in a stage play every scene is driven by objectives.
Every scene is driven by what a character wants.
drama is created when objectives clash.

Here we see a young girl
cast as a young girl from the Acropolis,
moving elegantly forward,
and carrying an offering in her outstretched hand.
She is a figure in the act of worshipping.
She is holding out her hand –

but the outstretched hand is missing,
and where it was, is a stump of alabaster.
And her nose and her chin are missing,
and where they were, are two stumps of alabaster.
The lips are red, and the eyes are wide,
so she still looks like a pretty girl.

And her goddess is missing.
Athena has run off with the wolves.
They barked and howled and off she went.
Where has she gone?
What is it all meant to signify?

in a stage play bad dialogue is expositional.
Characters often lie.
They lie as a way of hiding truths.

And hundreds of girls came bleeding to the door!
Their right hands outstretched!
But the grown-ups pulled the grille, and said:
you’re naughty.
So the young girls,
cast as naughty young girls from the Acropolis,
left –
just with some things missing.
Their lips were red, and their eyes were wide,
so they still looked like pretty girls.

Remember this.

When the stakes grow in intensity,
it is known as build.
delay is a dramatic device.
subtext is a character’s deepest secrets.



Photograph © Sheila Tostes

Mr Salary
My Last Day at Seventeen: Portraits from Russell Heights