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Friday, February 13

February 13, 2015

Pulp: Finishing up letters. All notifications are going out via email today. Revisions will be due by midnight Wednesday. Remember: fundraising stuff will be due by the end of this month!

Project: Today was a workday. Same story next week – make sure that you are bringing in work to do.

Act One: Today we had a shortened class. You turned in your one-acts. (If you were here but didn’t, you have until Monday to do so, for reduced credit.)

We talked about “The Bear,” and about how characters are quickly developed in this one-act. One way is through conflict; the play begins with a conflict between Luka and Popova that highlights Popova’s widowhood and martyrdom. Then, obviously, the bigger conflict is between Smirnov, who needs money, and Popova, and that tells us something about Smirnov.

But Chekhov makes use of another technique — having characters relay their thoughts to us, to develop character further. It’s a risky strategy: we have to believe that a character has a good reason to talk to him- or herself. In this play it works because both Popova and Smirnov are both agitated when they do so. And we do tend to talk to ourselves when we’re upset.

We distinguished between three different terms:

A monologue occurs when one character delivers a speech when other characters are onstage and can hear what is being said. We might call some of Smirnov’s lengthier speeches to Popova monologues (albiet fairly short ones).

A soliloquy occurs when one character delivers a speech when other characters are usually offstage; if they are onstage, they can’t hear what’s being said. Popova and Smirnov’s ruminations while along onstage qualify.

An aside is a short remark, directed toward the audience, that cannot be heard by other characters onstage. An example is when Smirnov is showing Popova how to use the gun and remarks about what an extraordinary woman she is.

We then watched the Chekhov play “The Dangers of Tobacco,” which of course is about anything but. Is this a monologue or a soliloquy? Depends on whether you consider the real audience part of the play (which they sort of are).

Keep this stuff in mind, because 1) a quiz is coming soon, and 2) so is an assignment based on these distinctions.

BatCat: Today we sat down and discussed the manuscripts for this year. Thank you all for participating – it was a good discussion. Your “homework” isn’t really a specific assignment so much as it is to keep thinking about what we talked about today and start transitioning to think about designs for the book. Nothing concrete yet though – brainstorm, don’t get too intensely focused on a single idea. Not yet, anyway.

7th Grade: The truth about the real Martian revealed! We wrote opening sentences of a story that we’ll talk more about next week.

Survey: Screenwriting: Today we continued watching Sunset Blvd. We will finish the film on Monday. Please remember that you do indeed have a homework assignment for Monday. Here it is again: Screenwriting 2.11.15 – Assignment 3, More Spectacle.

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