No, I am not going to try to emulate Monty Python but this may turn out to be equally, if unintentionally, off-the-wall. Not because I intend to write about religion, politics, radicalization and on-going war but because I intend to conduct an experiment in theatrical play development that involves those topics.
The experimental part lies in the fact that I have completed a script for a full length two-act stage play called, The Radicalization of Ariadne, and now intend to workshop it, serially, on this my blog.
For many of us the word “workshop” invokes the smell of sawdust and wood chips but of course in theatre a workshop is a bare bones presentation of an idea inviting feedback from observers. You may or may not wish to journey along – playscripts are not easy to read and are best read aloud, even to oneself – but at least hang in there for the synopsis of the story, which is as follows:
The Radicalization of Ariadne
A play in two acts for four actors
Ariadne Brookfield and Harry Brewster were teenage sweethearts who eventually married, very happily, but continued on their own career paths. Ariadne became an ordained minister in a mainline Protestant denomination and is now pastor of a congregation in Ottawa. Harry, an entrepreneurial IT expert and business man, ran for Parliament and is now a backbencher in a right-of-centre government during a time of ongoing religion-tainted war. To protect their mutual love and respect they had previously built a domestic firewall between religion and politics. When Ariadne, using a powerful Internet search engine created by Harry, stumbles upon the once famous 19th century Orator/Atheist Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, the firewall begins to crumble and her perceived “radicalization” puts their careers, goals, and marriage in jeopardy.
Copyright © Munroe Scott
It is worth noting that the content of The Radicalization of Ariadne – and even the title itself – has evolved over several years through a process that involved two free open-audience workshop readings by one actor in Toronto‛s West Hill United Church, an actual performance by three actors for a paying audience in a studio production staged by Showplace Peterborough, and a subsequent workshop reading by four actors for a select invited audience conducted in the same studio under the same generous auspices. After all that, it was again revised to its current “completed” stage – although in reality no playscript is ever completed, hence this ongoing experimental workshop via blog.
It is my intention to present the script one or two scenes at a time in five installments ( not counting this) a few days apart. This, of course, is an unusual workshop in that comments may be posted after any section. (Even at this introductory stage, “Go for it!” would be encouraging; “Shove it!” would be instructive.) But the whole purpose of a workshop is to glean uninhibited reaction to the play as a whole and, in this case, even to portions thereof. There is no such thing as a reaction being right or wrong. A participant who buries natural inhibitions and who comments honestly, even if caustically, is making an important contribution to the theatrical process. A writer who submits to a workshop is hoping for affirmation but is stimulated by criticism. And, like theatre itself, the more open the workshop, the more uninhibited, the more honest the reactions — the more fun.
The first posting will be unavoidably long, comprising Act 1, Sc 1, but alas, chopping it up would not work. Think of it as the pilot for what is to follow. In any event, whether you choose to be an observer or a participant, welcome to the upcoming workshop. Or, if you are not into theatre but have a friend who is, well, shucks, forward this item. And thanks. Newcomers may wish to make use of the “Get posts via e-mail” box at the top right hand corner.
By the way, I should emphasize that although The Radicalization of Ariadne draws some inspiration from actual places, events and people it is nevertheless a work of creative fiction.
Watch for The Radicalization of Ariadne, Act 1, Sc. 1