Cycling in Sydney Australia
This is an artistic experiment I'm thinking of conducting, if people run with it.
I am a playwright with several productions past and present (see www.benitodifonzo.blogspot.com )
I am also a keen commuter cyclist.
It occurred to me this morning, whilst riding from the flat in Stanmore where I awoke to my Pop Up garret in The Rocks (I am presently Writer In Residence for Word Travels, see http://therockspopup.tumblr.com/post/21406314140/writersplayroom ) that I could bring these two passions together and create a group-written piece using Sydney Cyclist's 2000 or so members (I can't remember where I got that figure but it's in my head. Correct me if I'm wrong.)
So what do you think?
Is the title too black & white?
Any ideas for characters?
Ideas for scenes?
Ideas for narrative arcs?
Any thing else you can think of...
Anyway who helps will be fully credited as a contributing cyclist-playwright.
No experience necessary.
On your marks,
Narrative arc 1- motorist reviles and harasses cyclists, only to find out new love interest cycles, conflict follows, couple finish up duetting The Push Bike Song.
Yep, that's the idea.
30 or so scenes that link together in a narrative and you've got a show!
Why frame it as Cyclists vs Motorists ? That's the same spin that today tonight use whenever they do a 5 minute piece on how cyclists drive motorists to do bad things by running red lights.
I agree with Damian. Why don't you write a play about something positive, like how wonderful it is to ride to work on a lovely winter morning? Or how about all the people you meet on a ride? I don't know.. just don't turn it into something negative.
Unfortunately in drama, as in prime time current affairs, good/happy stories of everyone getting along just don't make for a captivating tale.
Drama is built on conflict. Shit-stirring even. ACA know that what they are doing is creating theatre, as should we.
We need a protagonist/goodie so that may as well be a cyclist, and against them you must have an antagonist/baddy so may as well make that motorists, but like Colin says - we can resolve this in a different way to ACA.
Of course your story is only as strong as your antagonist so just as Darth Vadar is more interesting than Luke Skywalker, and Satan more interesting than Jesus, then all good 'baddies' are ideally the richest/most complex character in the story.
how bout hard core roadie rabbit in full lycra road warrior outfit vs fat toad bogan rego screamer.... In the beginning they the cyclists rushing and the bogans seething in a Tjam and they meet with a huge fight and seperate.
In the end they meet again as allies and much calmer road users.
the Roadie sheds his helmet, lycra, garmin and speedmachine for a heavy dynamo dutch bike (resistance training) as his commute clogs up with newbie cyclists.
and the bogan sheds his car, weight, money/time loss, prejudice, after he loses his liscence and begins to ride powered assist bike (its a transition they can't both come to the same exact conclusion)...
Simplistic story line needs drama, unpredictability added but it could showcase the full spectrum of our current road use and how ridiculous both ends of the spectrum are in which the majority of Australian road users sit both cyclists and car drivers. Its a bit unrealistic tho as we all know for mass commuter cycling to take up there would be much safer cycling infastructure than what is currently available in Aust.
Yep, nice stuff Ben.
True many cyclist are motorists also (although the poor one like me aren't - who can afford a car on a writer's salary?) but with drama you sometimes have to bring things down to more simplistic levels, then you can increase the complexity as the characters develop. Like Kafka said - Art must be bigger than reality so as to represent it.
Let's work with this.
Member numbers here. Good luck getting even 52 of them to contribute.
Well like I say, it's an experiment, but from the first days reaction it just may work - you never know till you try, and cyclists are a smart bunch after all, used to coming up with fast, creative solutions to life-threating problems every day!
Hmm, I did see that many years ago Yogi, and it does have one of my favourite actors in it (Roberto Benigni) but I'll have to watch it again because I can't really remembers what happens... Remind me?