Playwriting Exercise: Starry Starry Night

Playwriting Exercise: Starry Starry Night
Written by Lindsay Price

This interactive version of van Gogh’s Starry Night by animator Petros Vrellis is so engaging. When I watch it, I feel like I’m been drawn into the picture, into the swirls of the night sky. It’s not all together a comforting or a warm feeling but I don’t think Van Gogh is trying to comfort us with this picture. There’s a tinge of madness which only comes more vivid when the picture starts to move.

As always, let’s turn this into a playwriting exercise.

  • Respond to this video in an automatic writing exercise. After you watch the video, write for two minute straight without stopping on what emotional state the picture brings up in you.
  • After automatic writing on the picture, write out the following four sentence starters: ” I wonder….. What if…… If only….. Why does……. Finish these four sentences based on your response to the video.
  • Now choose one of the sentences and re-write it under your work. This is now the first line in a monologue. Write what comes next.
  • Pick a different painting and think about how you would bring it to life. Is there a person in the painting who breaks out of the frame? Does someone step into the scene from beyond the frame on to the painted landscape? Write a scene where the painting comes to life.

About the author

Lindsay Price