Writing the script for the 2019 Birmingham Passion Play
Listen to Emily describe her experience of writing the script for The Birmingham Passion Play 2019.
It may seem like the most daunting part of starting your Passion Play, but the best place to start is your own reading of the four Gospels themselves. The best scripts come from your understanding and passion for what you are reading, and this will come through in your play. As you read through the Gospels and imagine what it would have been like to be there, or imagine what it would be like on a stage, and the first stage of the writing process will have already begun…
The good thing about writing a script for a Passion Play is that you don’t need to make up an interesting story or unique characters. The ‘best story every told’ is all in the Bible.
So the first place to start is in the Gospels. Read them, perhaps watch films, read other historical or fictional works on Jesus. Spend time exploring the characters and events before you start writing. You might like to work with others to ‘hot-seat’ characters or to workshop scenarios similar to those described in the Gospels.
You might like to read a few other Passion Play scripts, or you might want to have a totally fresh approach. When you are ready to start writing remember we have a list of Top Tips at the link above.
The BBC ‘Writer’s Room’ has some good advice for script-writers offering ‘a guide or structure to help them take it from idea right through to a first draft‘.
Radius is the Religious Drama Society of Great Britain. They have lots more advice about writing plays on their website. James Lark is a tutor on Radius workshops, creator of Miracles at Short Notice at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011 ( ‘a sophisticated treat’ – Musical Talk), and adapter of The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo for its 2014 tour.