Talks on Writing Drama
Profile photo of Deborah Asiimwe
Profile photo of Nikolas Hoppe

For Talks on Writing Drama Deborah Asiimwe and Nikolas Hoppe have met in person. A camera team accompanied them on a walk through the city of Bremen. They visited the local theatre, ate sushi, and most importantly discussed the writing of dramatic texts.

2 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Crystal Rutangye
    Crystal Rutangye 31. January 2015 Reply

    This was really awesome. I couldn’t help blabbering out loud my own opinions. It was like I was right there with you. I identified with quite everything you discussed; the colour all over in Uganda in contrast to the ‘dullness’ of the European cities, the amazing things the human brain can do (and remember), compressing language into words that won’t be wasted, the growing class structure in Kampala and the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, and most importantly, the difference between African fanta and German fanta!! I never used to drink fanta till UK; it tastes so different in Scotland! The way you two read out the script lines was amazing. Nikolas, I have been taught that at the beginnings of the publishing industry as we know it now, centuries ago, it was believed that everything that was written was inspired by God. That people could not write things that did not come from the heart of God. Seeing that the Bible was the first printed book (in Europe), lots of care was taken into selecting other ‘scripts’ for printing. Of course, a lot has changed now, and it was just interesting to hear how you have directed your faith to fiction. Indeed it takes faith to believe in yourself as a writer and make your characters believable.

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Lantern Meet’s What Shall We Name This Child: Behind The Scenes
Profile photo of Nyana Kakoma
Profile photo of Jens Laloire

Dear Jens,

This must be a very interesting but intense week for because of the literature week. How was the reading on Saturday? How was it for you as a moderator? I hope it is a huge success. Can not wait to hear all about it.

Thank you so much for “taking me around” to the literature house, the Literaturkontor and the city library. It is now very apparent that Bremen has a huge respect for literature what with all these platforms for writers! It is really nice to see where you get to do what you truly love.

Have I told you about the Lantern Meet of Poets in Kampala? I think I mentioned them when I linked Peter Kagayi’s interview on Sooo Many Stories. Well, The Lantern Meet Of Poets has a recital starting tomorrow till Saturday.

I have attended their poetry recitals since their very first recital and I have always been curious about the process of putting together a recital. They allowed me to join them for one their rehearsals. We met in the Green Room at The National Theatre in the evening and the session began with one of the members asking how our day was. Patrick Massa, the Director/Producer of the recital walked in at around that time and asked the members to gather around for some games. All phones were to be in silent mode so as not to interrupt anything.

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11 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Tom Schroepfer
    Tom Schroepfer 22. January 2015 Reply

    Did I get that right?:
    First, they write their poems, second, they train their general performance skills, third, they perform their poems in rehearsal conditions, fourth, they perform their poems in a recital(?).
    Do the poems change (substantially or in appearance) because of new insights/knowledge due to the rehearsals?
    Do new poems come to their minds/hands, because of acting with language and their body material? – and if so, do such poems differ from those, that were created on the desktop?

    • Profile photo of Nyana Kakoma
      Nyana Kakoma 24. January 2015 Reply

      Hi Tom, yes you got all that right.

      The poems do not change but the performance/delivery does as the feedback comes in. Please note that the people who recite the poems are not (in most cases) the people who wrote the poems.

      • Profile photo of Tom Schroepfer
        Tom Schroepfer 26. January 2015 Reply

        Ah, ok, I didn’t get that in the first moment.
        Nevertheless, I still wonder whether the experiences they made with the recital/ with performing (their) texts, are influencing the poems or (their) ways of creating poems – therefore I’m also very looking forward to your report.

  2. Profile photo of Jens Laloire
    Jens Laloire 23. January 2015 Reply

    Dear Nyana,

    Yes, I ‘ve had a few intense days with interesting readings and a lot of work. But, unfortunately I have been ill for the past couple of days, that´s the reason why I haven´t written anything (sorry about that). I will write more about the literature week and my experiences with moderation tomorrow, so that you get a little impression. Thank you so much for your post about “The Lantern Meet Of Poets“. I like how serious they prepare themselves for their recital. The games you described I know from improvisation theatre (I guess, Tom will know them, too), but I never used these ones for the preparation of a reading. I suppose many writers underestimate the importance of good preparation for a reading. I mean, you don’t have to be a good reader to be a good writer, but if you go out to present your own texts to an audience you should be prepared. That´s the reason why I love these sentences of your text:

    “Performing is about shared energy. The energy you give the audience is the same they will give back to you.“/ “Sometimes the audience is a mirror of your performance. Prepare well and package the performance well so they can feel the emotions you want to convey.“

    That is so true. I would like to attend a poetry recital of “The Lantern Meet Of Poets” and I´m curious to hear about your impressions. And like Tom, I wonder how big the difference between the rehearsal and the recital would be, how much it would change their performance or maybe even their poems.

    • Profile photo of Nyana Kakoma
      Nyana Kakoma 24. January 2015 Reply

      Oh Jens! I am sorry you have been unwell. I hope you feel better pretty soon.

      I am very curious to see how different the recital is from what the rehearsal looked like. I’ll attend the show this evening and let you know how it goes!

      Feel better!

    • Profile photo of Tom Schroepfer
      Tom Schroepfer 26. January 2015 Reply

      I agree with you and the quoted passages, but want to add and share an experience I had at the weekend:
      One of my best friends was celebrating a decadal birthday (friends, family, colleagues, etc., everyone there) and I wanted do a little performance/slam poetry at the champagne reception. I did some preparations similar to them you, Nyana, described, but actually I didn’t have to create an atmosphere, because of this very special situation, where everyone already is enriched with energy – I was thinking about the passages Jens quoted and suddenly felt like I was mirroring the audience and not the other way round. So they gave me emotions, that were appropriate for this moment.
      That is not to say, that it couldn’t work the other way round, no. I just wanted to say that I really loved this moment that accrued because of the discussion in this Blog and suddenly gave me a sense for the material of autopoietic-feedback-loops (my clumsy translation for a term I only know in german ‘autopoietische Feedback-Schleifen’ – anyone knowing a better translation?).

      • Profile photo of Jens Laloire
        Jens Laloire 26. January 2015 Reply

        That’s a good example. For sure you’re right, it´s more complex. I also remember performances, where I got a lot of energy from the audience (that’s great) – usually it’s a kind of interplay. But I also remember performances, where I started well prepared and full of enthusiasm, but the spark didn’t jump in the audience and there is nothing you can do about it (that´s horrible).

  3. Profile photo of Deborah Asiimwe
    Deborah Asiimwe 24. January 2015 Reply

    Hey Nyana,
    I can’t wait to hear how the Lantern Meet’s performances go. I had an awesome opportunity to work with them way back in 2010. They are super! Looking forward to hearing more.

  4. I hope it went well. Seeing this now and I remember how I had to learn acting drunk. Writing a poem is one thing and acting it is quite another moreso when you have to carry the emotion the writer intended. Or the mode of delivery that the audience will be able to easily receive it. That I have had the chance to do both, I’m grateful to the Lantern Meet of Poets.

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Give me coffee and I write…
Profile photo of Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja
Profile photo of Nikolas Hoppe

Nikolas,

Every day at 6 in the morning, my alarm goes off and before I head out of my bedroom, I do my “morning pages” This is a writing discipline that I learned from creative facilitator Ife Piankhi a few years back. I like morning pages because I basically have to write; write anything that comes to mind. However, it is surprising that my morning pages have given birth to some of the stories I later come to develop. There are two challenges however with my morning routine, first, because I am on the move most times, I sometimes find it impossible to write because I cannot locate my notebook or because I worked late in the night and I have to wake up really late. The other coincidence about my morning pages work is that it tends to take on a certain pattern and theme. For some reason, sunrise has a big impact on me and most of the emotions I can master in the morning are related to nature. It is quite unlikely that I will wake up one morning and pen a political piece.

As I have said before, I guess I am not so centre right disciplined as writer and my writing routine varies with environment, season or event. There are weeks and months when I have generated a lot of work and then there are those weeks and months when my brain is literally blank. I am literally always struggling with writers’ block. However, with my professional work of running and organizing writing classes and workshops in East Africa with Kahini and Writing Our World, I have been able to put myself in an environment which enables me to develop new content. I met various writers and often in these classes, I do a lot of in depth writing.

DSCN2460

Coffee, juice or water are the best companions to my writing table or desk. I have a special brand of coffee that I buy from Rwanda and since last year, my life has been rotating around it. The mere smell of the coffee in a room gives me a good feeling and I feel relaxed, able to think and have my creative energies hyped. With such an environment, I could write for an hour. That is realistically the biggest time I can spend writing, unsupervised. I sometimes listen to music when I am writing but most times, I prefer a quiet calm environment to think and concentrate. Writing in nature id by far the most ideal for me.

RWANDA COFFEE

So tell me Nikolas, how is your writing discipline?