an Element of Truth

You know what’s hard? Finding an image that accurately but not blatantly represents Truth BEFORE one has had coffee.

So here’s this pomegranate:

..which I’ve decided is an accurate representation of the truths inside of all of us. You know, like seeds. That burst when we bite them, and stain shirts. Also nice in juice form. Mmm, truth.

When leading the playwriting workshops! (SO! HARD!) I tried to convey to the kids this idea of an ‘element of truth.’ This is something that both Laura Maria Censebella and Chris Shinn lovingly pounded into our heads in grad school. A writer must always add their own ingredient to a play – something that is truthful for them. I told the students that including this elements allows you to write and continue to write whatever it is that you are working on, because you can always hook into the story this way. I grossly / weirdly see it, in mind’s eye, as literally a giant hook grabbing me by the sternum and pulling me through words. Ew.

The thing about high school kids, I think –  be they students at a public school in the Bronx , or students at a private in academy in Connecticut – is that the don’t get that they actually HAVE elements of truth. They see their lives as a wash of happy or a wash of struggling. They don’t realize all of the things that they have to SAY. And now I am kind of obsessed with making them realize this.

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