickier: how are you going to let us know who your characters are, where they are and what they’re after? Remember: in playwriting you essentially lose one of the three main narrative modes — thought. That means you’re left with dialogue and action to move things along.

That means that if you have a particularly tricky point to get across, you have to consider your options. Can you do it through dialogue with another character? Can you do it via a phone conversation with an unseen character? Can you do it through a representative action? (Like, say, having a character wind an alarm clock to show he’s getting ready for bed.) Or should you consider dialogue from an outside source, such as a narrator?

We worked on these bell scenarios during the second half of class. I will expect to see your progress (and I do mean progress) on Monday, and you will receive a grade for it. And remember: if your partner is absent, that is not an excuse. It is your job to be sure you both have copies of the work.

Press: The usual.

Survey: Fiction: No homework. We started and in-class exercise that we will continue on Monday.

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