Setting in Place: A Scene at Surfer Joe

Playwriting Exercises - CREATIVE CUP OF TEA

The first class was all about where we come from and the development of the right set for our play. Apparently, the place where we come from and the ones we have lived in or explored play an immense role in our writing. The class started with a question: how do we make setting real? How can we put people on stage? Professor Musgrave told us that theatre is simple. It is people that do and say things to other people. I re-read the notes from the first class and found how interesting the exercise that Professor Musgrave wanted us to do was about the place and the setting. I am going to write down what he wanted us to do and then also my (failed) attempt to write a scene based on the “progressive” exercise.

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Surfer Joe


Four words that you associate to this place 

Openness, return, love, drunkenness

Four different locations inside this place

The stone steps, the wooden tables in the back, the front of the stage, the toilets

What is this place charged with and what could be the opposite of that charge

Openness/Closure, Uneasiness

Four sensations that you associate to this place

The relaxation of the sea smell and sound

The coldness when you touch the wet and cold cups, when you make bottles roll on your skin because it’s hot

Feeling the nice night breeze on your cheeks, as you only wear linen/cotton dresses and sandals

Music that makes you feel home

Five other words/phrases about this place

I spend my summers there, and it is a perfect place where seeing your friends and loved ones before going away or when you go home. My friends all live in different places (Milan, Florence, Helsinki, Berlin…) and it is amazing to go back there and talking about what happened. It is the perfect place. Beer, music, sea. What else could I want.

Now list all the words/more important phrases you used and list them in alphabetical order.

Clash of bottles, coldness of touching glasses, coming back, closure, drink, drunkenness, friends, front of stage, going away, love, music, nice night breeze, openness, return, sea, uneasiness.

Surfer Joe - Creative Cup of Tea

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Now write a scene.

1 – You need to set it in the place you chose

2 – Start with two characters (A and B).

3 – 1st Line must contain the 1st word of the list and so on.


A: The clash of bottles is always nice to be heard in summer. Well, I guess it is always nice to hear, but there is something strange about summer.

B: Not to speak of the coldness of wet cups on your skin and for a moment you don’t feel as you are drinking a beer inside an oven.

A: I guess we’re very unpoetically trying to say that’s good to come back here.

B: Probably. I couldn’t have stood Danish people closure in summer.

A: I guess you spent a good time drinking there, though.

B: You can bet I did. But drunkenness does not always mean fun.

A: Not if you’re without your friends.

B: Exactly. Let’s go to the front of the stage. They’re going to play now.

A: I can’t. I need to go away.

B: What do you mean with “go away”? To do what? Don’t tell me that you’re still seeing that bitch that you questionably call love.



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