Play Editing

I’m currently editing the plays that my students have written, just to tidy up the grammar and, occasionally, to ramp up the suspense and/or tension in a few scenes. Among the very colorful language in a few of these plays, the most shocking to me was the following:

Mike: Damn, you dirty bitch… I’ll teach you to talk to me like that… (He grabs Trish by the neck and strangles her to death.)

No need to worry that it’s sexist: everyone in the story has a nasty streak, and almost everyone dies, I think. It’s looking that way, anyway. Some guy had a doctor help kill off his wife, and the dead wife’s bisexual lover is taking revenge by killing off everyone involved. Except that her henchman turns on her in the end. There’s only one sympathetic character in the bunch, and even she’s a bit annoying — though not evil. She just has the bad luck to have let Mike take dirty pictures of her before she married her doctor husband. But even she’s a little nasty, taunting him (when he attempts blackmail) by calling him a “sexual cripple”. These students sure did have fun writing this play. As for the editing, I’m Victorianizing it a bit. More innuendo, less direct crudeness.

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