Why You Need to Attend
Story Structure for Festival Shows

Posted on 17 September 2012

By 10 October all those who will be performing at Adelaide Fringe 2013 will need to sign up their shows. By November all those who plan on performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013 will need to sign up.

Part of signing up will be presenting these festivals with a title and a pitch for your show. You will soon need to know enough about your show in order to organise marketing and marketing imagery as well.

So, what’s the story?

You must construct at least an outline for your show. Using story structures to build that outline will get you going with the festival organisers. You will also enjoy a number of extra benefits.

Story structure is useful for remembering an hour worth of material, since it easily lends itself to at least two mnemonic devices: the loci method and chaining.

With a clear structure to your material it becomes much easier to decide what goes into your show and what needs to come out. I’m currently co-writing and directing a show for Melbourne Fringe. The comedian had 90 minutes of material for a 45 minute show. Using story structure we had a quick and not (too) painful means to remove jokes and anecdotes that would do better in another show. Adding material is easier too, since you can readily spot the holes where a particular type of joke is needed.

Certainly not all comedian’s shows will involve a traditional beginning, middle, and end as one expects of a story, especially those that rely on one-liners such as Steven Wright, Elliot Goblet, and Jeff Green. Nevertheless, stories are all about timing and creating an emotional response AND THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT!

I am giving a workshop about Story Structure for Festival Shows Sunday 23 September. It will be an intimate group, so you will get plenty of personal assistance. This is a good place to meet people and form a comedy writers group, which I plan on doing. If this workshop is successful, we can use it to better our relationship with the Boyd Community Hub and hold performances there in the evenings later on. Loads of possibilities. We just need you to turn up!

Story Structure for Festival Shows
Boyd Community Hub, The Assembly Room
207-227 City Road, Southbank
55 Tram, Stop 113
$60 / $55 concession per workshop
Tickets: trybooking.com/BULV
Web: glasswings.com/pcsw/

Peace and Kindness,


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