The Kernel

Friday last Hanna Slattne, Tinderbox Theatre’s literary manager, workshopped with us in the beautiful MAC art centre in Belfast. As a dramaturge, Hanna likes to dig for the kernel of a play, and she led us through two revealing exercises: writing a marketing synopsis and a senryu to consider a play’s core. A senryu is structurally the same as a haiku but instead of focusing on nature it deals with human nature and relationships.

I loved this idea and warned her that I would incorporated these exercises into our syllabus.

“Steal away!” She cried.

As creators, artists sometime have a difficult time marketing their work and the synopsis did not come easily to me. After much tugging and revising, here’s a punchy description of a short I wrote last week: Kimberley Lynne’s newest short play Soldier Kit¬†challenges gender roles in the roots of nationalism by exposing the impact and allure of militarized violence.

And a senryu for the same play:

  • fireside bonding
  • we reveal secrets
  • too heavy to hold

And a senryu for Absolution, the other short play I wrote last week:

  • waiting to hang
  • executioner left
  • I pick up the knife

Thanks, Hanna! You’ve helped our brains sort.