Playwriting Assignment

[Secondary Pre-Visit LESSON PLAN: Best Friends]


1. With your group members, brainstorm a situation involving best friends who have to be separated for an unknown length of time. If you wish, your group may use the events from one of the pieces of literature we read (the book The Bracelet, the poem "In Response to Executive Order 9066" or "Into the Desert!") as the basis for a play. The play may be about the Internment, but it does not have to be. In your brainstorming include:

a. Characters: You should have two main characters that are best friends. You may have one or more minor characters. List their personality traits and their physical characteristics. One of your characters may be a narrator or double as a narrator.

b. Setting: Where will your play occur? Think of location as well as time (past, present, future) and time of day or night. Try to limit your play to one location.

c. Conflict: Motivation/desire that causes the main character to act: The physical separation will motivate your characters to begin to act in a certain way.

d. Opposing motivation/desire that will create a realistic conflict or problem between the two characters. Again, the separation will serve as a starting point for the opposing motivation.

e. Confrontation: A situation in which the characters meet/talk and confront each other about their opposing desires. Your confrontation scene may involve parting gifts.

f. A turning point (climax) for the action.

g. A resolution: How does the play end?

h. The theme of friendship: This will affect the reader significantly, engage the reader's

attention immediately, and sustain it throughout the play. This will be closely tied to the relationship between the two friends and the effect the separation has on them.

2. Based on your group's brainstorming outline, write a rough draft for your play. Develop your character(s) through the use of realistic dialogue. Your play may build suspense or use humor as it dramatizes the action.

3. Use play format and include stage directions in parenthesis. Remember: when writing for the stage, all the action must be seen or heard. The dialogue is crucial to developing the characters and action. The staging must be simple and not involve a lot of props. For example:

Narrator: Two young girls wait at a train station.

Masako: (sadly) I wish I didn't have to leave.

Irene: I wish I knew how long you will be gone for.

Masako: I guess this is goodbye. (She turns her face away from her friend.)

4. Rehearse your completed play and be prepared to present it to the class on ____________________ .

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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