Κολέγιο CITY College
Main Campus, Thessaloniki, Greece
21 November 2019

The English Studies Department Experiences Theatre Monologue Creative Writing

The English Studies Department’s third Personal and Professional Development Seminar held on Tuesday, 19th November marks an exciting exposition into the area of creative writing. Our guest speaker, Ms Despoina Kalaitzidou, drama facilitator, playwright and director, delivered an interactive and insightful seminar/workshop titled: “Are you talking to me?: An Introduction to theatre monologue writing.

CITY College English Studies Department Experiences Theatre Monologue Creative Writing

And while the title of the seminar may prompt some of us cinephiles to think of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), theatre monologues – or soliloquies – as well as poetry, can be a good starting point for creative writing. As Ms Kalaitzidou informs, being a theatrical genre and play unto itself, a monologue can include one or multiple actors who do not directly talk to each other but could tell a story from different perspectives; it may or may not contain conventional dialogue, there is no fourth wall – usually the actor addresses the audience directly or talks to an invisible character/auditor. Finally, it could be a solo performance, even autobiographical.

Ms Despoina Kalaitzidou, drama facilitator, playwright and director, delivered an interactive and insightful seminar/workshop

Questions to begin with are usually: who is my character, where is my character, how is the setting, what are the main points in my monologue, to whom am I or the character talking, is the monologue realistic/absurdist/a mixture/something different? And even if we think of these before writing, they may change as we are writing. Ms Kalaitzidou shared some of her personal experience and insights stating that events in our life may inspire us, other works of art and literature, current events, even more collective elements such as mythology. The important thing to remember when writing – in addition to actually writing – is to be truthful, real and authentic, to have a reason to write and to have a purpose.

Some find workshops such as the seminar in question to be helpful in those first creative steps. Some require a bit of prompting – such as a well-known myth, possible characters and even phrases which they can then complete and go back and edit. Ms Kalaitzidou in the context of this workshop urged all members of the audience to write and those willing shared their monologues which Ms Kalaitzidou then performed. Reflection of the experience followed as well as key concerns about how to get into creative writing, how to get one’s writing out there, and the value of feedback. As with any venture, Ms Kalaitzidou emphasizes that it requires us to be bold, take risks and be persistent if it is something we truly desire.

 

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