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Introduction and Guide to using ‘Taxi Tales’

Emily Prentice | Wednesday September 20, 2017


Car Tales to Taxi Tales to…

Back in the 1990s I read a play called ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ by Martin McDonagh, and decided that I would like to be a playwright. So when the opportunity arose to do a playwriting unit when I was an undergrad I grabbed the chance with my ink stained hands. Although I enjoyed it immensely, the one thing I really took away from it was: reading a play is fun, writing a play is hard.

The only thing I wrote that was half decent was when we did ‘Car Tales’. The whole class was given the task of writing a play set in a car, and we could only have two characters, and they had to stay in or around the car. We then performed these pieces, with the audience sat in the back seat, and they moved around from car to car to see the whole class’ work.

There is a lot of research into how placing restrictions upon a creative process can actually result in more creativity (Gruber, Lubart and many others), and these car tales were on my mind as I was thinking about how I could adapt it to suit the creative writing section of the Language GCSE.

My idea was that I could give the students a rough plan of a story, and that it would involve an every day event that they could relate to. I picked taxis because for the context I am in, many of the students I teach either take taxis, have parents who work as taxi drivers, and every student passes an impressive taxi rank on their way to school. In your own context, you’ll be able to adjust the story to suit whatever context you work in. A lift, bus, tram, waiting room…anything with a time constraint and confined space would work.

The Story

The rough story goes like this: taxi driver at the end of their shift, notices the time and thinks about what they’re going home to/their motivation for earning money; driver picks up a fare, and they are a little strange; taxi driver sets off…

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