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

Session 9

19th March 2013

This week the children started to write the dialogue for all the scenes in their plays. We began by looking at last week’s burglar scenario again for practice. With the whole class we talked about the characters’ traits and how this would affect the dialogue. The we did some “hot seats” with the characters to see what kind of thing they might say.

“Hot-seating” is a technique where one or more people pretend to be the character and answer questions from the group. I started this off by playing one of the characters and once the children saw how it worked several of them were keen to get up and try it themselves. One of the burglars, as created by Julia, was very confident and we found out that her father had trained her in burglary. The other burglar, as created by Dan, was much more nervous and was forced to take part in the burglary by his college roommate.

Each child then re-imagined the characters and the scene for themselves and wrote some dialogue. We read out a few of these scenes and could see the distinction between the characters very clearly in the dialogue, which was great.

The children then went back to their groups and their own plays and began writing the dialogue for the scene they had outlined in the last session. This is quite focus-based work and getting them to focus in on this while sitting in their groups can be challenging. They like to discuss the work as their doing it. This can be helpful, but it can also mean their talking it to death and not actually getting it down on the page. Hence some people’s scenes were very short!

That said, they all seemed to be engaged by the process and by next week all the scripts should be nearing completion. When we come back after Easter, we’ll hear a read-through of each one and have a bit of group feedback if there’s time.

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