Learning to write a bad play
Monday's theatre master class provided something of a twist on the traditional model when Luigi Salerni (retired UIC professor) returned to teach students how to write a BAD play!
The class started by defining the components a good play should have then broke out for students to write a mini-play that denies all of the components of a good play.Each writer cast their play from the assembled ensemble and the cast read the script to the group to evaluate how many of the good play components still remained - revealing just how hard it is to write an irredeemably bad play.
"We were all surprised to learn that each play could easily be transformed into a decent play with relatively minor changes in style and editing. Overall it was a hilarious and informative exercise." Candace Hudnell (BA Theatre)
Salerni describes the process of the master class: "We laugh a lot. That’s important. The process most often proves that trying to write a good play presupposes a pre-determined presumption of what a play must be and cripples the creative imagination by removing the fun out of it. Trying to write a masterpiece results in writing truly bad or weak plays. [The purpose of the class is to provide] a freeing experience that gives students permission to explore and ignite their creative potential as a writer."