Playwriting Exercise: Fun With Words Introduction

Here’s the deal. There are many words out there that mean a phrase, their definition is practically a sentence. I love those words, it’s so cool to take one word and have it mean so much. For example:

Aposiopesis : a sudden breaking off in the midst of a sentence, as if from inability or unwillingness to proceed.

That is a mouthful! And a word I’ve never heard of, let alone ever heard it used in a sentence. There’s a little more about the wordon “A deliberate failure to complete a sentence…indicates rage or exasperation….”

That gets me thinking. I can see a character in that word. I can see a conversation in that word. I hope you’re starting to see the possibilities in turning words that mean so much into a playwriting exercise.

We’re going to take a word that has a jam-packed meaning and use it as the jumping off point for a two person, one location scene. But we’re going to take it one step further and use words from other languages, like this one:

Pana Po’o (Hawaiian) – the act of scratching your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.

So not only do you have a word that means a mouthful, but we’re using words that at first glance you have no idea what they mean.

Let’s start with Aposiopesis – that word is really speaking to me, so let’s make it the focus of this week’s exercise.

Playwriting Exercise
  • The word  Aposiopesis  means to suddenly and deliberately fail to complete a sentence. To break off mid-sentence.
  • Write a scene between a husband and wife that takes place in the kitchen at 9am.
  • The husband reveals to the wife. The wife reacts by not being able to complete a sentence. All her dialogue must break off mid-sentence.
  • Make this a comedy.

Want to find out more about our newest plays, resources and giveaways?
Get on our list!

Join the Newsletter

If you teach theatre, you really want to get on our email list. You’ll learn all about our latest giveaways, resources, and products for theatre teachers.

Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company
Theatrefolk is the Drama Teacher Resource Company. We are your one stop shop for Plays, Resources, and Curriculum Support - all specifically designed for High School and Middle School drama teachers.
Follow Us!
Drama Teacher Academy
Copyright © 1995-2023