Scripting for Productions

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

No, I'm not talking about computer scripting, but rather script writing in the literal sense. No, I don't fancy myself a truly artistic person capable of grasping and enjoying 'the beauty of art' although I do have a certain amount of respect for such pieces and the people involved. It is beyond my capabilities, and it doesn't particularly pique my interest either... I DO however, have interest in witty interesting (in the not so 'chim' sense) storylines or scripts, especially if they're funny and doesn't leave me wondering what in the world happened in the story...

Being in my hall production for 2 years running, I can honestly say that it's quite a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun. The 'success' of the production however, relies VERY heavily on the script. I had a hand in writing part of the script in my second year, but in all honesty, it was quite a small part. I wasn't the director so I didn't have the right to dictate the script. Still, I was given the privilege to help out... so I did. To be entirely truthful, I wasn't a hundred percent for the script that year. Perhaps it was the fact that I take concert as something put up by hall residents, mainly FOR hall residents. It is a production which should target more than anything else, the hall residents. Sad to say, even though we are all university students, most of us lack the capacity to understand and fully appreciate something of artistic value. There are those who can grasp the underlying message and appreciate the beauty of subtle portrayal of certain issues, but these rare gems are far and few in between. MOST of us would be quite happy to sit and laugh at a comedy, full of slapstick, crude jokes which I myself admit, is very entertaining. To put it succinctly, hall residents are looking for entertainment, not art.

DRHama (our hall drama team) put up two skits which I would like to compare and contrast. The first was a 'beautiful' piece done during Rhazz in my first year. While I do get the gist of the story, the skit was artistically done, with the main objective as provoking thought and trying to get people to appreciate that value. Unfortunately, being the unappreciative, less cultured people that most of them are, hall residents were totally turned off by it. A large number didn't get the 'chim' story and simply "didn't like it". In contrast, the skit put up for Phoenix Fest this year was simple, wild, full of 'lame' humour and had almost zero meaning behind it other than to retell a story in a funny way. There was plenty of laughter and the crowd was in stitches. The feedback after was that the skit was awesome. Obviously, hall residents enjoyed the entertaining skit much more than the artistic one.

Perhaps it is just that students nowadays are less 'cultured', in that they view 'art' in it's abstract form, as dull, boring, uninteresting and irrelevent. No, it is not a blanket statement, as there are always exceptions. However, I lament how a lot of university students have thrown aside these 'boring' pieces in favour of the more hip, happening and exciting pieces. They prefer entertainment to art, meaning they would choose to visit the cinema instead of an art museum, pick an action movie to an artistic drama, or a new CD instead of an abstract art piece. Being 'artistic' is equated to being boring, dull and uninteresting. I understand that people can have preferences, but the fact that most simply do not give art a chance is sad. It may be that the more sophisticated people are perceived to be the ones who will enjoy it, and students don't particularly want to be viewed that way... why that is is beyond me.

That said, I am pretty certain that hall residents look forward to a funny, simple story with good entertainment value and an interesting plot when it comes to hall productions. Once again, I am not the director, so it is not my place to dictate how the script would go. However, I'd opt for one which will suit the larger portion of the audience. Art is fine and good, but nothing beats having the audience laugh at the jokes, to have them identify with the characters portrayed, to have a good storyline and plot which takes the audience for a ride; In short, one with good entertainment value. It would appeal more to the residents and that would make it more successful than trying to get them to enjoy a 'chim' production. I say this not because I am against anything artistic or 'chim', nor am I a shallow, uncultured person who does not know how to grasp such things. I'm a pragmatic person, and it is only practical to appeal to your target audience. Concert is NOT to portray an artistic rendition of something, but rather is an activity to have the residents enjoy a time of fellowship as well as be entertained.

Just some of my thoughts. A little convoluted perhaps, but it happens to be, to me, the essence of script writing for a hall production in this time and age.

Posted by Gerald at 3/29/2006 03:31:00 AM