Tinderbox Kernel



Belfast was a blast! We initially went to meet with Tinderbox Theatre, which was an awesome experience. Our host Hanna, who is Tinderbox Theatre’s dramaturge/literary manager, gave us a tour of the Municipal Art Center (MAC). It was full of beautiful creative spaces (for dancers, actors, artists, oh my!) We were sternly reprimanded (with just a look) for interacting with a giant chair and table installation (look at it! It’s meant to be climbed!)


At the end of the tour Hanna gave us some helpful activities and ideas to consider. She explained the process that Tinderbox Theatre takes artist through, and how a good concise story is created. The importance (according to Hanna) is in the “kernel, or the seed” in the play. What is the main idea of the play? What story do we want to convey? She asked us these questions and told us instead of trying to scratch up an answer try an activity they give their playwriters: give a two line synopsis on our plays in a way that sells. I thought, “Yikes, if I don’t know the ‘kernel’ of my story yet, I surely don’t know a good two line synopsis that would make someone want to invest time and money into it.” Though it is a bit too late (thank the universe, so I can’t back out) for that sort of panic. I sucked it up and wrote something that seemed to oversell my idea(s). Through that tortuous exercise I thought of a few potential ‘seedlings’ for my play. The exercise worked in an unexpected way that made me think of something I had subconsciously (okay it was a little intentional) been avoiding quite a while. The little ‘seedlings’ were planted; I left with a rough idea in my head that lead to further development of my play. Later, we gallivanted around the bustling city of Belfast for a couple days, seeing what it had to offer (crowds, drinks, and a lady named Coco that’s what).