With the end of February came the beginning of March, and with March came the new Creative Writing unit: playwriting. I had only known snippets of the playwriting unit from what others had said. I knew we were fated to write and act out our own plays, which both excited and scared me. The first day was memorable, setting the tone for the unit to come. As we pulled out our notebooks, our instructor delivered our prompt:
For five minutes, write a list of all your obsessions! This is a free write, and you will not be sharing this part, so don’t be afraid to write out all of them.
I wrote out what could have been an encyclopedic testament to all the things I loved. After the five minutes had concluded, the following prompt ensued:
Alright everyone, now what I want you to do is imagine your childhood. What are the first things that come to mind when you think of childhood? What colors?
Standard prompts, nothing out of the ordinary. Then, the next prompt shook things up a bit:
Think about your childhood again. Who is the first person that comes to mind? Write thirty“I-” statements from their point of view.
I did not expect this prompt, and I didn’t expect the first thing to come to mind was my best friend back in elementary school. I hadn’t thought about him in a while, and all of a sudden, a flash flood of fond memories rushed at me. I jotted down what I remembered of him, and recalled all the things we did together. It was a solid five minutes of nostalgia that enticed me. Then came the playwriting activity the prompts were building up to:
Alright, what I want you all to do is to look at the statements you wrote, and I want you to write a scene using three of the chosen lines.
In 20 minutes, I wrote a play about my childhood friend, and got two of my close friends to act it out. Now THAT was fun. I delved into the mind of my old friend and created a world from that mindset. That was a taste of what it was like to write plays, and it was tantalizing. That scene wasn’t perfect by any means, but I left the class that day feeling content. I wanted to learn how to be better at writing a play. I volunteered in class whenever I could to act out characters from plays we had read the previous day. To become another character is an exciting experience, and a valuable tool in writing. To embrace your characters, you have to understand them, and I believe acting them out is a great way to understand your characters. I’m excited to see how my playwriting skills develop throughout the unit, and I can’t wait to see what I write into existence, and what I bring to life.