Writing 06 - Write a Skit
Make-up, costume and effects are not so important in a skit as they are in this stage-play, so dialogue is more essential.

Writing 06 - Write a Skit

Books are forms of expression and they can be either factual, like biographies or autobiographies, or fictional, like novels or short stories. But books are not alone; theatre, drama, movies, music concerts and standup comedy are all forms of expression for people's ideas.

Each form of expression has its own effectiveness in communicating the author's thoughts. There are instances where a particular form of expression is more effective because of the inherent qualities it has. For instance, in a book an author can describe a beautiful place in Kashmir with the choicest of adjectives but in a movie the same place can be captured on film and screened in all its glory, allowing the viewer to enjoy its beauty with his own eye. Similarly, an author can describe an intimate scene between two lovers or a cat fight between two persons in graphic detail but the same scenes, when acted out with appropriate characters and dialogue, can capture the imagination of the viewer and leave a more lasting impression than the description given in a book.

Theatre, drama, skits, movies and ballets are forms of expression that enhance the experience for the viewer and drive home the message more forcefully. A skit is a form of drama or play that has the potential to impact the viewer in a forceful way and communicate one or at the most two messages. Skits are useful in informal situations and for classroom purposes. Skits do not involve elaborate sets and can be put together fairly quickly. All the rudiments of theatre are found in skits and they turn out to be excellent learning experiences especially for characterisation, dialogues, settings and idea generation. It is useful to understand the nuances of skits and to learn how to write one. Take the quiz that follows and hone your skit writing skills.
1.
What is not part of a skit?
A story line.
Roles of characters.
Large and elaborate sets.
Relationships between characters.
A skit has all the characteristics of a regular drama or play such as a story line, characters and relationships between characters. By its very nature of being a short duration play or drama the skit does not lend itself to elaborate sets
2.
Which of the following statements is true?
A skit is a short drama or play that is performed in a casual setting.
A skit is a long drama or play that is performed in a casual setting.
A skit is a short drama or play that is performed only in a formal setting.
A skit is a short poetry reading session.
A skit is a short drama or play that is performed in a casual setting, such as a classroom, a kitty party or a club meeting. A long drama or play is not a skit. Regular longer duration dramas or plays are performed in formal settings with proper costumes, lighting, music, props and a stage
3.
The written text for a skit or play is called what?
A poem.
A prose.
A dialogue.
A script.
A script, just as in a regular drama or play, is the written text that details all the aspects of the skit including dialogues and directions for the actors and director. A script for a drama is different from a script for a skit as it has to be enacted on a stage with many characters and settings
4.
Which of the following statements is true?
Comedy and drama are parts of theatre that are also a part of skit.
Skits have relatively less characters than main stream drama.
Skits need ideas just as any drama or play.
All of the above.
Skits, like their parents drama or play, require an idea and characters that can be set as a comedy or drama. The skit is a relatively short duration play with lesser characters
5.
Which statement is not true of skits?
Skits can make characters come alive.
Characters in skits can be made to be as human as possible.
Skits should have lots of characters.
Characters in skits can be named such that they evoke empathy in audiences.
Since the skit is a short duration play or drama there is no time for introducing many characters and hence the number of characters in a skit are necessarily to be a few only
6.
A good script has what?
Characters that are brought to life by good dialogues.
A plot which exploits a crisis or an issue.
A setting which is adaptable to the skit format.
All of the above.
Characters and dialogues are vital to the effectiveness of a skit. You cannot have a setting which calls for high technology, say a space ship, which is not conducive for skit format
7.
Which of the four is suitable for being staged?
Radio.
TV.
Film.
Skit.
A skit is of short duration and it becomes effective only if it can be staged. The other media involve elaborate preparations before airing the production as they are not live productions and need not be staged
8.
Skits need ideas. Which option has possible sources for ideas?
Real life experiences.
Novels, books and short stories.
Actual events or historical facts.
All of the above.
Sources of ideas are numerous and, besides the ones in the three options, out of town trips, daily occurrences in people's lives, a kind act by a person to another person or animal, social issues and causes that affect people could also be sources for ideas
9.
In a script characters can be brought to life effectively by what?
Stage effects.
Sound effects.
Lighting.
Dialogue.
Skits are of short duration and do not lend themselves to elaborate stage, sound or lighting effects. They must rely on dialogues to bring their characters to life
10.
A good skit should have what?
A good beginning.
A strong middle.
A gripping ending.
All of the above.
Apart from being short as compared to a regular drama or play, the skit has to have a beginning, middle and ending just as in regular plays or dramas. However, in a skit the beginning, middle and ending should be more tightly planned given the limited time available
Author:  V T Narendra

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