Character And Community

Rebecca Manson-Jones, of JustJones, has suggested an aspect of character that we often overlook – their relationship to their community. How useful this is will, of course, depend on how important the outside world is in your play.

She sees us as being one of the following (the explanations are mine):

  • Natives – Born or raised in the community in which they live. Some feel they should have a special voice in how the community develops.
  • Locals – Long-time residents who feel part of the community.  Their childhood memories are elsewhere, so they do not have the same emotional stake as natives.
  • Settlers – Resident, but have little attachment to the community. Some will develop into locals over time.
  • Refugees – resident because they do not want to be somewhere else. Their flight may be forced (political persecution) or voluntary (flee the city rat-race).
  • Prodigals – Natives who have moved away. They have a stake in the community as it was but little in its future.
  • Nomads – Here today and gone tomorrow. Military towns and big cities have a high proportion of nomads.
  • Visitors – Non-residents. However they may have considerable clout, particularly where there are a lot of second homes.
  • Commuters (not mentioned by Rebecca) – Work in the community, but resident elsewhere. They have an interest in the economy of the community but little in its general well-being.