In Tiny Kushner, a collection of five short plays by Tony Kushner, Jim Lichtscheidl takes a memorable turn through East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis: a little teleplay in tiny monologues. Jim plays nearly two dozen characters in a fast-paced story about a real-life tax-evasion scheme born in the Midwest that spread through New York City public employees like a bad disease.
To keep track of all his varied characters — male, female, young, old, Caucasian, African-American, Asian-American, Sikh-American, Italian American, you get the picture — Jim lifted a trick from the world of movies. He created storyboards, quick sketches of each of his characters and the kind of setting in which their scene takes place.
Jim allowed us to peek into his storyboard notebook and share some of his sketches with you. Here's the first page, which features a corrections officer on Rikers Island and a skinhead inmate (for a larger image, click on the photo):
"This is the first time I've storyboarded a project," Jim explains. "I felt I needed a touchstone to help with memorization and to get a grasp on what these characters look like in the environment Kushner has created."
Here's another couple pages. On the left page at the top is sort of the main character, a detective from the New York Housing Police. At the bottom of each page is the detective's teenage daughter. And at the top of the right page is the "supremely scary girl who knows practically everything."
Jim says that in the ninth grade, he had dreams of becoming an illustrator. Somehow, though, acting intervened, and the stage won out over the pen. Still, with the storyboards, as Jim puts it, "I guess I'm just trying to roll all the things I love doing into one neat package."
On these pages you'll find: (left, top) Karen (the detective's daughter's best friend); (left, bottom) Leonard "Hap" Dutchman, the Indiana mastermind of the tax-evasion scheme; (right, top) the housing detective's uncle; and (right, bottom) a woman in the City of New York payroll office.
And finally, one last sketch. Kushner gives the final word in the play to President Bill Clinton.
Interesting script and good storyboard work.
Interesting script.Nice work,i liked the sketches in the article.
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