21 July 2011

I'm a Seminarian...

Just kidding! Seriously! First I start writing about liturgy and then claim to be a seminarian?

No, I'm not switiching churches or demoninations... I was just looking for a play on words, thought I'd found one and then discovered that that word "seminarian" had connotations about which I was clueless! But I still liked it, so I figured it would be okay to use... with this disclaimer.

Last week was a tremendously busy week for me. Not only was I teaching literacy classes every morning, trying to keep the tribe focused on their daily tasks and accomplishing some home schooling, and working with my summer school student... I also taught "un petit seminaire," almost 14 hours worth, of script writing for the radio, and  that doesn't include "prep" time.

I REALLY don't consider myself a script writer... or even a writer per se. I do write... because I love to write. It is a passion of mine, a favorite form of communication and it helps me learn as well as process life. I love to use the written word as a vehicle to express what God is teaching and doing in my life, our family and in this ministry He's loaned us for this time. But I haven't studied writing "formally" other than English and Lit classes in school (unless you count classes that focused on writing long term goals, short term objectives and IEPs for my degree as a special educator), I've never made a dime off of anything I've written, and truthfully, what I know about radio script writing and adapting Biblical texts for audio drama is the little collection of knowlege from things I've researched, learned via trial and error, or just made up all on  my own and which seems to make sense and work.

So I was surprised when the woman who mentors the local Christian acting troupe, Messagers du Christ, approached me several months ago to ask if I'd lead a script writing seminar for some of the group members. I agreed (and then wondered if I'd lost my mind... my kids say I would if my head wasn't already attached to my body).

Depending on the day, the class had anywhere from 3-6 students each day and we discussed many topics, but particularly focused on the following:
  • Is there a Biblical foundation for using radio theater and drama to evangelize and disciple?
  • Where should we look for ideas?
  • What are the essential elements of a play/radio drama? In particular, we considered the plot - with an inciting incident, a climax, a resolution and ending, characters - focusing primarily on the protagonist and the antagonist, integrity when developing dialogue and setting, and last, but not least, precision and integrity when determining and then presenting a theme without moralizing or preaching at the listeners.
  • How do we authentically evaluate the scripts and dramas we produce? What type of attitude must we have with our creations when others critique what we have written?
  • How do we determine relevant current issues and then develop scripts that realistically and authentically address Biblical solutions or responses to those issues?
Now, I'm waiting to hear their evaluation of how they felt the seminar went, and I figure I might get a chance to practice what I taught when it comes to  humbly receiving commentary, suggestions and criticism!

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