Saint Aggie's '84

The history of a new musical as it comes to be…

Dangling Participants

I’m getting closer and closer to the end of the play, pushing forward and trying not to look back at what I’ve written so far. Just get to the end at all cost. Once I get to the end, then I can look back and figure out where the holes are, what is missing, what is extraneous. Today, however, I was skimming back through the script, just to check on some details, (I think it might have been the name I’d given to the school’s dining hall) and I realized that I had completely left the character, MOTH, hanging in the middle of nowhere. I had entirely forgotten her. Oops. Then I noticed a few more of these dangling participants: DULL, the prefect, and somebody called BOYET, who is quite a major character in the original Shakespeare. All of them had been left in the dark somewhere around page twenty-five.

I’m learning that this is one of the more complicated aspects of creating a play with lots of characters. The tendency, which is probably correct, is to focus mostly on the main characters and their arc through the story. The secondary characters basically come in and out of the plot when they are needed and are rapidly discarded when they are not. I’m finding that the trick will be to give these characters an arc as well, give them their own purpose in the story.

So, sorry MOTH and DULL and BOYET. I’ll try not to forget you. Just hang in there. I’ll be coming back to rescue you soon.


  Hilary wrote @

Brown Hall!

  mpwynters wrote @

HA, ha. You’ll come back, you always do!

This is a great photo BTW.

  scarabsounds wrote @

The photo is actually a t-shirt design. You can find the link here:

I think there’s a Christmas Special for it…$12. Not bad.

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