The Map to Playwriting

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  • Topic: Play, Playwright, Theatre
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  • Published : January 23, 2013
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Samoranos, Jesha Joy R.
2011-12518
ENG 105 – C

The Map to Playwriting

To travel to any place, for example, from UPLB to Enchanted Kingdom, one may take the jeepney or drive his private vehicle. Of course, this trip must have been planned and prepared for beforehand. Either through commute or carpool, land transportation generally use automobiles powered by fuel that pass through roads that lead to a specific destination. A driver or a commuter must know where he must go and how to get there, maybe through road signs or the use of a map to be even more precise. Most of the time, not being able to meet the two requisites will lead him astray.

Writing a play is the same with transportation. The driver or the commuter is the playwright. He drives or rides a vehicle as the writer steers or traverses along his story. The vehicle runs on fuel, which might be the equated to the author’s creativity and motivation to write that powers the story. Starting a play goes through a lot of planning and conceptualizing because if the writer does not know where his story is going, he is just as good as lost in the road. And this is where the map of the play—the premise—becomes the keystone concept of playwriting.

According to Lajos Egri, the author of The Art of Dramatic Writing, every play must have a premise. He defined the premise using the Webster’s International Dictionary, stating that it is “a proposition…leading to a conclusion”. He reiterated that the premise will “show the road” where the story will run to reach its end. He showed a long list of timeless plays and their corresponding premise. In all the premises given, there are three things that are commonly present. The first one is an idea, a unique aspect of a character or the situation that defines him. The second one is a verb phrase, one that suggests the third aspect which is divergent yet still reasonably connected to the first idea. He revealed these three to be the very...
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