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Drama with K Edwards – 12th November 2014

K Edwards played to a packed house on Wednesday evening as she led us (at a fast trot!) through the fascinating process of developing characters for the stage. Where do we begin?  The curtain opens and the audience is immediately transported … where? Karen encouraged us to be imaginative in our setting. It doesn’t have to be in a room, she told us. Don’t worry about the difficulties of staging or set design; it’s not the writer’s problem.

Various locations were suggested including a park bench; a space station and the surface of a comet (we are nothing if not topical!) But of course, a setting is not just a backdrop. Like the characters and their actions they have to be there for a reason. The opening scene sets the mood.

Next we considered our two main characters and tried to establish their character type, their goals, hopes, fears, approach to life and perhaps their secrets. There should be a contrast between the two, as two similar, con-confrontational characters would make for a very boring play.

Our opening scene quickly establishes the ongoing situation and then builds towards ‘the trigger’ – the defining moment or event that provokes the conflict that drives the play. No conflict; no play.

Karen gave us a fascinating insight into writing for the stage. Clearly, there was enough here for a whole drama course. Thank you, Karen, for a very enjoyable and instructive evening.

Maggie Bolton

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