Theatre of the Absurd

When writing my absurd dramatic scene I tried to base my main focus on the absurd, out of the ordinary and it’s difficult to understand. I took inspiration for my scene from this week’s reading of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. I really enjoyed this script as the absurd qualities intrigued me to figure out the message or the meaning, despite Beckett being known to have apparently written it with no direct aim of meaning as he stated ‘I produce an object. What people make of it is not my concern’ (ref).

However I still enjoyed it because I was allowed to make it whatever I wished. Beckett’s Waiting for Godot also has similar characteristics to the myth of Sisyphus as it also has absurd characteristics. However, the myth of Sisyphus questions the absurdity of life, as you are only able to be fully happy in life if you are aware of your situation and accept things for how they are. Although, the repetition of pushing a boulder up a hill, relates to Beckett as they repeatedly wait for Godot.

When thinking of my idea to write a dramatic scene I tried to think of something unique to me and others; dreams. Dreams are something that are unique for every individual and they rarely ever make sense, so I remembered a dream that had stuck with me purely due to how absurd it was for me. My original idea was there was a parallel universe and some people had discovered it existed, but the more they thought about the other world their eyes would fill with a green liquid as though their eyes became the eyes of those on the other side, taking over each individual. I adapted my original dream for an on stage performance and used stage direction to represent the other side coming through my characters. I left each character nameless and the topic avoided as much as I can, this idea came from Waiting for Godot as we don’t find out who Godot is or why they are waiting for them.

 

My Dramatic Scene:

Behind an abandoned building. 7pm.

 

A young man sits against the wall of the building bends his knees to his chest, lays them flat, raises them again, can’t seem to get comfortable, he stands.

Enter young woman, youngest man slowing to a stop, panting.

 

Young man: Finally! What took you so long? I thought I would be left alone.

Youngest man: still panting and wincing …we…we…

Young woman: she had regained her breath quicker We had to run because his parents were a bit trickier to lie to, that or he just can’t lie to save his life she roles her eyes

Young man: I forgot you couldn’t lie

Youngest man: has regained his breath and says with confidence Hey! I tried … very hard confidence wearing off slightly as he realises he cannot lie

 

They spend a few moments looking behind their shoulders, all three walking in a circle in union.

 

Young man: Okay, we haven’t got long, what are we going to do about this?

Young woman: well I’m not sure, we can’t directly talk about can we? Otherwise…

Youngest man: Don’t say it!

Young woman: I wasn’t going to!

Youngest man: well it sounded like you were going to

Young man: well she’s right, we cannot directly talk about it because otherwise they will know and they will come

 

They all fall silent. The youngest man shudders. The young woman and young man turn abruptly to stare at the youngest man as though he was about to explode.

 

Youngest man: What on earth are y-

Young woman: Oh thank goodness!

Youngest man: There was a slight chill-

Young man: Yes but we thought it could have been something else

Youngest man: Oh you thought they could see us

Young man and young woman shush him harshly

Youngest man: Okay okay! I know what’ll happen if I slip up, they won’t get through m-

 

Youngest man become suddenly rigid. A few seconds pass until the young man waves a hand in front of his face. Stage lights dim until a spotlight shines directly above the youngest man, causing his face to be distorted by shadows. The young man and young woman begin to panic, the young man slaps the youngest man across the face. Lights return to normal.

 

Youngest man: I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry

Young woman: we need to be more careful

 

The young man begins to panic.

 

Young man: this isn’t good, this is not good, this isn’t going to end well

Young woman: You need to think about something else otherwise they will come!

Young man: I know but its difficult to not think abo-

 

The lights dim as they did for the youngest man, spotlight casting shadows on his face.

 

Youngest woman: Oh no!

 

 The youngest woman slaps him across the face. Lights return to normal.

The youngest woman begins to panic, bringing her hands to her head as though to stop her brain from thinking.

 

Youngest woman: We NEED to stop thinking about it! She points at the youngest man You’re going to get us killed! She points at the young man You were keeping me calm but you’re a mess!

 

Youngest man: Everybody calm down!! They will find us if we are scared! Everyone smile, keep smiling and you will eventually be happy.

 

They all smile ridiculously, no emotion in their eyes. They seem to have calmed.

 

Youngest man: This is going to work

Youngest man: This is perfect

Youngest woman: Well done!

 

They exit with ridiculous smiles on their faces, only lighting is spotlights following them off stage.

 

Bibliography:

http://www.samuel-beckett.net/Godot_Endgame_Worton.html

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

Poetry

Beat poetry was created in the 1950-60s by a group of young men from Colombia University in America; they were full of enthusiasm and a hunger for something different. The work they created was seen as young boys ‘acting out’ as their beat poems were different to the norm and therefore they were not taken seriously by society i.e the older generation who were quite happy with their usual stanzas. They were seen to be the up and coming generation filled with new ideas and different outlooks on the world, influencing a change with their writing and ideas. This idea of writing spontaneously and sometimes politically, while also exploring marginalised or minority topics, was intriguing and became popular, more so in San Francisco, however this movement was not popular as in numbers, but in influence. http://www.online-literature.com/periods/beat.php

It allowed various interpretations and began new findings in other aspects such as jazz music, voicing the younger generation; a cultural and literary movement.

For this weeks blog we looked at different Beat poems by Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman and Jack Kerouac. Personally, I would say my favourite of them all would be the poems by Waldman and Kerouac, my least favourite being Ginsberg’s Howl. This is because I felt Howl was very difficult to get into the flow of the poem, as it was one continuous monologue without many moments to take a breath. It was a little extreme and difficult to describe it as a poem.

Whereas, Waldman’s The V of them was interesting to me as the random word selection was all linked to one topic. I found this intriguing because when it came to analysing the poem as a whole, it was questionable and open for discussion. The layout of the poem was also a factor which I enjoyed as the words were set in a V formation, this allowed the reader to figure out which direction to start the reading in order for the poem to make sense, as it was all very scattered and unclear to where you should begin reading. Kerouac was slightly similar in a way and equally intriguing, as the different lines of his poems were almost like scattered thoughts which is what influenced me to create my beat poem how I did and I tried to reinvent a Waldman/Kerouac scattered style. We were given different objects to choose from and I picked a smooth amber crystal/stone, when writing my poem based on this object I wrote down every thought that came into my head without hesitating to consider the sense of it, hopefully leaving it open for discussion to what the object is. I enjoyed writing in this way, as it was more of a realistic to capture my imagination and is also a relatable human characteristic, which I feel is shown to be a feature in which allows reader/audiences to connect and enjoy as it is like they are included.

My Beat Poem:

Preserved in time

shaped by ocean waves

compression

to hide within

a cold hard surface

a beauty to be treasured

chip chip chipping away

eventually smooth

eventually

found by

collectors to remove

its shell

letting the light

hit

split

reflect

out

dazzling and dancing.

 

Bibliography:

http://www.online-literature.com/periods/beat.php

The V of them – Anne Waldman

Jack Kerouac

Howl – Allen Ginsberg

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