Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Writing your own lines

I teach the high school Sunday School class at my church. Our class' assignment for May was to read the entire book of Esther, and in about one hour of class time, prepare a 10 minute drama to tell the story of Esther to the whole congregation. Just a little overwhelming.
In the interest of time, I assigned each student a character from the story. I asked them to develop their own lines without seeing the other characters' lines. The result was quirky and imperfect, but each character's individual voice came through clearly. They used words and actions in ways that revealed personality. They stuck to the basic ideas of the Old Testament story, but infused it with their contemporary references and perspectives.
I don't think any of the students consider themselves writers, but they proved otherwise. The drama they wrote was filled with original voices which revealed character, advanced the plot, and managed the conflict. We should all do so well with our stories.

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