Come to our show this Friday! 7:30 @SOTA Mainstage, free for students, $15 for adults!
by Giorgia (’14)
On Monday we returned to the classroom from our annual camping camping trip at Kirby Cove sleepy and smoke-smelling with fresh faces and new stories. Among which Heather learned to play snaps, Giorgia (’14) tried to teach samba, Justus (’15) was a sexy bookcase, the freshmen underwent forceful (and ultimately unsuccessful) segregation, the Schott-Rosenfield (’14, ’17) sibling rivalry went crashing into the sea, and Colin (’16) finally took down Jules (’14), our own departmental kraken, during our traditional beach romp. Mostly, it was just, as the young ones say “cold as balls.”
Obviously, we had a lot to discuss on Monday. We did this eating delicious peanut butter chocolate cookies Noa (’16) made for her writing buddy, Lizzie (’14) (happy 17th birthday lizz!), and leftover croissants, potato chips, and izzes from the trip. We talked about our favorite moments, what went well and what didn’t.
After our Kirby Cove debrief, the freshmen went off to the dark cavern they call “Freshmen Seminar” with Maia, and the rest of CW settled down with Sarah Fontaine (<3) for umläut. It’s early on in the year, so we are currently lying out preliminary framework, along with rebooting umläut‘s online presence and overall mission statement.
That evening, five seniors– Midori Chen, Mykel Mogg, Giorgia Peckman, Frances Saux, and Abigail Schott-Rosenfield —read at the Book Club of California (of which Abigail is a member). We were asked to the Book Club by Abigail’s grandmother, Kathy, earlier this year. Each of us read through a section of the Club’s collection (the club specializes in fine print press), mostly Tangram books, and each selected one or two works from which to write from. Our response poems focused on California history, and the relation of landscape and the individual. It was quite exciting to read our work outside of the school community, especially in such a rich and resonant environment full of so many monumental works.
We also sold a full set of umläut to the Book Club!
Yes, that exclamation point in the title is totally warranted, even if the permalink doesn’t think so.
Voyager is off to a great start— we’ve got our whole cast and crew here: Heather, Tony, Rachel, Carol, Isaiah, Maia… Plus the brilliant tech crew we can’t do without (as Beyoncé once said, “Who run the world? [Tech]!”). For the first time since my four-year-memory (the average lifespan of a high schooler), we’ve got all our Skits-I-Mean-Interludes finalized and roughly staged in the first day of theater rehearsals. We’re also aiming high this year, in that every CDub will have their pieces memorized for the show. I expect to just cruise (badum–CHING!) along this week, until Friday, our big show.
In the mean time, here are some pictures to keep y’all entertained:
by Sophie (’17)
Creative Writing is the last class of the day which means that by the time we get here many of us are exhausted and want nothing more than to sleep for a few hours. Sadly, that’s not possible because we still have an incredible amount of work to do for our upcoming show. Today we started things off with a pep talk slash lecture which seamlessly meshed reassurances about our capabilities as C-Dubs with the fact that we need to go deeper with our theme. It can’t just be the funny story of aliens on a cruise ship— it must be the meaningful funny story of aliens on a cruise ship. As Heather and Rachel said, the best humor is the kind that reflects the truth.
After this Heather took it upon herself to energize and inspire us by jumping around and impersonating various animals on the carpet (see the sotacw Instagram) while challenging us not to laugh, which to her credit seemed to bring stress levels way down. We also fretted about what decorations are absolutely necessary for the show (not to give away too much, but, portholes).
For the second half of CW we worked on tightening up our skits, which are admittedly all over the place in a fabulous sort of way. We developed characters, reviewed dialogue, and tried to bring a deeper meaning into the show. I don’t know about everyone else, but I think my group has definitely got the scriptwriting thing down to a science. Write something down, laugh about it for a while, then realize it’s the best we can come up with and move on.
We wrapped up the day by celebrating Giorgia’s birthday (apparently I was too early with the cupcake/cronut thing yesterday) in a suitably CW-ish manner, involving the rapid consumption of chocolate cake and lemonade.
In conclusion, if you aren’t already planning to attend this year’s Creative Writing show, I have one word for you. C’mon! CW ’13: Insane Alien Cruise Ship Skits With Deeper Universal Meaning is really not something you want to miss.
by Justus (’15)
After excessive quantities of democracy it seems a sort of constitutional monarchy has been established in Creative Writing: we have our no-longer-negotiable show idea, the still-currently-unnamed show involving aliens and cruise ships (possibly Starboard or Alienation Generation, among other suggestions). We are also not allowed to argue about what the skit– er… interludes’ themes will be anymore, by royal decree of our Monarchs Tony, Rachel, and Carol. Finally.
So today it was time to create our
skits interludes, and we split into groups to begin the plot outlining process. I myself was in the group dealing with the opening of the show, in which we attempted to introduce the characters of our alien protagonists, while still making them seem like aliens (“what they communicated via interpretive dance?” and “is crash-landing a UFO a totally normal thing in alien culture?” were just two of the important decisions our group needed to make). The other groups held meetings on how best to discuss the themes of [Redacted][No spoilers] through our unconventional plot thread.
The democracy in Creative Writing has been overthrown. Let the group writing begin.
by Avi (’15)
Democracy. It isn’t what you participate in on the first Tuesday in November. Nor is it a system of government through elected officials (thank you Google). It means to raise your hand and vote!
Today in Creative Writing we closed our eyes, covered our heads, and raised our hands high to vote for the theme of the show we liked the best.
And after the results were in, and ALL tallies were counted, we found our answer, our result, our president: The Yet to be Titled Show Involving Aliens and Cruise Ships!
It took some discussion, it took some frustration, it took some back-tracking, but like a green alien, it finally came to us… in a UFO containing Jules’ brain (what a wonderful genius he is, what a shame he isn’t taking Calculus.)
After voting on whether or not we should choose our script-writing groups, we divided ourselves and began the arduous process of writing our scripts— excuse me, interludes (as skits are FAR too elementary, get with the program.)
For those of you non-Creative Writers reading the blog, you should be— need to be— worried, confused and most importantly, excited. Preferably feel all of these emotions at the same time. Just know that the aliens of planted CDub are coming to a stage near you… if you live in San Francisco. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, you will need to fly out, no C-Dub wants to perform in fifteen feet of snow in suburban Minnesota.
by Abigail (’14)
On Friday the third, Umläut had a successful (and profitable) release party for the 2014 issue, dubbed Plastic Knives! We pity everyone who wasn’t there, and we’re sure those who came didn’t regret spending the night before Prom with us.
While the prime attraction was, obviously, this year’s Umläut— as professional and polished as ever, but with a new matte cover this time— there was also great music by Rin Tin Tiger and Mayya Feygina, food donated by Arizmendi and CW parents, and a raffle. It was probably one of the balmiest days we’ll see this year, but most people managed to stay inside long enough to listen to several of the published authors read their work.
We couldn’t have done it without 826 Valencia’s generosity in offering us the space for the night, free! Thanks to the parents who contributed to covering what 826 usually charges.
If you missed the party, we trust you won’t make the same mistake again next year, but you can get your new Umläut at SOTA at lunch (we’re selling outside of the CW room) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Soon it should be available to purchase online at http://sotashop.myshopify.com/products/umlautliterary-journal.
‘Aight, here are the long-awaited behind-the-scenes photos.
Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes videos, for an in-depth look at CW’s creative process and waffles.
To be honest, I never really saw myself as much of a play person.
It’s not a long held prejudice, or a complicated one. I’ve just never been very interested in reading them on paper, and although I enjoy the productions that I get a chance to see, it’s just not something I find myself actively searching for.
It’s amazing, though, how plays come to life. It’s wild and it’s arduous; it takes a lot of time and contribution from a lot of people; after a few days, though you begin to see a spark, like something starts to click between the actors and director and writer. In the week leading up to the play writing show, this is what I experienced:
Monday, DAY 1: The barest bones are set. At this point in time, we didn’t even have the stage to start rehearsals. We roamed around the hallways and libraries, looking for places to practice lines in peace. One by one, plays were read from crisp white scripts, and that was it: everyone is still learning at this point. Words lead to characters; characters lead to interactions; interaction leads to tension and drama. But, at this point, all anyone has is words and characters they need to learn.
Tuesday, DAY 2: We get to the theater to rehearse, and on the stage the actors get a sense of how they have to move in front of the audience of people. A few people are off-book, but most cling to their scripts. Actors and directors slowly become more comfortable with their scripts and characters, and really begin working together to make the play as natural feeling as possible.
Wednesday, DAY 3: The plays are finally coming to life. Having workshopped the plays in previous drafts, I can see the intention in the writer’s words finally coming out in the action and tension of the play. Actors become more familiar with their scripts and their characters; they understand who they are to become to carry out the author’s words.
Thursday, DAY 4: I sit in the audience every chance I get as the plays are rehearsed, since I won’t have a chance to see them during the performance. The plays are coming together, and Waffles for Dinner (by Avi Hoen, the musical about estranged sisters reconnecting and overcoming waffle phobias) makes me laugh so hard I collapse on the ground crying. Everything runs smoothly, and though some are more comfortable holding their scripts on stage, it doesn’t take away from their ability to inhabit their characters.
Friday, PERFORMANCE DAY: Everything is beautiful. Tech makes everything bright and pretty, and the lights and sound cues are all set. Isaiah is a beautiful raccoon and dragon.
The performance itself is smooth running and extraordinarily. There isn’t anything like the first time seeing plays become realities on stage. It was not the most intricate production I had ever seen, but this is the first time I had seen plays transform from words written in twelve-point Courier font to a real stage production. It was magical, the evolution from words to developed characters to stage. Maybe, next year, with the right luck, I will get to see my written play turn into a reality unto itself on stage.
24 Creative Writers
120 minutes of pure entertainment
1 night only
Friday April 12, 2013
$10 for Students, $15 for Adults
The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Creative Writing Department is pleased to present “Work Hard Play Harder” our tenth annual play writing showcase event. The twelve plays are not only written, but performed by Creative Writing students: who says writers should be cloistered, chained to their keyboards? Misfits, mutants, monsters, and a wide range of other characters will populate the stage of the Dan Kryston Memorial Theatre. Join us at 6:30 for a reception with special guest San Francisco playwright Christopher Chen, best known for THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT.
We know you work hard. Come play harder with us.