Posts Tagged ‘maria irene fornes’

Only two more sessions now. After a class on a meltingly hot day when we discussed the play “Mud,” by Maria Irene Fornes, my teacher’s longtime mentor, we were sent out into the world to write down conversations overheard in public places.

Some class members got great conversations down on paper in spite of noisy air conditioning and music. My scene, which featured three tourists (a mother, father, and 14-ish son) was beyond boring. Instructive, though. People really do not converse the way we think they do. Lots of broken-off and garbled lines. Nonsequitors. Chitchat to fill dead air. Often about food. And to cover real thoughts.

I’m really interested in how people use language to not communicate. Not just when the chitchat covers what they are consciously thinking, but even more, when the words cover thoughts that are too deep for the speaker to be aware of. Like some political or religious discussions. For example, one Right to Life person getting red in the face shouting at a clinic could be feeling on a deep level that being the 10th child, his mother might have thought twice about having him. I’m oversimplifying. But I do know a couple folks whose political arguments are closely tied to how they felt about their fathers.

An art professor Suzanne had at Pomona used to paint over an under story. He believed one could sense the completely invisible picture. That interests me.

This week, members of the playwriting class are to take our overheard scenes and develop them more. I am mainly adding what the people are consciously thinking. Someday I’ll write about what people don’t even recognize they’re thinking.

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