Oct
23

New Me, New Plan: A Move into Theatre

I’m back with another belated post on my honors research project where I am writing a comedy novel, titled Tell Me What You Really Think. I wanted to quickly recap a new plan that I made with my adviser at the start of this semester.

If you’ve seen any of my other posts, you would know that I read *a lot* this summer. I read it all – comedy novels, uh — okay mainly just comedy novels. But I read a lot of them! When my adviser and I started looking over some of my writing, the narration works really well. However, my novel is also partially transcription. As a side note, I once took the Williamsburg Documentary course in the American Studies department where I had to interview a bunch of Williamsburg-natives and type up detailed transcriptions, so I get transcriptions. Writing my own transcriptions from fiction is a whole other story. I have to develop an entire cadence of how people talk, where they stop, where they use slang, etc. It’s exhausting. So my professor and I decided to forget about novels for a while (my apologies, Tina Fey) and focus on plays. I had mentioned that I loved watching Sea Wall/A Life on Broadway

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(I’m shameless) And I just loved how the monologues were so well-written that it felt like a conversation between the actors and the audience. Literally, the fire alarm went off before the show and they made a big announcement over the speaker system “Don’t be alarmed, but we have an alarm.” So one of the actors, Tom Sturridge, started his string of monologues with “I liked when they said ‘don’t be alarmed, but we have an alarm.’ Then what is the point of the f***ing alarm then?! So anyway, a couple of years ago…” and we had no idea if the play had started or this guy was just rambling. It was brilliant.

So, now I’m looking at things like literally any Tennessee Williams play with long monologues (spoiler alert: all of them) and I’m looking at Goodbye Charles by Gabriel Davis just because it’s a brilliant play. It’s also one of the only plays where I’ve seen a comedy monologue that I’ve actually thought is comedic.

This is all to say that I’m hoping that this rerouting of my thesis will pay off in a future rewrite.

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