This weekend we will be reading Bald Soprano (1950) by Eugene Ionesco, a Romanian-French playwright. Remember these are post-world war II years.
Do a quick online research to historically contextualize the play. What did it mean to be a citizen of France in 1950? What kind of fresh historic memories are alive and weighing on society at that point?
1-This prompt needs your full attention (as we also discussed it in class today):
Absurdist plays are known to defy the classical structures (meaning Aristotelian three or five act structure plays, such as: A Doll’s House or Macbeth.)
But if we assume there is some kind of structure within Bald Soprano, how do you depict it?
You can take any creative approach with this response: You can draw a chart, a floor plan, stick figures or you can write about it. Whatever you decide to do, I want to see that you made some connection and found some discipline within the chaos of the play.
2-Pulling inspiration from “Bald Soprano” write a short scene (with stage directions, neat format please*) between two or more characters, who respond to one another in a manner unknown to our linguistic expectations. (maximum 3 pages).
Character A and B are sitting on a bench in a green park.
What a nice day!
Yeah I got my paycheck today.
What a nice day today!
Have you had lunch?
As you can see in this example, there are some qualities to character A: appreciative of weather, enjoying the moment, and character B: concerned with affairs outside of this setting –paycheck and lunch. So there is some sense here, but their dialogue does not follow a cause and effect logic, as we’re accustomed to.
This is JUST a basic example. You can do so many creative things with lexicon, syntax, repetition, etc in this exercise (you can bring on your poetic skills) and still make us laugh or cry or feel your writing. Most situations in life are actually not supposedly dramatic and they don’t make that much linear sense.
Don’t worry if your writing sounds strange or bizarre. This is what this exercise is for: to break the boundaries of language. Keep in mind: How can you defy language, but still tell me a story? Your story.
*You can use www.rawscripts.com or if you prefer to use Word, that’s fine too, but make sure your format is correct.
Reply All to email thread in your inbox with your structure and dialogue by Monday 8pm.
Email me if you have any question.