Verbatim Theatre Lesson 7: Style

Let’s recap on everything that we’ve done so far;

  • Lesson 1: We wrote down some ideas for our Verbatim Theatre piece, wrote a pitch and established a goal for our performance.
  • Lesson 2: We learnt about the ethics of Verbatim Theatre and the importance of making sure we research correctly.
  • Lesson 3: We learnt about conducting research and set about conducting interviews with our family and friends.
  • Lesson 4: We reviewed the research we’ve done so far by firstly making connections between what we’ve already got and then looking for the gaps that need filling by more research. This research might be internet based research to discover facts, figures and historical information.
  • Lesson 5: With most of the research done we focused on structuring your research so you can start to write your play.
  • Lesson 6: We established some ground rules of helping us write the play and wrote the first third to half of the play.

Task 1

Let’s start by watching this YouTube clip by The National Theatre about style:

Task 2

You may already have a style in mind when you’ve been writing. You might have already seen a performance style you want to emulate. You may have already decided. But within Verbatim Theatre there is a huge variation in the way that it has been delivered.

Spend some time looking through these links to various different Verbatim Theatre styles, writers and companies. As you compare the difference between them consider what style you would like to apply to your play.

Consider the style that you want to adopt for your Verbatim Theatre Play and adapt what you have written so far to match that style.

Task 3

Review what you have written so far for your play. Let’s start by reminding ourselves of the limits and boundaries we applied to our writing.

  1. No more than 5 characters in your play.
  2. Each scene must take place in a different location to the scene before it. You can return to any previous location you’ve used before.
  3. You can only have 5 locations in the whole play.
  4. The set must be described in the stage directions at the start of every scene.
  5. Add stage directions for the actors.

If you want a full reminder, then click here.

Now have a read through what you have written so far, which should be at least a page or two long now. Edit the work you’ve to strengthen your protagonist and antagonists. Make sure that you have followed these rules for writing as well.

Task 4

Once you have edited the script you have written so far, write up the Climax scenes.

If you need a reminder of what happens in the Climax, then watch this video:

Remember that the climax is the most exciting part of the play, the moment were there is maximum tension. It normally happens about two thirds into the play. It should then set up how the problem will be resolved before the end of the play. Try to keep this confined into 1 or 2 scenes and remember to stick to the limits and boundaries established in the third task.