Dalkey Project School 6th Class – Playwriting – Artist – Michelle Read

Session 8

12th March 2013

In this session we looked at each individual scene in the developing plays and tried to flesh out what the action would be in each of them. We started off with a hypothetical scene for the whole class to practice on. The scene featured two burglars breaking into a house and we began to explore all the possible beats of action that might happen.

One suggestion was that the burglars could look at the house from the outside first and try and figure out how to get in. They might consider cutting a hole in the window or they might notice a dog flap and be able to crawl in through that. It was then pointed out they might also be worried about meeting the dog! They could have some dialogue where they convince each other to go ahead, but then one of them might get stuck in the dog flap. All these ideas were building up and fleshing out the initial idea of the “two burglars planning a robbery”.

Once inside the house they could creep about searching the place and looking for valuables. They might find a study and look for a safe behind a picture. Someone then suggested they might find a baby had been left behind in the house. This was a great idea because it’s unexpected and breaks the “routine” of the robbery scene. It also offers a moral dilemma to the burglars; should they ignore the baby and speed up the robbery because the parents could be back any minute, or should they look after the baby?

The children then took the experience of fleshing out a scene back into groups and worked on the literal action for each of their scenes.  Each member of each group took responsibility for outlining a scene and then discussed this with the rest of their collaborators. By the end of the session each group was confident that they had all, or most of their play outlined and would be ready to start writing the dialogue the following week.

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