For today’s class, you should have read Four Saints in Three Acts and Stage Directions.

A challenge, if you arrive early: Can you punctuate the following so that it makes sense and is grammatically correct?

“That that is is that that is not is not is not that it it is.”


Today’s Lesson: Form vs. Content

In order to understand many English-language writers, you first must understand unconventional forms that may or may not convey conventional content

Intro Exercise: Word Associations (Solo and Partnered)


Four Saints inThree Acts by Gertrude Stein

You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place between the pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting… It will come if it is there and if you will let it come. —Gertrude Stein   SOURCE

Context: Article

Video Excerpt: A number from Gertrude Stein’s Saints, directed by Michelle Sutherland and adapted by the ensemble at Carnegie Mellon University. This adaptation of Stein’s libretto is one of 185 shows in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.

Explore Further
10 Writers Who Use Stream of Consciousness Better Than Anyone Else


Stage Directions by Israel Horovitz

Most of my plays are pretty serious plays that are kind of funny at the same time. I think people have to laugh before they know how serious their situation really is. Beckett said the highest laugh is the laugh that laughs at that which is unhappy. And I think that’s true. —Israel Horovitz   SOURCE

Video: Directed by Michaela Barczak, Muhlenberg College Red Door Play Festival 2016

Explore Further
Samuel Beckett’s Act without Words I
10 Great Films with Little or No Dialogue

HOMEWORK: For our next class, please read The Laramie Project. If you don’t have time to read the entire play, then read all of Act I, so you’ll have some grounding for our discussion.

Visual Attendance

March 17.jpg
March 17 at 10:00
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