Playwriting

Show me the story

I read the play Copenhagen last week (I’m looking at plays that use science in some way). It didn’t grab me. Conceptually it’s right up my alley – it’s a “what if” play as in what if such and such a thing happened? I love and often write “what if” plays. I like taking an abstract concept and then find a way to turn it into a drama. Well, the latest play I’m working on (Tik Talk) is exactly that – what if the characters only had one word to communicate? Could they? Is there a story that can be conveyed? How does the work move beyond the gimmick?

Copenhagen is a play is based on an actual meeting between two scientists on either side of World War II but no one knows what they actually talked about. This play explores the “what if” in their meeting. I found that the play talked through the story instead of showing me the story. I had trouble visualizing it on a stage. But, it’s been a very successful play so what do I know?

I do know that I’m looking for more theatrical representations of science. I’m in the extremely preliminary stages of thinking about a science play and if I’m going to write something about a scientific theory or concept I want to be able to show this concept physically and not just have a character talk about it. I’m pretty much a science moron (I’ve been on neuroscience for kids websites!) so doing this is going to be quite the challenge, which is fine. I’m happy to face a challenge, it’s just going to take some time I think.

About the author

Lindsay Price