Playwriting I - Syllabus

Introduction to Playwriting: Theatre today. Types of plays. Getting ideas. Finding your own way. A play is a blueprint for a production.

Character: The cast—protagonist, antagonist, the others. Creating characters. Finding dimension. Showing actions. Objectives.

Structure/Plot: Finding the spine of the story. The drive of characters. Mapping out the events. Beginning/middle/end. Turning points and climax.

Theatricality: Approaches to theatricality—naturalism, realism, poetic realism, pure theatre, surreal theatre. Dealing with acting, directing, and design elements.

Dialogue: Dialogue's illusion of reality. Compression. Characterization through dialogue. Subtext. Exposition. Heightened language.

Scene: Scene defined. Amount and length of scenes. French scenes. Beats. Scene structure. Scene subtext. Stage directions.

Setting/Pacing: Establishing time and place. How much time and space to cover. Shifting place. Shifting time. Slowing down and speeding up.

Theme: Thoughts on theme. Do you pick your theme or does it pick you? Using theme to stay on track.

Revision: Stages of revision. Readings. Adjusting in performance. What to watch for.

Production: Preparing your work. Selling your plays. Representation. Finding a home. Putting on your plays.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.