ABSTRACT

The dialogic play is by de nition polyvocal. Polyvocality suggests that a variety of language strategies, voices, and source materials may be used by the playwright to construct the play’s text. Variable language strategies might include changing the level of language or speech style through slang,  discourse, speech genres, or syntactical choices. Unlike a single “playwright’s voice,” a hallowed term in play development circles, the new playwright may orchestrate a polyphony of voices across an array of characters. For example, one character may speak with a dialect, while another utilizes foreign terms. Some voices are derived from transcriptions, others from arcane, popular, or historical sources. These myriad sources include lm and literary genres that “frame” our perception of the written play. At times, the source might be an arbitrary word or neologism inserted into the dialogue to provoke the playwright and the play in a different direction.