Playwriting Exercise: Happy Objects

Playwriting Exercise: Happy Objects
Written by Lindsay Price

Over on Buzz Feed they have pictures of Happy Objects. Not, you know, objects with a cheery disposition, but that have happy faces somehow in them. They can’t help it, they look really happy. You cannot help but giggle a little at these pics. I was not in a good mood when I was putting together this blog post and dagnabit if I didn’t have a smile on my face by the end.

Personification is one of my all time favourite theatrical techniques – I love taking something that is not supposed to be a character and making it one. Concepts, objects, emotions, all of these elements make for character characters. And the wonderful thing about theatre audiences is that they will go with you, with whatever you present so long as they know the rules of the world. If you let them know what’s happening, they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth, and whatever kinds of characters you happen to create there.

Playwriting exercises.

  • Head on over to Buzz Feed and their post on Happy Objects. Pick the picture that makes you smile the most and write a monologue for that character. Give them that cheery disposition and personality to match their outward grin.
  • Now think of an object that embodies the opposite of your happy chair, lighter, or piece of luggage and write a scene between the two of them. Think about what conflict could lie between these two opposite characters in two opposing states. What would the happy character want from the unhappy character and vice versa? Is the happy character always happy? Annoyingly happy? Or is the other character always annoyingly sad?

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About the author

Lindsay Price