Monday, February 12, 2007

Dialogue Study

Good Monday morning to everyone.

Over the weekend I went to a play called Dearly Beloved, put on by the Paradox Players. A fun play with some good actors in it. Disclaimer here – one of those good actors was a friend of mine. Lots of laughter from the audience and lots of applause throughout the play.

Going to see live actors is fun. It’s immediate; it’s personal. The big production plays in huge theatres are beautiful and seamless. But there’s a lot to be said for small performances. You see some of the mechanics of putting on even a small play. You cheer for the actors as they move in and out, as they wait professionally for the lighting when sets are changed. I enjoyed watching the performers and I liked having other friends in the audience. Family and fans of my friend took up two rows by themselves.

I also liked the play itself. It’s one of those where you like the dialogue and can hear many lines that you think are clever and original. Some that you wish you’d thought of yourself. Some that you even wonder if you could get away with stealing.

Okay, I wouldn’t do that, at least not intentionally. But it teaches you about timing, about punch, about turning an ordinary bit into something hilarious. And since plays are all about the dialogue, a play is a good place to go to see how the pros do it.

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