Monday, February 11, 2008

Just a Cup of Tea

Currently my freshmen are reading Art Speiglman's graphic novel, Maus. As part of their learning about graphic novels, they are going to create a small comic of their own. They will either interview someone or listen to someone's conversation and write a script of dialogue of approximately three pages. Then they will create a five-page comic based on that dialogue. In anticipation of understanding the difficulty they would have in doing the assignment, this weekend I created my sample.

"Just a Cup of Tea" grew out a real conversation I overhead one day at Starbucks. I found the two ladies so facinating I ended up writing down their conversation instead of grading papers. In drama we talk about subtext as being the dialog that continues unsaid throughout any scene. Here in one sentence glimpses we can see the lives these two women lead. Playwright Anton
Chekhov once described the kind of naturalistic play he wanted to write:
"After all, in real life," he observed, "people don't spend every minute shooting at each other, hanging themselves, and making confessions of love. They don't spend all the time saying clever things. They're more occupied with eating, drinking, flirting, and talking stupidities—and these are the things which ought to be shown on the stage. A play should be written in which people arrive, go away, have dinner, talk about the weather, and play cards. Life must be exactly as it is, and people as they are.… Let everything on the stage be just as complicated, and at the same time just as simple as it is in life. People eat their dinner, just eat their dinner, and all the time their happiness is being established or their lives are being broken up."
I used Spiegelman's design grid of two panels by four panels to create my mini-drama.

Click on the following images to read this five page mini-play.


No comments: