Write what you think – Sarah Grochala
寫你所想 – 莎拉·古馳安拉


INTERVIEW WITH SARAH GROCHALA

FROM ROYAL CENTRAL SCHOOL OF SPEECH AND DRAMA

專訪英國皇家中央演講與戲劇學院的莎拉·古馳安拉

Sarah GrochalaSarah Grochala

Sarah Grochala specialises in playwriting, dramaturgy and contemporary British theatre. She is
a multi-award winning playwright and an associate artist with the theatre company Headlong. Sarah has worked at Central since 2013. She previously taught at a number of universities and drama schools, including Birkbeck, Kingston University Mountview, Queen Mary and the University of Reading. Her research examines the use of dramatic structure in contemporary British plays and the relationship between these structures and social and political structures of contemporary British society.

莎拉·古馳安拉

古馳安拉的專業是劇本創作,戲作藝術和英國當代戲劇。她是一個屢 獲殊榮的編劇,也是驟劇團(Headlong)的簽約藝術家。古馳安拉2013 年開始來到英國皇家中央演講與戲劇學院任教,此前她曾在包括伯克 貝克大學( Birkbeck, University of London), 金斯頓大學( Kingston University Mountview),女王瑪麗大學(Queen Mary, University of London)和雷丁大學(University of Reading)任教。她主要的研究集中在英國當代戲劇結構和當下英國社會政治結構之間的關係。

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PI: PERFORMANCE INFINITY / SG: SARAH GROCHALA

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PI: Can you please briefly introduce the course to our readers about Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s play writing training course?

SG: There are two courses that focus on playwriting at Central: the MA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media and the MFA
in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media. The MA course is a one-year course and the MFA is two years. The courses aren’t just training for writing for the stage, they also cover writing for radio, TV and films.

In the first term of the course, the students learn how to write conventionally. They learn the conventional and most commonly used structures for theatre, radio, television and film scripts. There’s nothing very avant-garde in terms of approaches to scriptwriting at this stage, just solid conventional training. If you are going to write scripts professionally for any medium, you will often be working with very conventional stories. Exciting, gripping stories with sympathetic characters are always very appealing to audiences. In the second term, we start to talk about avant-garde writing. If students are interested in writing in ways that challenge conventional structures, they are given some guidance and inspiration for how they might explore creating avant garde work for different mediums. Throughout the course, there are lots of opportunities for students to meet writers and other professionals who work in the theatre, radio, television and film industries. This is very helpful in terms of preparing students for entering the industry after the end of the course. The third term focuses on working on the students’ scripts in more practical ways. For instance, the students work with students on the acting courses at Central to help them understand how a play works in performance. By the end of the summer term, they will have completed a short play, a short radio play and a short film script. They will have also collaborated on writing a full-length television episode, which they work on in small groups. The final project for the one-year MA is to write either: a full-length stage play (70 minutes), a full-length radio drama (45 minutes), a TV episode (60 minutes) or a full-length film script (90 minutes). They are each assigned an expert who will mentor them through their final project.

Students who do the MFA course study for two years. Instead of doing one final project at the end of their first year, they work on two final projects in their second year. So they might decide to write fully developed plays and fully developed film script. Again, for each project, they work with at least one mentor who supports them through it. At the same time, they have to formulate a professional development plan. For this, they have to plan a series of steps that they are going to take in order to start to establish themselves as professional writers within their chosen industry. They also have to think critically about their writing and the process of writing. At the end of the year, they also have to submit a critical reflection, in which they consider the process of writing their scripts in the context of theories related to scriptwriting and performance.

PI: 能否為我們介紹下英國皇家中央演講與戲劇學院(Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)的這個劇作家課程?

SG: 我們的劇作家課程一共分成兩種。一種是一年制的文學碩士(MA), 另一種是兩年制的藝術碩士(MFA)。課程不僅局限於教會學生寫舞臺劇 的劇本,也涵蓋了為廣播,電視和電影等媒體寫劇本的科目。

一年制的碩士第一學期的課程主要集中在如何寫傳統劇本上。比如說我 們會教學生傳統概念下好劇本的結構和寫作方式。沒有任何前衛和試驗 性的東西。原因很簡單,在電視電影行業,通常劇本都需要很強的故事 性,而這些都是傳統劇本寫作教育中的重點。到了第二學期,學生就會有 更多的自由去進行前衛的創作。他們也能用自己的方式去挑戰傳統的劇 本結構。當然,電影廣播和電影劇本的創作同時進行。在學習的過程中, 學生也有很多的機會去接觸業內人士。比如說劇作家,劇場工作者等等。 第三個學期有很多工作坊,教學生如何靈活處理劇本。比如說有演員會參 與到過程中。到春夏學期結束時,學生基本上都已經有40-50分鐘的劇本 在手上了。課程的結業作品對於一年制的學生來說是一個標準長度的劇本 (舞臺劇70分鐘、廣播45分鐘、電視劇集60分鐘、電影90分鐘),不同的 領域有不同的導師指導。

對於兩年制的碩士課程,學生一共要做兩個作品,除了標準長度的電視電 影廣播舞臺劇劇本創作之外,他們也需要做一個專業發展計劃,為畢業後 的就業做打算;除此之外,他們也需要做學術類的自我反饋。這也是對學生 來說很重要的一部分,了解自己在做什麼,並且了解為什麼自己會這麼做。


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