Friday, June 8, 2007

Cry Day

RoboWriters - There are two groups that meet on Thursday night. There's the 6:30pm - 8:00pm group which is open to anyone. There's the 8pm group which is a select group of writers I have worked with before. The function of the first group is to offer up the opportunity to get writers writing and to give constructive, honest feedback on anything they are working on. The focus tends to be comedy sketches written for the stage. We do the same in the second group, but our overall goal is to take our time developing a longer show in the style of a sketch revue. A typical approach to developing a sketch revue in Chicago is to secure a date somewhere and then scramble to throw material together and get it rehearsed and ready. If there's a connection to all the material, in style more than anything, it's usually applied at the last minute without a lot of thought put to it. Our goal is to have the script completely in place before we look for a space and begin rehearsals. Right now, we're in writer mode and developing material.

We'll be debuting a fruit of our labor at The First Annual Chicago Lions and Typers Festival being hosted by the Uptown Writer's Space. We're slated for Saturday, June 16th, at 6:30pm. On the schedule, we're listed under my name, because I'm a member of the writer's space. In our 8pm group, we have read approximately 35 scenes. We have to choose one. We'll be hammering this out in our Yahoo Group. It's a staged reading, so I'm looking to use the piece that best represents us, isn't heavy on stage directions, is simple to follow while also being a buttload of fun to read and to hear.

RoboWriters Assignment - The assignment for the next meeting is dubbed Buried Satire. Similar to how last week's assignment in genre ended up beinga kind of Buried Parody. In this assignment, use a current event - local, national or global - and develop a scene that is about the event, has an opinion about the event, but disguises that it has anything to do with the event and still works as a scene. One doesn't have to be familiar with the event to get the scene. Some good examples of this; In film, Alexander Payne's Election - it's about the current state of our election process done from a high school presidential election point-of-view. In literature, The Original Wizard of Oz, which is about capitalism (yellow brick road, Emerald City,ruby slippers, Toto and Oz being monetary abbreviations, etc). In Second City's canon, there's a scene about rape and how women are treated like the criminal. It's disguised by having a man who was mugged being being cross-examined by a prosecutor making the victim look guilty for the crime - Oh, you were wearing an Armani suit. Weren't you just asking to be mugged?

It's a little tricky. If you have any questions, post it in the comment section or e-mail me at

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