Our first step in building a script for performance is to pay close attention not only to the situations, events, and interactions the participants describe, but to the ways they tell stories about them.
Some of the things we look for during workshops and while reviewing workshop documentation include:
- Images or ideas that people respond to with energy and enthusiasm, that seem to capture something important to the group.
- Images, actions, or phrases that get repeated (sometimes with variations) even if, at first glance, they don’t seem particularly relevant to the play’s emerging themes.
- Actions and interactions, the gestures, expressions, words and tone that participants use to tell their stories.
- Stories that participants repeat or come back to during workshop discussions.
- How stories that come up in workshop exercises and discussions relate to broader, or more dominant, ‘cultural’ stories.
- Unstated norms, beliefs, and assumptions that participants may be expressing through their actions.
- People who are heard from less frequently, or concerns that come forward and then slip away, that may need additional support to come forth.