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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Synopses and Cover Letters > Synopsis Help Requested

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 Posted: Wed Oct 17th, 2007 08:26 pm
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solarcirclegirl
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Mana: 
    Hello all. If anyone out there has any suggestions on how to improve this synopsis, I would appreciate it. I just don't feel like it does the trick.

Thanks.

Synopsis of Hauntings
By Toni Wilson

Three generations of  strong yet emotionally raped and shattered women in the Mirfield family  cycle through mental abuse and illness in this four act play.

We start with the first matriarch of the family, Bette, and see how her mother’s life affects Bette and her sister, Florence, in the 1940s. Bette gives birth to Janice and Louise, and Louise gives birth to Margo and December. We see how the abuse given to Bette in the early 1940s has affected her great-granddaughters. Will the great-granddaughters, Margo and December be up to the task of breaking the cycle and healing? Or will the past be too much for them to cope with, effectively sealing their future?

Based on the author’s memories of her recently deceased mother, and on the stories of a painful life proudly lived, Hauntings explores how much of our mental abuse and illness is a poisoned legacy of generations passed, and what can be done to break the cycle.

The play spans from the early 1940s until the present. The characters are written as different ages, some even shifting ages and decades in the same scene. The actors chosen should be able to time travel with the characters. Casting of ‘younger’ and ‘older’ would diminish the play’s effect.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 18th, 2007 05:32 am
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Edd
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Mana: 
Toni,

I am absolutely rotten when it comes to synopses.  For me, writing a synopsis is almost as challenging as writing a play.  I'm sure you will be getting some great suggestions from our fellow members.

Abuse and the generational effects of it is a subject with which  I'm sadly all too familiar and have explored it in a couple early pieces.  It's a tough cycle to break, but being aware of the cycle is the first crack toward breaking it.

Anyway, what little I do know about writing synopses informs me that  it is in your best interest to drop the following two lines post haste:  "The actors chosen should be able to time travel with the characters. Casting of ‘younger’ and ‘older’ would diminish the play’s effect."  Whisper that into the ear of your director, but don't put it in writing--at least not in your synopsis.

This sounds like a brave and ambitious work.  Great luck with it.

And again, welcome to our forum.


Laughter, bravos and fabulous lighting,

~Edd

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 Posted: Thu Oct 18th, 2007 01:55 pm
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Proboscisbunny
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Mana: 
I have also struggled with a synopsis on this forum. Shorter is sweeter...

How about this?

Three generations of  women in the Mirfield family  cycle through mental abuse and illness in this four act play.

Based on the author’s memories of her recently deceased mother, and on the stories of a painful life proudly lived, Hauntings explores how much of our mental abuse and illness is a poisoned legacy of generations passed, and what can be done to break the cycle.


That's the stuff that turn me on...

Hope it helps!

Vanessa

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 Posted: Thu Oct 18th, 2007 07:54 pm
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Paddy
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Mana: 
Okay, playing with what you have.  I don't think it's ever a good idea to say it's based on truth.  Some may make a judgement before they even start reading.

 

Synopsis of Hauntings
By Toni Wilson

Three generations of strong, yet emotionally raped and shattered women in the Mirfield family, move through mental abuse and illness in four acts. 

Bette, the matriarch of the family, and her sister, Florence, are both profoundly affected by their mother’s life in the 1940s. Bette gives birth to Janice and Louise, and Louise gives birth to Margo and December.  The abuse Bette suffers early in her life is still evident in the lives of her great-granddaughters, Margo and December.  Will they succeed in breaking the cycle of abuse, and working toward emotional healing, or will the past be too much for them to cope with, effectively sealing their future?

Hantings explores the stories of the Milfield women and their painful lives - lived proudly.  Through the women, we discover how the poison of mental illness and abuse can create a tainted legacy for generations to come, and what things will empower the women enough to fracture the cycle.  

As the story moves from the early 1940s to the present, the characters ages fluctuate - a wonderful challange for an actor. 

Haunting - pain knows no era.


 

Last edited on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 07:56 pm by Paddy

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 Posted: Thu Oct 18th, 2007 11:51 pm
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solarcirclegirl
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Mana: 
Paddy wrote: Okay, playing with what you have.  I don't think it's ever a good idea to say it's based on truth.  Some may make a judgement before they even start reading.

 
Thank you for your re-write of my syopsis. I will definitely look at it and consider your thoughts. Yours sounds way better than mine.

Just out of curiousity--what kind of judgements would people make if I did say it was based on truth? I just want to have an idea of what i would be up against.

thanks!

Toni

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 Posted: Thu Oct 18th, 2007 11:55 pm
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solarcirclegirl
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Mana: 
Proboscisbunny wrote:
I have also struggled with a synopsis on this forum. Shorter is sweeter...

How about this?

Three generations of  women in the Mirfield family  cycle through mental abuse and illness in this four act play.

Based on the author’s memories of her recently deceased mother, and on the stories of a painful life proudly lived, Hauntings explores how much of our mental abuse and illness is a poisoned legacy of generations passed, and what can be done to break the cycle.


That's the stuff that turn me on...

Hope it helps!

Vanessa

Vanessa--

that's pretty great. Thank you for the re-write. i will definitely consider what you had to say.

also, i've been watching project runway re-runs and your mention of 'that's the stuff that turn me on' made me giggle because Vincent was always saying that about his work.

*giggle*

Toni

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 Posted: Thu Oct 18th, 2007 11:56 pm
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solarcirclegirl
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Mana: 
Edd--

errr duh. i should have known to not put that in the synopsis. I don't know what i was thinking.

*deleting*

Thank you. :)

Toni

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 Posted: Sun Oct 21st, 2007 02:37 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Toni,

I realize that this is shameless self-promotion, but hey, I'm a playwright--it's what I do best.  This link leads to a synopsis for a play I wrote twenty years ago.  I had lots and lots and lots of time to tweak and refine before it was set in stone, as it were.

http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/7041

~Edd

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