Like watching lightning strike, seeing your play unfold before an audience is like nothing else. That spark, that fire, that energy all starts with the playwright. It all starts with you and your play.
This six-week course, taught by Andy Pederson (In the Soundless Awe), is designed to instruct writers seeking to learn the craft of playwriting, whether you are a novelist or poet searching for a new form, or a budding playwright looking for a place to start, this course will be provide the foundations you need to write a play that connects with audiences.
Students will learn the fundamentals of playwriting through writing scenes for each class session, followed by a 10-minute play which will be workshopped and revised, providing students with a producible play that can be sent to theatres.
Week One: The Ground Floor – We will discuss the stage as a unique medium and how it can provide what television and movies cannot. We will cover dramatic conflict – the essence of all plays.
Week Two: Creating Characters- Conflict is sustained by compelling characters. We examine some brief models before working to develop our own.
Week Three: Dialogue, Action, Plot – Action through dialogue keeps the plot moving along. We will give our characters words to say that move the play along.
Week Four: Writing a Ten-Minute Play – The ten-minute play is one of theatre’s most beloved forms. We will learn how to structure our plays and what pitfalls to avoid.
Week Five: Revision and Workshopping – We will workshop our ten-minute plays and learn how to revise them based on notes and audience responses.
Week Six: Production Ready – We will workshop the revision of your ten-minute play and talk about next steps for production and writing the full-length play.
Each week will involve some amount of writing, either during a workshop time or between classes; some minor reading between classes, provided by the instructor, will be required.