Playwriting Techniques


The focus of this class is to investigate the mystery of releasing your creative process while, at the same time, discovering the fundamentals of dramatic structure that gives form to that process. To that end, in the first term students will write a series of both “spontaneous writing” exercises and “structural” exercises. Both types of exercises are taken from The Playwrights Guidebook, which we will use as a basic text. At the end of the first term, students will write a short but complete play based on one of their “spontaneous writing” exercises. In the second term, students go on to adapt a short story of their choice and write a play based on a historical character, event, or period. The focus in all instances is on the writer’s deepest connection to the material—where the drama lies. The work will be read aloud and discussed in class each week. Students will also read and discuss plays that mirror the challenges presented by their own exercises. This class meets once a week.