Skip to main content

Summer SAVY, Session 4 Day 3, Page to the Stage (7th – 8th)

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

My friends, I can’t believe we’re already halfway there. Today represented the midpoint in our journey, and while I’m a bit wistful knowing that we are officially on the downhill side of the mountain, I remain grateful for our time together. 

We began our day with another set of games and centering exercises. I love watching you figure out the mechanics of the jumping game – spoiler alert: they’re fairly simple mechanics, and all you need to do is listen! – and the Crossing of the Circle always makes for a fun threshold. As for 1 – 7…. well, is someone going to dethrone our reigning champion?! It’s fairly incredible the run our friend is having. 

You continued your Daily Pages, borrowing from the pedagogy of Julia Cameron. I love that you’re starting to see patterns in these explorations of your stream of consciousness. I’ll say it a thousand times over–I don’t believe in writer’s block, and Daily Pages are key to cracking this code. Thank you for pushing yourself. By the way, have you noticed that the time spent on Daily Pages has been steadily increasing? 

After a brief discussion about wants and needs, we watched a short video from the YouTube channel, Just Write, a source for wonderful cinematic criticism and dramaturgy. You don’t have to have seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi for that video essay to have an impact – though it never hurts to have a little more Star Wars in your life – and I’m glad that an alternative way of looking at wants and needs provided some insight into this important structuralist theory. 

You returned to yesterday’s Action Analysis, grappling with the stories you preselected for this course. Through discussion, examination, and kinesthetic creation, you unpacked how your protagonists and antagonists interact in these stories. This is the heady part of our class, and I appreciate how you leaned in. 

And then… You wrote. And you wrote. And you wrote again! You wrote, allowing your characters to speak to one another. I love starting with the Action Analysis and then allowing the work to go where it goes. This doesn’t mean we are abandoning analysis of the source content, and it certainly doesn’t mean that your analysis was a meaningless effort. Rather, the Action Analysis is a bit like studying the track for a race, whereas writing is about running into an open field and discovering the ground below your feet. You cannot plan where you’ll plant your left foot after your right; Just run. Just write. You cannot be wrong. 

I also love how this exercise ties back to our continued discussions about the importance of listening, of being (as a certain Jedi Master once said), “calm, at peace, passive.” Your characters will tell you who they are if you just listen. Your play will write itself if you just get out of the way. 

What a wild way to think about the creative process! 

After lunch, we moved on to the third of Aristotle’s hierarchical elements: thought, or theme. We talked about the differences between theme and motif. To reinforce the importance of theme in the work of the playwright, we watched a portion of a Ted Talk given by Simon Sinek, in which Sinek unpacked his theory of “the Golden Circles.” I encourage you to check out the full Ted Talk when you have the chance; Sinek is brilliant, and the talk is nothing short of spectacular. 

We then borrowed from Brian Foley, who has ported Sinek’s theory over for use in the theatre. At the center of Foley’s circles is the theme and from the center radiate all choices. You created models to hone your own stories. These artifacts will further decorate our room! 

And then, after ORA, we explored an entirely new, unconventional way of making theatre, inspired by the work of Spiderwoman Theatre. After hearing a recitation of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” you composed your own expressions of Vonnegut’s story. You shared these, and then you wove your work into that of your cohorts. And then you wove again. And again. Through this storyweaving process, you wrought a piece of theatre that elevates the voices of fourteen theatre artists. Tomorrow, you’ll have an opportunity to rehearse and revisit this work before your final performance. 

If you’d like to hear Sinek’s full talk, here it is: 

If you’d like to revisit the Just Write video essay, you can do that here: 

If you’d like to reread “Harrison Bergeron,” check this out: 


Thanks again for your work today, my friends. Rest well. We have a busy Thursday ahead. 



Captain Hawaiian Shirt