Session notes: Playwriting is Dead! Long Live Playwrights!

What is the name of the person who called the session?

Peter Cox

Who attended the session? (You can pass this piece of paper round and ask people to write their name on it.)

Jenny, David, Conor, Nick, Louise, Elke, David.

Summary of discussion: (Notes, ideas, further questions, conclusions, recommendations for actions to take, contact details of relevant people / organisations etc)

Issues with Plays in Education.

Plays taught badly in many schools. Means there is no advocacy for the craft of the playwright or the broad cultural importance and influence of playwriting.

Plays often taught as literature not drama for performance.

Plays often only studied piecemeal: eg only looking at one scene, one speech or one character.

We noted that we are never asked to write plays or drama at school but we will get asked to write poetry, prose and even songs.

Some concern was expressed about the trend to publish scripts before the final production script is settled on.

Issues connected to Being a Playwright.

Anyone can be a playwright. No training or qualification required. Just the will or desire to write drama. But is this genuinely a ‘good thing?’

Some questions were raised about this comparing it to being a ‘painter’ or a ‘composer’ where there would be some expectation that the artist would have studied the core / craft skills involved.

Some discussion also about the difference between being a ‘Theatre Maker’ and a Playwright.

Also about some of the pitfalls of Devising Theatre. For example allowing too much democracy to rule the final script – so everyone involved has to get a decent role. Also that work can become muddled due to too many voices trying to be heard.

Some discussion around ‘When do you call yourself a Playwright?’ Is it when you join the Union? Or when you’ve been commissioned? Or produced? Or feel financially rewarded enough to call yourself a ‘professional playwright’? Or when someone other than yourself calls you a playwright?

Why do we Want / Need / Love / Value Playwrights?

Some discussion around what Playwrights the group members have been inspired by / identified with / gone on to seek out more of their work. Playwrights cited included: Samuel Beckett, Edward Bond, Duncan McMillan, Stephen Berkoff, Stephen Jeffries. (Scribe’s note: interesting that all named were male!)

Our top reasons for loving plays written by Playwrights centred around language and use of words.

We highly valued plays as they used crafted language / had poetic qualities / didn’t take language for granted / where the language & playwright ‘nailed it’ / where we connected with the words on the page / where there was great strength in the words on the page / that used clever word play / that were fluid and flowing / where the language is beautiful / where the words take you on a unique journey.

Rhai syniadau ynghylch cofnodi eich sesiwn

Beth yw teitl eich sesiwn?

Mae Dramodi Wedi Marw! Hir Oes i Ddramodwyr!

Beth yw enw'r person a alwodd y sesiwn?

Peter Cox

Pwy ddaeth i'r sesiwn? (Gallwch basio'r darn hwn o bapur o gwmpas a gofyn i bobl ysgrifennu eu henwau arno.)

Jenny, David, Conor, Nick, Louise, Elke, David.

Crynodeb o'r drafodaeth: (Nodiadau, syniadau, cwestiynau, casgliadau, argymhellion ar gyfer camau i'w cymryd, manylion cyswllt pobl/sefydliadau perthnasol ac ati)

Problemau gyda Dramâu mewn Addysg.

Addysgir dramâu'n wael mewn llawer o ysgolion. Mae'n golygu nad oes eiriolaeth dros grefft y dramodydd na phwysigrwydd a dylanwad diwylliannol eang dramodi.

Yn aml addysgir dramâu fel llenyddiaeth nid drama i'w pherfformio.

Yn aml astudir dramâu mewn ffordd fratiog yn unig: e.e. edrych dim ond ar un olygfa, un araith neu un cymeriad.

Nodwyd na gofynnir byth i ni ysgrifennu dramâu neu ddrama yn yr ysgol ond gofynnir i ni ysgrifennu barddoniaeth, rhyddiaith a hyd yn oed caneuon.

Mynegwyd peth pryder am y duedd i gyhoeddi sgriptiau cyn y penderfynir ar y sgript gynhyrchu derfynol.

Materion sy'n gysylltiedig â Bod yn Ddramodydd.

Gall unrhyw un fod yn ddramodydd. Nid oes angen hyfforddiant na chymhwyster. Dim ond yr ewyllys neu ddyhead am ysgrifennu drama. Ond ydy hyn yn wirioneddol yn 'rhywbeth da?'

Codwyd rhai cwestiynau am hyn gan ei gymharu â bod yn 'arlunydd' neu 'gyfansoddwr' pan geir rhywfaint o ddisgwyliad y byddai'r artist wedi astudio'r sgiliau craidd / crefft gofynnol.

Cafwyd rhywfaint o drafodaeth hefyd am y gwahaniaeth rhwng bod yn 'Greawdwr Theatr' a Dramodydd.

Hefyd am rai o'r maglau wrth Ddyfeisio Theatr. Er enghraifft caniatáu gormod o ddemocratiaeth i reoli'r sgript derfynol - fel bod yn rhaid i bawb sy'n cymryd rhan gael rôl dda. Hefyd y gall gwaith fynd yn ddryslyd o ganlyniad i wrando ar ormod o leisiau.

Rhywfaint o drafodaeth am ‘Pryd ydych chi'n galw eich hun yn Ddramodydd?’ Ar ôl ymuno â'r Undeb? Neu pan fyddwch wedi cael eich comisiynu? Neu eich cynhyrchu? Neu'n teimlo eich bod wedi derbyn digon o gydnabyddiaeth ariannol i alw eich hun yn 'ddramodydd proffesiynol'? Neu pan fydd rhywun heblaw chi'n eich galw chi'n ddramodydd?

Pam ydym Eisiau / Angen / Caru / Gwerthfawrogi Dramodwyr?

Cafwyd rhywfaint o drafodaeth am ba Ddramodwyr y mae aelodau'r grŵp wedi cael eu hysbrydoli ganddynt / uniaethu â nhw / mynd ymlaen i chwilio am ragor o'u gwaith. Bu'r dramodwyr a nodwyd yn cynnwys: Samuel Beckett, Edward Bond, Duncan McMillan, Stephen Berkoff, Stephen Jeffries. (Nodyn yr ysgrifennydd: mae'n ddiddorol bod pob un a enwyd yn wrywaidd!)

Canolbwyntiodd ein rhesymau pennaf dros garu dramâu a lunnir gan Ddramodwyr o gwmpas iaith a'r defnydd o eiriau.

Gwerthfawrogom ddramâu'n fawr iawn gan iddynt ddefnyddio iaith gywrain / meddu ar rinweddau barddonol / peidio â chymryd iaith yn ganiataol / lle roedd y dramodydd 'yn llygad ei le' / lle cysylltom â'r geiriau ar y dudalen / pan gafwyd cryfder mawr yn y geiriau ar y dudalen / a ddefnyddiodd chwarae geiriau clyfar / a oedd yn llyfn ac yn llifo / lle mae'r iaith yn brydferth / lle mae'r geiriau'n mynd â chi ar daith unigryw.


DS - Cyhoeddir yr adroddiad hwn ar wefan NTW (gan gynnwys unrhyw gyfeiriadau e-bost a manylion cyswllt yr ydych yn eu cynnwys ynddo). Os hoffech chi i NTW drosglwyddo unrhyw gwestiynau y cânt am yr adroddiad hwn, nodwch eich cyfeiriad e-bost yma (ni fydd eich cyfeiriad yn cael ei gyhoeddi na'i ddefnyddio at unrhyw ddiben arall).

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