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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Combining magic and theatre (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

JayLugh
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New user
Canada
26 Posts

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I'm a playwright and fledgeling magician. I'm working on a piece for a 10-minute play festival. The theme of the festival is "Grow Up". I want to write a piece about an awkward teenage magician that is a combination of a stage play and a magic act. For the festival, I would need to submit a script. Is there anyone here with experience writing magic acts into theatre scripts? I intend to write the piece to perform myself. I'm so new to magic that I won't be doing anything very complicated, but I don't want to go into too much detail about the actual tricks in the script. I shouldn't, should I? At the same time, if half my script is just "Actor performs (trick name)" that's not very interesting to read and it might not get chosen to be part of the festival.
Ray Pierce
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Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
2246 Posts

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This is both very daunting and adventurous at the same time! Joining theater and magic is much like combining magic and comedy. If you're excellent at both it could be amazing. Many times you get people that aren't great comedians and not great magicians so they try combining they two. Instead of success, you see people failing at two things rather than just one.

There are so many potential pit falls with this. I would research "Our Magic" for basic rules of combining theater and magic. Typically I would think it would be better to get a strong working script that fulfills the basic needs of the theater then fit in the best effects to illustrate each moment of the character arc rather than trying to script an act into a piece of theater. Let the story dictate the effects rather than the other way around and it will be more organic to the piece.

At the same time you must be realistic regarding your abilities to deliver the magic to the story line.

Good luck and keep us informed during the process!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
JayLugh
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New user
Canada
26 Posts

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Thanks for your response! Are you referring to the documentary "Our Magic"? I do own that and will re-watch it.

I did do some initial writing just to see how it would work and found some sort of balance that describes what it should look like without giving away how it's done.

The biggest issue right now is knowing what sort of conflict I want to involve the piece with. I know I want to write about a teenage magician and involve magic in the storyline, but what is this piece actually saying? That is something I need to do some thinking on.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21976 Posts

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I am confused, you say you are a playwright, but you need someone to write your script. Isn't that what a playwright job is, to write the play.

I think a magical play is could be very good, but you need a story line 1st. Not that you want to combine magic within a play. If you Google play writers, you will find their are lots of freelance writers on line, some you can even negotiate the price of their services. Also you can find forms on how to write a script if you want to DIY.

On the possible exposure issue, you don't put the name of the trick in the script. You write, actor Fred: walks to stage right, near Kathy, and says, "Here Kathy, dry your tears with this handkerchief". Let me cheer you up, (Fred: stuffs the handkerchief in his fist.) Tells Kathy blow on his hand. (Fred opens his hand and the handkerchief is gone.)

So you see, you only need to put in the script what the "effect" is not the trick's name or the prop used.

You have the same problem I have, I have a great magic play, but I ask on the Café, for referrals, and got none. So there are no writers or theater people on the Café.

You might visit a high school that has acting classes and talk to the director/teacher, many times they can do this kind of thing. Same with nearby colleges.

The Internet can answer all your questions, you just have to search.

Good Luck, I hope you did not start this to late to get it accomplished.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
JayLugh
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New user
Canada
26 Posts

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Hi Bill, I don't think I was clear - I'm not looking for someone to write it, that's my job. Smile I was just wondering how to go about describing the tricks in the script. Your method (describing, but not revealing) is what I've ended up going with.
Bairefoot
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Special user
992 Posts

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Jay you need to talk to John Tudor. Tell him Bairefoot sent you.

Bairefoot
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