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San Jose State University Comedic Plot Line Paper

San Jose State University Comedic Plot Line Paper

Question Description

There are three parts, you must follow the instructions to finish all of these three parts.

PART 1: Write a COMEDIC Plot Line for a Script Based on a Formula Plot

Your assignment is to write a short paragraph (at least 3 sentences) for each point in the formula plot outline below. You will be writing a story line where one plot point leads to the next. This story line can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Let your imagination loose!!! It can be the tale of a turbulent event in the life of a lady bug or an epic hero’s journey through a time warp– as long as all of the elements of a formula plot are considered. Remember the Aristotelian idea that a plot is an “arrangement of events.” You are NOT writing dialogue in this part of the assignment, only a description of the plot line.

Please consider how one event leads to another (cause and effect).

For this assignment, please write which category you are responding to before writing the plot point. Here is an example:

Introduction: A peaceful forest in the Amazon Forest. Billy (a ladybug) and Teddy (another ladybug) are lying on beach chairs on a sandy beach near a waterfall. We hear the animal noises and sounds of the forest in the background, and a gentle breeze rippling through the trees. Billy and Teddy are drinking beer and smoking cigars. They are the best of buddies.

Event: Todd (an extremely large size ladybug) enters in a ferocious mood. We hear his wings flapping to a drum like beat as he flies in, swats the water, sending a huge spray over Billy and Teddy. Billy and Teddy start shaking the beer and water off of themselves as they swear loudly at Todd.

Here are the categories you are addressing:

I. Introduction

A short description of the world and characters that belong to the story (the equilibrium that will be disturbed by the inciting incident later).

II. Event

Where the plot begins in the larger story of the lives of your characters–remember that this event is meant to draw the interest of the audience in preparation for the rest of the plot.

III. Inciting Incident

The disturbance that upsets the equilibrium and leads to a decision that triggers the chain of events to follow.

IV. Rising Action(s)

Create conflicts for your characters that involve struggles, obstacles, and decisions. Include at least three conflicts

in your outline.

V. Darkest Hour

When everything seems hopeless and goals seem unattainable.

VI. Enlightenment

Something sheds light on the problem–a revelation occurs.

VII. Climax

A dramatic confrontation.

VIII. Denouement (pronounced Day-New-Ma)

The resolution.

*Allow the formula to guide your creation. Who knows, you may come up with a great idea for a play!

Remember to use comedic elements as you write these that you have learned so far this semester.


Choose one section of your Formula Story Outline from Part 1 of this midterm that you would like to turn into a scene with dialogue. Remember this is a COMEDY script, so I hope to see the use of some of the principles of comedy that you have learned so far in this class at work in the dialogue!!

You are not going to write a full play, but rather just one scene from a play. You get to choose which part of your formula story outline you would like to use. Your scene should be about two to three pages in length.

SOME TIPS on writing the scene:

Plays take place in the present moment. Information about the play is revealed in the things that the characters do and say through dialogue. So, you can’t write their backstory. You have to jump right into where the characters are at this moment, and write it as if it is happening RIGHT NOW.

You must choose a SPECIFIC DETAILED LOCATION. For example “In New York City” is too broad and we don’t know where the location is. “Sue and Jose are sitting at a table at an outside cafe on 34th Street in New York” is specific.

Say the dialogue OUT LOUD as you write it, as if you were the character saying it. It tends to make the dialogue more realistic. (Remember Lin Manuel Miranda’s comments on this?)

Enjoy yourself, and don’t stress out about this. Dialogue is really fun to write! Have fun with it!!

I have included several scripts in this module as samples for formatting purposes.

PART 3–Create a Collage for Your Script

You will remember that many designers of theatre conduct visual research for the production they are working on, as it is the foundation of any good design and it brings substance, life, and truth to the production. Visual research helps to fire up the imaginations of the design team with colors, shapes, and styles for the production.

For each production, the designers, director (and even actors) compile a literal or a virtual “scrapbook” of images from a variety of sources. These scrapbook items are put together into collages (also called Mood Boards) to share with the design team as the production is getting underway. Visual collages help other team members to communicate visually as they begin to sculpt the world they are creating together.

(Here is the space for sample photos, I will send them to you)

For this part of the midterm, you are going to create a collage board for the story that you just wrote in parts 1 & 2 of this midterm. Include images that you hand pick for these things:

1. Scenic Design–Include images of what you think the set should look like. Include furniture choices, etc. Choose colors that you think will help create the world you are trying to depict. You can have multiple images for this.

2. Costumes–Include images of what you think the main characters should look like and what they might be wearing.

3. Add any images of props that are essential to tell the story to the collage board.

4. Add any other important images including images that capture the mood of the story, any projections you think might be there, any lighting moods you feel are important.

5. Make sure and title the Collage.

YOU CAN CREATE THE COLLAGE EITHER ELECTRONICALLY OR BY HAND. When you are finished, please load the final image into this assignment page. If you do it by hand, take a photo and upload the photo into this assignment. You can also add multiple photos if desired.


(Here is the space for sample photos, I will send them to you)

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