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 Posted: Mon Jan 8th, 2018 10:27 pm
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John Holland
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Mana: 
I just joined; always interesting to see what other writers are doing and thinking. I'm enjoying working on a new play right now, Caravaggio.Here's a synopsis:

The DOCENT runs a city art gallery, including a virtual gallery in which he's able to display all the great works of art. His obsession is with Caravaggio, and a life sized bronze of the great 17th century painter dominates this gallery. His declamations on Caravaggio - his life, his works, his "difficulties" - inspire Caravaggio to break out from the bonds of bronze and take issue with the DOCENT. Though the DOCENT is initially unaware of this exchange, it becomes the vehicle through which we are able to re-enact Caravaggio's life and return to the 17th century where, among many others, Galileo cautions him to take more seriously the deadly forces that are working against him, not least of which is his own belligerent personality fired up by passion, a hatred of authority and the lead in his paint. The cardinals and wealthy aristocracy - the Borgheses, the Medici - vie for his paintings, while the Pope and the Inquisition, goaded by jealous rivals in the art world and encouraged by Caravaggio's own self-destructive personality seek to eliminate his corrosive influence. His situation is not improved by the larger political realities: the Pope and the Jesuits are aligned with Spain while the "progressive" forces of France, which Caravaggio, with his instinctive hatred for censorship naturally embraces, are regarded by Rome as suspect and ultimately heretical. Caravaggio's depiction of Virgins as sensual, voluptuous, living women is a particular thorn in the side of authority, especially as he uses his own stable of courtesans, women the aristocracy recognize as their own casual favorite hookers, as models. Caravaggio, being his own worst enemy, inevitably kills a rival in a dual and has to flee Rome with a price (no questions asked) literally on his head. He produces his most famous paintings of beheadings during this period. Offered sanctuary on Malta, he's made a Knight of the Order, but, being Caravaggio, has an affair with the Grand Knight's favorite pageboy, is thrown in jail, an "escape" is engineered, he is followed to Porto Ercole by the Grand Knight's henchmen and assassinated. Meanwhile, back at the city gallery the DOCENT's imagination has allowed the statue's transformation to become reality and they are able to communicate, the DOCENT sympathizing with Caravaggio's weaknesses, his challenges, sharing with him some virtual examples of his influence on those who came after him as great artists and ultimately nursing him to forgiveness and an easeful death. Play to Script work in progress. johnholland

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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 03:06 am
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in media res
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Mana: 
Well, this would be something to see! What is the proposed cast size? Would you be planning on having actors play multiple roles? Would it be done in period costume?

You certainly are not writing a Kitchen Sink Drama!

Nice to see someone attempting something GRAND!!!!!!!

One bit of advice to you and all: If you are writing a long synopsis, it is advisable to arrange it into proper paragraphs. Right now it reads a bit helter-skelter. That is what paragraphs are for. Change of thought or topic: new paragraph.

It just makes more sense to the reader because it is easier on the eye...and the brain.

A long synopsis arranged as this, is this is like trying to eat a very delicious 15 course dinner stuffed into your mouth in one bite!

I had to read your posting several times. If you submit, they willl read it once.
I would advise considering this a very rough draft of your eventual synopsis. Use it as a guideline for what you want to write. Synopses do not have to be in one paragraph. (A "Brief Synopsis" is usually in one paragraph.)

This is a stunning image: "inspire Caravaggio to break out from the bonds of bronze and take issue with the DOCENT." I'd jump out of my seat if I saw that in an audience. Stunning image. And the DOCENT would almost crap in his pants!

I would suggest getting rid of the "dashes" in your punctuation. They slow down the reading. They make it halting to read, like walking with a cane on a cobblestone street.

BUT... this is not your final synopsis. As you are apparently not finished with the play, as you say you are working on the play. So, this may well be a very good personal guide for you while working on the play.

Best of luck with it. Sounds exciting!


Best,
IMR

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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 05:45 pm
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John Holland
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Mana: 
Thanks so much,I'm, for that thoughtful advice. I will break that up a little. My first reaction was that this was high praise indeed if you saw that exquisite prose as rushed or helter-skelter, then I thought, but 'exquisite' can't ignore form.
I'm in the remote highlands of Costa Rica right now, without much internet but will rework the synopsis and also post the PDF of the play on my return. Have sent the latter out to some connections in the world of drama, including some high profile types, perhaps collecting a list for posterity of all the rejection slips, much as Margaret Mitchell might have done, or Nabokov with, Lolita.😂😂😂
Be well. And thank you again. John.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 2nd, 2018 02:05 am
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JerramS
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Mana: 
I'm mostly here to hawk my own wares - but your play sounds TERRIFIC! (Dashes or no dashes.) . I wish you a ton of luck!

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