Tag Archives: production

Stephen writes: How to layout your poem for the Technical Script.

14 Feb

When we put on shows for Mouthy Poets we are usually provided with a technician who has never been to a Friday session. Whilst members of the group may be familiar with how the show is coming together, what it is about, who plans to do what; the technician will be largely unversed in the set-up of the show. They may know what we need (e.g. a smoke machine) but they don’t necessarily know when and where it is needed. As they will be sat in the tech booth on the night pushing the buttons as the show goes on, it is vital they have as clear a picture as possible of what we want and what they need to do. With this in mind, we create the technical script.

The technical script should map out each poem in its entirety as clearly as possible: staging, lighting, dialogue, etc. Obviously, if your performance entails very little movement or technicality then the script will not be too complex, but it is still important to get the little that you do have in there. As you are e-mailing your final drafts to publishing@mouthypoets.com tomorrow we also ask that you send your poem – formated into a script – to production@mouthypoets.com, too.

Please write your script in Times New Roman and include YOUR NAME AND POEM TITLE IN UPPER CASE BOLD SIZE 14YOUR TECHNICAL NOTES IN RED UPPER CASE SIZE 12YOUR STAGING NOTES IN ITALIC SIZE 12, and your script in standard size 12. If you are unsure of the definitive staging you will use, please leave line breaks at relevant places so that these can be written on by hand once the script is printed.

As an example, here is the scripted version of mine and Cleo’s performance of ‘Ducks’ from Say Sum Thin 7:

BLUE WASH AND LEAF-EFFECT LIGHTING. GUITAR PLAYS THROUGH D.I.

MALE DUCK ENTERS STAGE LEFT AND WADDLES TO CENTRE STAGE.

MALE: I’m a duck
swimming in the water.
I’m a duck,
I like lakes not seas.

All my friends try to tell me
“fly south for the winter”
But I don’t care, cuz I’m alright
with the lake I’ve got here.

I’m a duck,
my friends say I’m stubborn,
but I’m just a happy little mallard
where I am in Nottingham.

MALE DUCK DANCES AS FEMALE DUCK ENTERS STAGE RIGHT AND PRANCES TOWARDS HIM

FEMALE: I’m a duck;
I fly south for the winter,
So fly with me if you want to keep warm!

Fly south with me;
fly south for the winter!
I think this year we’re headed
to the Mississippi river.

MIRROR BALL CREATES STARLIGHT EFFECT

FEMALE: It’s actually,
pretty fun and wicked –
We soar over coastlines and mountains
and navigate with help from the stars!

FEMALE WIGGLES PLAYFULLY

MALE: You’re a duck…

FEMALE: I’m a duck!

MALE: …and you’re pretty fit.
So I might…

BOTH: Fly south for a bit!

DUCKS DANCE OFF STAGE LEFT
LIGHTS FADE AND GUITAR ENDS.

Please e-mail your scripted poem to Afrah at production@mouthypoets.com by tomorrow (Sunday, 15th February) ATTACHED TO THE E-MAIL AS A SEPARATE DOCUMENT.

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Reasons why you should apply for the Production & Stage Management Internship, courtesy of Stephen

10 Jan

Hello,

Soon-to-be Ex-Production & Stage Management Intern here to slip a bit of intel into your pocket. It regards the Mouthy Poets Internship scheme. Here it is: the program is not only an opportunity for developing your professional relationships and business decorum, but also a harnessable chance for human growth! Crackin. If I were to sum up my internship experiences into one word then that one word would certainly probably have to be transferableskills. Take what you get from it and pop it onto your C.V. OR into your living room – whichever. Do you fancy knowing how responsible you really are? How well organised? Do you have what it takes to be a leader? These are questions which you may find answers to over the course of an intriguing year. You’ll get a bit of spending money, too.

Reasons to stop being unreasonable and just apply:

People give you money to be better at stuff. The Mouthy Poets internship scheme not only pays you to be their intern, but it also provides a training budget. What’s more; you get to choose what you spend that money on. You could decide to spend some on learning how to make the best use of a theatre technical desk, how to implement three-point lighting, or even where to begin with creating a poetry pamphlet. The internship is not only about becoming a sleuth at production and stage management, but also supporting your growth as a writer.

One-to-one mentorship. As well as the regular meetings you’ll have with other interns to keep up-to-date with what everybody is up to and how the Mouthy Poets projects are developing, you’ll also have the opportunity to be supported on a one-to-one basis. From three separate angles: 1. Private meetings about how you’re getting on with your internship, 2. Life Coaching for more personal decisions, and 3. Mentorship with your writing or other chosen field. It doesn’t even have to be mentorship in poetry – I decided to try out short stories.

You get to be a part of something. Putting shows together so that people have a platform to share their stories and insights into the world is incredibly valuable for the young writers we work with at Mouthy Poets. An arena to create, engage, and listen. Together. Not only is that opportunity important for the performers themselves, but for audiences, too. The resonance of seeing somebody say something on stage which you have felt internally builds a bond between rib-cages; wages war on your organs to beat, and breathe, and digest, and detoxify a plethora of metabolites with renewed vigour! It goes beyond the confines of the auditorium and potters back out into the world to feel something again, as the audience take those experiences away with them. As the P&SM Intern, you helped secure that venue, created the technical rider, liaised with the headliner, compiled the script, circulated those props, designed those lighting states, energised those microphones and harvested it all in a taxing yet fruitful season. You maintained that construct so that those moments could happen. You are the faceless hero of poetry. Your work is a family of fatigued hedgehogs who have crossed the road, safely.

A challenging yet enduring experience. Ignis aurum probat. ‘Fire tests gold’. If somebody said it in latin once then it must be a lesson as old and as valuable as time itself (perhaps). I had never considered myself much of a networker, or to be of any particular note with regard to my organisational ability – that is; until the P&SM Internship was thrust on me like an overzealous koala bear. If you’ve ever been clung to by something that’s clingy, then you’ll know that it can sometimes be difficult to put that thingy down, even if you want to. All you can do is get on with it. Being the bridge between the company and the venue, enforcing deadlines and ensuring realistic creativity is paramount, my organisation, networking, communication, functionality, and many other things improved noticeably. Sometimes in the background without me even noticing. I’ve felt the huge benefits of this experience in my social life, too. You know how there’s always that someone within your friendship group who you don’t particularly care for? Well now – thanks to the communication, networking and patience I experienced during my P&SM Internship – I find those people more bearable. Exceptional carry-over.

I could continue to list for you all of the great gains which come with the Production & Stage Management internship, but then you’d have nothing left to find out for yourself, would you. Godspeed.