Spread the Love: Tick Talk by Lindsay Price

This week on Spread the Love, Lindsay and Craig talk about Tick Talk, a play of few words by Lindsay Price.

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Welcome to Spread the Love. This week we are talking about Tick Talk where there actually isn’t that very much talking going on. The play explores the difficulties that teenagers, but really everybody on the planet, me totally, the difficulties we have with communication. Sometimes, we have so much going on inside of us, we can’t verbalize it, we can’t get it out. To that end, all the characters in Tick Talk have only a word or one phrase through the whole play to communicate their story. What do I mean? For example there are two characters a boy and a girl. And they like each other. But the only words they have to talk to each with, to communicate with, are the words ‘hi’ and ‘hey there.’ They have to find a way to tell each other that they like each other, and the only words they get to use are ‘hi’ and hey there.’ Craig what do you love about Tick Talk?

Hi! Hey there!

I love the challenge of it all. Now at first it seems like only having a single word or phrase to say is such a constraint on the actor. But I believe that it’s very freeing. It’s freeing because actors have so many other tools at their disposal apart from just dialogue. They have their body language, they have their voice, their tone and they have that Grand Poobah of the modern theatre: subtext. Working on a play like this really exercises all those tools that actors have in their toolbox that sometimes they forget about when they’re standing on stage reciting lines. Lindsay what do you love about Tick Talk?

This play was inspired by a movie called Elephant by Gus Van Sant. It looks at a high school where a where a Columbine like incident takes place. The dialogue in this move is very sparse and very spare. And it just makes me think: why is it when we have so much going on inside, why can’t we get it out, why can’t we verbalize it, until it reaches some kind of boiling point. I’m really proud of Tick Talk. I’m really glad it’s out there in the world not just as a wonderful technical exercise but as a starting point for discussion. That’s it for Spread the Love.

Products referenced in this post: Tick Talk
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