Musquodoboit Valley Homegrown Script Project

A project to develop a for full-length feature play written by young writers for production by Musquodoboit Rural High School in conjunction with the Musquodoboit Valley Bicentennial Theatre.

Role: Head writer and associate producer
Read a sample from the script.

January 2009 – September 2011

 

What I Changed

The Bicentennial Theatre where the Homegrown Script Project took place.

I initiated the Homegrown Script Project when informed by a contact that the granting agency responsible for funding previous theatre collaborations with the local high school wanted members of the local community to stage a production representative of local views. I pitched a response and project plan to the theatre’s board of directors and assembled a production and writing team to oversee and develop the project.

Along the way I experimented with various narrative structures to help young writers best realize their potential. I created task-specific writing exercises and delegated writing assignments.

As the project developed I guided the various story ideas into one coherent whole and oversaw scene writing, structuring, and outlining activities, adapting to group needs and goals as they shifted. At the end of a 16-month writing process I produced a final script for delivery to the production team.

 

What I Learned

The Script Project was my first long-term project and one of my first collaborative projects. At times I struggled to establish solid lines of communication between stakeholders, however I was able to rectify this later in the project and still deliver a script to the production team.

I also learned to mentor young writers through the ups and downs of a long-term project, especially as the limits of resources in a small-town. I came out of the Script Project with a much better understanding of how to get the most out of a low-budget, volunteer-based situation without allowing personal issues to impact the creative team.

Self-awareness was critical in dealing with my own frustrations and learning from difficult situations where I made errors. As the creative lead for the project’s entire concepting phase I learned to take ownership of mistakes and improvise to find solutions in less-than-ideal circumstances. I still draw on this experience often in collaborative situations every day.

 

Notes

A writing sample from the Homegrown Script Project can be viewed here.

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