Students must write a five page, two character scene in traditional stage play format (sample linked here) called The Hit, in which two hit men (or women) sit in a room waiting for their "assignment." At some point during the scene, one of the characters discovers (or is told) that he (or she) is meant to kill the other. This project is rooted in an acclaimed 1957 one act play called The Dumb Waiter by the Nobel Prize winning English playwright, Harold Pinter. The Dumbwaiter has inspired many writers, including Irish playwright and Oscar winning filmmaker Martin McDonagh, who has admitted that his award-winning 2008 film In Bruges was indebted to Pinter.
Some things to consider:
Who are the characters? Two men? Two women? How well do they know one
another? Are they friends, lovers, or just co-workers? Are they young or
old? A rookie and a veteran? A father and a son? A man and his wife?
From the outset, do either or both know what the job is? If not, how are
they told about the job (i.e. how do they communicate with those
outside the room? Cell phone? Walkie talkie? Notes slipped under the
door?) What do they wear? Are they masked? If so, with what? Ski masks?
Halloween masks of superheroes? Dead presidents? Mexican wrestling
masks? How is the play lit? Flashlights? Naked bulb? No lights? What
does the room look like? Is it a normal room or a kill room? Beds?
Chairs? Lined with plastic? Newspaper? Or…? Is a gun seen during the
show? Does a gun go off during the show? Is another weapon used? What
are they talking about as they wait? Are they talking about the job? Are
they pointedly avoiding the job. Are they cagey? Outgoing? Do they talk
about their lives outside, do they complain about their partners or
their kids? Do they discuss or debate pop culture (a la Quentin
Tarantino's Pulp Fiction)? Comic books, movies, TV, music? Are there sounds that help us understand where they are? Music?
Note: Do not post creative response below. Responses are to be brought to class (to be performed) Mon. AUG 8.