|1. After you read the
kyôgen plays assigned, choose one that most appeals to you.
2. Make a list of the elements
that characterize these plays in general, and your favorite in particular.
We did this when we looked at the Noh
plays, considering the presence of religious ideas, a relatively
large cast that sometimes shared the same voice, the use of masks, a lyrical
style, a haunted figure that returned to the world. What stands out
to you about the kyôgen plays?
3. Imagine your own cast
of characters. You can play with
current topics in the news if you like, using pop stars or politicians.
You might also consider situations like these: the Dilbert-style
manager and employees; the favored customer at a posh department store
and the sales people who attend this customer; a coach and team players.
4. How do they look and
speak? Drawing your inspiration from
the characters in kyôgen plays, imagine how your characters
dress, move and speak. You can call on your costume-designing experiences
as you think about this.
5. What happens to them?
Taking your cue from the action in
kyôgen plays,imagine a situation that pokes fun at the relationships
among these characters.
6. Write a draft.
Follow the format of the plays in our textbook. Just write whatever
you like and you'll have many pages in no time. Now streamline this to
three type-written pages.
7. Have a reading.
Ask a friend or two to read your play aloud with you. Do the characters
sound the way you expect? Does the play unfold as you like?
8. Bring your play to class
on Wednesday. We'll get a chance
to read each other's plays by trading them, reading them silently, and
then discussing the elements of kyôgen--yours and the Japanese
originals. You will hand in the play at the end of class.