Playwriting IIGUIDE TO SCRIPTWRITING COURSES
Playwriting II is a 10-week workshop, which includes lectures, exercises, and the critiquing of student projects. The prerequisite is Playwriting I (10-week), or the equivalent; Level II courses work best when students know the fundamentals and have experience with the workshop process. 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.
The instructor was invaluable in explaining and illustrating how to structure a dramatic piece.
This course helps you sharpen your skills at playwriting craft and work toward completion of one or two short plays or a full-length play. Writers often repeat Playwriting II to continue their projects. Course components:
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.
Conflict: Protagonist and antagonist. Rising conflict. Demonstrating vs. dramatizing. Making it a fair fight.
Character Arc: Premise and character. Transitions. Seeds of change.
Objectives: Making objectives specific and potent. Linking objectives to image. Objectives from an actor's point of view.
Scene Structure and Beats: Progression of beats. Progression of scenes. Progression of play.
Dialogue as Action: Uses of dialogue—objective, distortion, presentation. Subtext. Tone. Argument and exposition.
Subtext and Context: Surface motivations. Subconscious motivations.
Setting and Sets: How time and place affect the action and tone. Setting and style. How many setting and sets? Type of theatricality.
Theme and Image: Understanding theme. Dramatizing theme. Translating theme into image.
The Climactic Event: The moment of decision. The final showdown. Problems to look for. Group structure. Using the climactic event to keep you on track.
Collaboration: Readings. Full productions. Choosing a director. Casting. Speaking up. Too many cooks. Embrace your oddities and imperfections.
Note: Content may vary among individual classes.