Each Friday in the last few weeks, we have been performing original 10-minute plays on Zoom, exploring the opportunities and challenges of using online media as a staging venue.
The weekly Friday Morning Open Genre Workshop participants are testing and researching ways that writers, actors, their stage plays, and storytelling might react to quarantine and isolation. The performing arts have been devastated as plays, theaters, and movie production itself no longer take place in the usual fashion. That was then. We are exploring the new normal on Zoom, asking what can be accomplished within the constraints that now exist.
The August 7th session delved into Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, reading the screenplay based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 short story “It Had to Be Murder.” We read and discussed both the story and the screenplay, a collaboration between Hitchcock and writer John Michael Hayes. The Rear Window screenplay won an Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay in 1955 and was nominated for several Oscars that year.
In the August 14th session, we performed two 10-minute plays written by BWW members and acted out by participants live on Zoom. Then, we watched and discussed selected sections of Neil Gaiman’s Master Class on The Art of Storytelling.
In the future, I plan to feature excerpts from Master Classes by David Mamet, Judy Blume, and Aaron Sorkin. And we expect to spawn new 10-minute plays written for Zoom.
If you write it, we will perform it.
This Friday, we’ll read and discuss a section of Al’s WWII historical fiction novel, discuss a sketch by Karen, and then perform a live Zoom reading of Charlie’s 10-minute play: https://burlingtonwritersworkshop.com/wp-content/uploads/simple-file-list/0821-Open-Genre-CJM.pdf
We’ll wrap up by streaming and discussing a bit more of Neil Gaiman’s Master Class, Teaching The Art of Storytelling.