by workshop leader Casey Bottono

The first online Young Writers’ Group of the Autumn term offered participants the opportunity to experience an immersive script writing session. Taking inspiration from their living space, and borrowing from Desert Island Discs provided a wealth of ideas from which they could draw.

Music is a cornerstone of any good theatrical performance, so that was where we started. We instructed the writers to make a list of five songs they had listened to in their bedrooms, and from there to choose the soundtrack to their performance.

Following on from this, they turned to their favourite books and the memories and emotions attached to them. We also asked them to use paper items they might have in their bedrooms that hold a sentimental meaning. The young writers borrowed characteristics from their favourite fictional characters and their lived experience to flesh out the characters that would play out their narratives.

Choosing a sentimental object seemed to be well-received but challenging. Then we asked them to choose a luxury item and a survival object from their bedrooms.

There was some discussion over whether a cat could count as a survival object, and we ultimately decided that it absolutely could. If Dick Whittington could depend on his cat, then so could our young writers.

The focus of the session was on aligning these various plot and staging decisions with the Hero’s Journey, which we have explored in depth in previous workshops. Our writers excelled themselves in piecing together the elements of their stories, and crafting narratives that were timely and urgent in the telling.

By the end of the workshop, each participant had crafted a solid narrative which will be developed further in subsequent workshops. Our writers never fail to rise to a challenge.