Playwriting

Picture Prompt: Location, location, location

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Picture Prompt:
Location, location, location

November is Picture Prompt Month here at Theatrefolk! That means we’ve got a month of picture prompts for your Saturday exercise. Each picture comes with a process that will take students from automatic writing to a monologue.

Ideas can come from anything and everything. But it’s always a good idea to give students a jumping off point. Pictures are a great jumping off point for creative writing.

Click here for a printable PDF of this exercise!

Today we’re looking at location, location, location. Unless a play is taking place on an empty stage you need a location to put your action. Pictures of locations give students a place to visualize their characters.

Using the picture above, take these steps:

  1. Automatic write on the picture. Set a timer for two minutes and tell students to write down everything and anything that comes to mind when they look at the it. Don’t self-censor or judge any thought, just get it down on the page. Explain to students they’re creating source material from which to draw on for future writing.
  2. Have students answer the following questions:
    1. Where is this location?
    2. What happened here five minutes ago?
    3. Who took the picture and why?
    4. Why is this person in the forest?
    5. What is this person thinking about?
    6. Is there anything odd about this forest?
    7. There is someone hiding in the forest. Who is it? Why are they hiding?
  3. Based on the automatic writing and the answers to the questions, students will write a monologue. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Write an inner monologue from the perspective of the photographer. What are they thinking about as they look at the forest? What do they want from life?
    2. Write a monologue where the photographer is saying goodbye to someone who isn’t there. Who are they saying goodbye to and why?
    3. Write a monologue from the perspective of the photographer. The first line of the monologue is “I know you’re there.”
    4. Write a monologue from the perspective of the forest. Personify one of the trees. What does the tree want?
    5. Write a monologue from the perspective of the hiding person. Why are they hiding? What does the hider want?

Click here for a printable PDF of this exercise!

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About the author

Lindsay Price