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FROM: Toasterhead
TO: Cho Seung-Hui
RE: Critical notes on the play "Richard McBeef" for your consideration.
DATE: 04/19/07

Mr. Cho,

You may be the most prolific campus mass murderer in U.S. history, but you certainly won't be "slaying" anyone on Broadway with this pathetic snoozefest.

In terms of plot, character development, dialogue, and stagability, "Richard McBeef" is decidedly sub-par. However, the play is not without potential, and I have assembled the following set of notes to assist you with future drafts -- after all, the true art of writing for the stage is in RE-writing for the stage.

Notes:
  • Imagery: You do introduce some interesting motifs. The half-eaten cereal bar, for example, presents a poignant metaphor for unfinished business, a morning frozen in time, a day un-begun, an unfulfilled desire. The "poo" motif, on the other hand, strikes me as rather juvenile and rather detracts from the story. You might consider broadening the motif to refuse or waste in general, rather than strrictly referring to fecal matter by its colloquial term. Finally, there is the ever-present phallic motif, starting with the protagonist's name. Again, we have a highbrow concept with juvenile results. You must remember that symbolism is the most powerful weapon in the playwright's arsenal. You must use it carefully and with precision -- taking aim at your literary targets, rather than simply spraying the audience with a barrage of disconnected motifs.

  • Opening scene: Though the "dysfunctional family routine" has been written to death already, there's always room for a new perspective. This you completely fail to provide us. We have no idea who these characters are or why we should care about them before they start shouting at each other. Establish some kind of setting for us, surely there's an external socioeconomic context in which this story is occurring? Introduce us a bit to your dysfunctional family.

  • Three-Act Structure: You've presented us with the bare minimum of an Act One before apparently killing off one of your three main characters. What's left for acts two and three? If this is intended as a one-act, you need to apply some sort of story arc where there is a transformation, realization, or clarification of some aspect of your protagonist. No such transformation happens in this play, except for the apparent transformation of the antagonist from non-dead to dead. While death in and of itself is certainly a transformative change, as you and many of your classmates are no doubt aware, it's not particularly the type of change that makes for exciting drama unless it is accompanied by something more profund.

  • Characters: The characterization is weak at best. The John character starts his existence angry and hostile, giving the audience no opportunity to connect with him. They may feel some sympathy to the Richard character, but he is given very little voice with which to assert himself. Sue is tremendously underdeveloped and has no apparent inner monologue guiding her actions. She merely swings from one emotion to the otherin response to the events onstage as if locked in some sort of Pavlovian response feedback loop.

  • Show us, don't tell us: Much of the character development that does occur comes in the form of long diatribes by the John character, alleging details about the Richard character's past. This leaves the audience with just that - an empty accusation. For example, John tells us that Richard was "a janitor one time. You're a one time truck driver. You taught preschool kids for two months. And now you' re what you like to call yourself a chef, what the rest of the world calls hamburger flipper. Back where you came from. The pinnacle of your career was when you were a pro football player. How long did that last? Three weeks! Ha! You're over the hills , buster!"

    How are we, the audience, expected to believe this? This part of the story could be much more effective if shown to us through a series of flashbacks. You will strengthen the Richard character by showing us his gradual descent into ignominy and failure.

  • Believability: Much of the dialogue and on-stage action is gratuitous at best and ludicrous at worst. As any drama teacher will tell you as you block a scene - walk with a purpose. Move with a purpose. Nowhere is this more poignant than in the scene where Sue suddenly and unexpectedly brandishes a chainsaw to express her shock and awe at the alleged molestation of her son.. This is simply unbelievable, unblockable, and would present a clear and present liability for producers and onstage personnel. The numerous attempts at onstage fisticuffs are also extremely difficult to block in a way that will be believable but still allow the actors to project their lines without breaking the fourth wall. You may consider - and this is merely a suggestion - replacing much of this physical violence with verbal exchange.

  • Typos, typos, typos: I cannot overemphasize the importance of fixing those little grammatical and spelling errors. Spell-check, please!

While this may appear a rather harsh assessment, please try to receive this as constructive criticism. I am confident that you take a shot at revisng this play, perhaps even a ground-up rewrite. With some work, you may end up with some high-caliber drama.

All the best,
toasterhead



toasterhead

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bagong show
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read and lolled


the holocaust literally never happened
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j

Lullabi posted:

read and lolled
Today IS one fruity day!



toasterhead

FOR WICKED DISCOURSIVE INTERNETTERY PLEASE READ TOASTERHEAD'S BLOGOSPHERE. OR NOT I'M LARGELY APATHETIC AS TO IT PER SE

ahahahah


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GET OFF MY BOART


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hey i think hes dead just a heads up

Lullabi posted:

read and lolled


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toasterhead write for the front page


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ahaha toasterhead is the only person in fyad who can write words people should read


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Atomo posted:

toasterhead write for the front page


the holocaust literally never happened
moonshine



j

Captain Pain. posted:

you are an rear end in a top hat

It's never too soon for literary discussion. In this case, I only fear it may be too late.



toasterhead

FOR WICKED DISCOURSIVE INTERNETTERY PLEASE READ TOASTERHEAD'S BLOGOSPHERE. OR NOT I'M LARGELY APATHETIC AS TO IT PER SE

Lullabi posted:

read and lolled


T-Bozz Factor

[i]I was Ozz-Factor once...[/i}


toasterhead posted:

I am confident that you take a shot at revisng this play, perhaps even a ground-up rewrite. With some work, you may end up with some high-caliber drama.


the holocaust literally never happened
moonshine



j

Atomo posted:

toasterhead write for the front page


Bunny Cuddlin

----------------
This thread brought to you by a tremendous dickhead!

toasterhead posted:

While death in and of itself is certainly a transformative change, as you and many of your classmates are no doubt aware,


Bunny Cuddlin

----------------
This thread brought to you by a tremendous dickhead!

hahahaha




One Million Laffs



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you don


i've eaten more hot dogs than the number of cows that have ever existed times a billion
sq
can we just get this toasterhead guy on the front page already


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toasterhead you rule the loving school


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toasterhead i want to have your babies, but i am a man, so they must be man-babies


JHVH-1


USE OF THIS PRIVATE COMPUTER OR NETWORK IS YOUR CONSENT TO BEING MONITORED
AND RECORDED PURSUANT TO 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(C) AND 2511(2)(D)

UNAUTHORIZED USE OF THIS SYSTEM IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND IS SUBJECT TO
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GIVEN TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. ANY AND ALL UNAUTHORIZED USE WILL LEAD TO PROSECUTION
PURSUANT TO 18 U.S.C.1030

toasterhead posted:

While death in and of itself is certainly a transformative change, as you and many of your classmates are no doubt aware,

seriously lol


unironic pokémon obsession
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olhado4204lyfe posted:

sdfsdf defended its merits in GBS

link



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im busy so ill read this later but toasterhead tl;drs are usually really good


        crundy
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Atomo posted:

toasterhead write for the front page

Very kind of you! I'm not so good with deadlines right now but if there's any interest from the editorial types it may be possible when the semester's over



toasterhead

FOR WICKED DISCOURSIVE INTERNETTERY PLEASE READ TOASTERHEAD'S BLOGOSPHERE. OR NOT I'M LARGELY APATHETIC AS TO IT PER SE

lol this has to go on the front page


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toasterhead you are a delight!



Yad Rock

toasterhead posted:

With some work, you may end up with some high-caliber drama.

lol


AND HE HAD THE FACE OF AN ANGEL
Genderfuck time!

knight poop posted:

ahaha toasterhead is the only person in fyad who can write words people should read

he should be the only person on the forums who's allowed to post more than a paragraph because loving lol


AND HE HAD THE FACE OF AN ANGEL
Genderfuck time!

toasterhead i <3 u


by Fistgrrl

Dear Mom. Greg Died

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Atomo posted:

toasterhead write for the front page


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Atomo posted:

toasterhead write for the front page



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