Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

Scriptwriting Class Bridges Gap Between Text and Performance on Field Trip to Broadway

Scriptwriting Class Bridges Gap Between Text and Performance on Field Trip to Broadway

“What do you do when you’re not sure?” This question begins John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt, which Shawn Connors’s English elective classes in script writing viewed on Broadway at the Todd Haimes Theater this week, and serves not only the play’s plot and theme but also the course’s inquiry: What happens when you place two (or more) characters with often competing desires in a small space? What do they want? What happens if they don’t get it? Why now? It is in these high-stakes moments that the students explore through the scenes they write, where they vacillate between the certainty and doubt of knowing their characters. This trip was not just a break from the usual classroom setting; it was an exploration of how actors interpret lines differently than the writer envisioned and how a live performance resonates with an audience. How would I feel if an actor read my lines with a different tone? How does a playwright partner with the larger production – the actors, the director, etc.? The Doubt Broadway trip was an extraordinary opportunity for our scriptwriting students to bridge the gap between text and performance, enhancing their understanding of storytelling's nuances and, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, how theater captures the immediacy in which one can share with another the sense of what it is to be human.