January 8th, 2011

the closet scenario

A closet scenario or closet screenplay “is a screenplay intended not to be produced/performed but instead to be read by a solitary reader or, sometimes, out loud in a small group”. Wiki.

From Friedrich Schiller’s Preface to his Die Räuber (a closet drama):

This play is to be regarded merely as a spectacular narrative in which, for the purpose of tracing out the innermost workings of the soul, advantage has been taken of dramatic modes, without otherwise conforming to the stringent rules of theatrical composition or seeking the dubious advantage of stage production. … A greater amount of incident is crowded together in this play than was possible to confine within the narrow limits prescribed by Aristotle and Batteux … And for this reason, I would have been ill-advised to attempt bringing my drama to the stage.

Kevin Alexander Boon in Script Culture and the American Screenplay:

Whether or not a screenplay is ultimately produced (read: performed) is a matter of consequence, not necessity.

These quotes head an article by one Quimby Melton, discussing closet dramas and closet screenplays, called Production’s “Dubious Advantage”.


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