See also:
Playwriting Intensive
Up next:
Playwriting II
Playwriting I

Playwriting I is a 10-week workshop, which includes lectures, exercises, and the critiquing of student projects. It’s for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

The lights in the theater dim, and a play begins. Nothing beats the intensity of actors sharing the same air as the audience. The laughs and gasps and tears happen live, on the spot. And a play can be staged anywhere, from an empty space surrounded by folding chairs to a plush Broadway house.

A play will not soar in performance unless it’s great on the page. Here you’ll learn how to write for the stage and how to market your work.

Whether you seek to write one-acts or full-lengths or musicals, we’ll show you how to write plays that draw the big applause.

About Playwriting
Playwriting I

A great way to learn the craft of playwriting from those involved in the business and creative process of writing plays.

Joseph Williams

corporate Mmanagement

Upcoming Classes

Masks are not required, but we’ll provide masks for those who want them. We are no longer requesting proof of vaccination.

More Covid details
  • Starts Tuesday, October 8
    Online, anytime
    10-Week Workshop

Price

Registration fee $25, paid once per term

See Payment Options

To register for a 10-Week course, you need to pay in full to guarantee your place in class. Or you can pay a $95 deposit plus a $25 registration fee (total $120) to temporarily hold your place, but tuition must be paid in full 10 business days before your class starts or you risk losing your spot.

10-Week

Syllabus

This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of playwriting craft and gets you writing a short play (or two) or a full-length play. Course components:
     Lectures
     Writing exercises
     Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two times)

New York City/Zoom classes
The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. Many topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes 

Week 1
Introduction to Playwriting: Theatre today. Types of plays. Getting ideas. Finding your own way. A play is a blueprint for a production.

Week 2
Character: The cast—protagonist, antagonist, the others. Creating characters. Finding dimension. Showing actions. Objectives.

Week 3
Structure/Plot: Finding the spine of the story. The drive of characters. Mapping out the events. Beginning/middle/end. Turning points and climax.

Week 4
Theatricality: Approaches to theatricality—naturalism, realism, poetic realism, pure theatre, surreal theatre. Dealing with acting, directing, and design elements.

Week 5
Dialogue: Dialogue’s illusion of reality. Compression. Characterization through dialogue. Subtext. Exposition. Heightened language.

Week 6
Scene: Scene defined. Amount and length of scenes. French scenes. Beats. Scene structure. Scene subtext. Stage directions.

Week 7
Setting/Pacing: Establishing time and place. How much time and space to cover. Shifting place. Shifting time. Slowing down and speeding up.

Week 8
Theme: Thoughts on theme. Do you pick your theme or does it pick you? Using theme to stay on track.

Week 9
Revision: Stages of revision. Readings. Adjusting in performance. What to watch for.

Week 10
Production: Preparing your work. Selling your plays. Representation. Finding a home. Putting on your plays.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.