Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Stage vs. The Page

When I was in university I went to see one of my friends in a stage play. In one scene, she was part of a crowd of villagers who murmured amongst themselves while the leads spoke in full voice downstage. The rabble sounded perfect: not too loud or soft, totally convincing.

"What do you guys say to one another during the crowd scenes?" I asked my friend after the show.

" 'Peas and carrots, rutabaga,' " she said. "We say it over and over in varying rhythms and emphases. The mix of vowels makes it sound real, yet indecipherable."

[OK, this is the fruit guy. The vegetable guy went home early. Photo by ES]

Right there, I realized a critical aspect of writing for the stage vs. writing for the page: On the page, no word can be there for the sake of effect alone. Every one must play a role in the whole. That's it.

Speaking of writing for the page, I'd like to give a plug to a new educational venture in central Florida, The Writer's Atelier: The founder, Racquel Henry, is determined to help writers!

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