Monday, May 28, 2007

Another long weekend post

Baby turned nine on Saturday, so it was a very hectic weekend. After a big breakfast, we went to a jumble sale, bought a pile of books and a very beautiful piece of fabric. I'm going to use the fabric as a shawl...

Baby didn't want a party this year. She asked that I give her the money I would have used for the party to be used at her discretion. She used part of the money to buy a track suit, take two friends out for a Wimpy meal and movies.

She requested I open a bank account. Yes I know it's weird for a nine year old to be so prudent about money, but Baby is a good case study for the premise that accountants are born, not made.


The South African government’s annual campaign to educate and mobilise communities to put children first starts today and runs until the 4 June, reports BuaNews.

To add emphasis to Child Protection Week, the Children’s Amendment Bill, which covers mainly the provincial services to children will be debated in the National Council of Provinces, says Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya.

He says government is strengthening collaborations to address social ills such as child neglect, abuse and exploitation as well as substance abuse and other circumstances that perpetuate child vulnerability. Last week Parliament passed the Sexual Offences Bill as part of its fight against violence directed at children.

(Paul Slabolepzy and Anthony Ackerman)

I was going through old files this weekend and came across notes from a playwriting course I attended at the Windybrow theatre more than ten years ago.

Anyway, my notes include presentations from some well-known playwrights, so I thought I should share, as the bulk of the information still applies. It’s not exactly new information, but it will serve as a reminder for the writers among us.

Paul Slabolepzy on inspiration

- Work daily so you get into the habit and process of writing. The more you wait for a play to come, the less inspired you will be.
- Read voraciously –
all literature, not just plays. It will show you how stories are told.
- See plays. Be conversant with the language of theatre, what a stage looks like and what you can do/ can’t do in a play. It will spark your imagination while also giving you boundaries.
- People say funny things. Learn to capture what they say.
- Keep in touch with other writers and motivate each other.

Anthony Ackerman on outlining your play

- Give each scene a heading as you outline it.
- State what the scene is about.
- Who is in the scene?
- What’s the conflict – it’s useful to have conflict as soon as the scene begins.

Gosh, this brings back memories! I finished the course, wrote and directed a play which shown at the Windybrow theatre, Wits theatre and a tiny coffee shop/bar at the Market theatre. The play even got a tiny mention in Sowetan (national daily) in the arts section.

We also took the play to the arts festival in Grahamstown (can’t remember if Standard Bank was main event sponsor then), where it was staged to an indifferent audience and got a one sentence mention in the festival publication (is it Que?).

My take: plays require hard work and an investment in time and resources that I don’t have. So I decided to explore other art forms.

This past weekend I also wrote a writing-related article, which I hope to submit to an ezine this week.

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