This course will take place online, for a reduced rate of Full £160 / Conc. £121
You will discover how to structure narrative, create characters, and craft dialogue, giving you the tools to shape the first draft of a play. This course includes a workshop with professional actors, to understand the writer’s collaborative role in creating work for performance.
Who is this course for?
This course is aimed at those new to playwriting, as well as those who are more experienced but need a structured environment within which to work.
Do I need any previous knowledge or experience?
All you need is an enthusiasm to learn. No prior experience of playwriting is required.
Will I need any equipment or materials?
This course will be held via Zoom. You need a computer/laptop or mobile phone to access the Zoom website, and a reliable internet connection. For further information on how to join a Zoom meeting, you can watch the joining video here.
Pencils/pens, paper, or laptop will be needed to take notes.
Will I be assessed?
There is no formal assessment for courses at Bishopsgate Institute. However, to monitor your learning and progress, tutors will assess your participation in classroom activities.
You will learn
You will be exploring the nature of theatre through sharing your work and offering constructive feedback to your fellow students, reading, and analysing play texts.
By the end of the course, you will:
- Understand the skills needed to create the first draft of your play
- Understand the specific characteristics of writing for the stage
- Understand the collaborative relationship between playwrights, actors/performers/directors/designers
- Demonstrate skills in editing and rewriting.
Meet the Tutor
An honours graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jennifer is a playwright and theatre-maker. Her plays are published by Oberon Books, Josef Weinberger Plays, Samuel French, the International Centre for Women Playwrights and BRAND literary magazine. Currently an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths College and Central School of Speech and Drama, Jennifer has been a lecturer at Kingston University, the University of Greenwich and London South Bank University and she has facilitated workshops for the National Theatre, Soho Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Royal Court, Central School of Speech and Drama and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Specifics to Writing for Theatre
The first session will focus on the specifics of writing for theatre/live performance. We will also explore how to get started and where to find inspiration. We will look at goals for the course and how to set an ambitious yet realistic writing schedule/work plan.
Character Development, Narrative Arc and Structure
Working from the playwrights’ ideas for their plays, we will start to develop the characters and possible narratives using various writing exercises. Narrative arc and different types of structures will be discussed, with scenes from plays being analysed. Playwrights will explore which structure might work best for their play.
Dialogue, Style and Subtext
For this session, dialogue and style will be the focus, and how to write authentically for your characters. We will also look at creating work for specific audiences and how a play needn’t always be in a conventional theatre space. Exploring the adage, "show, not tell", this session will also delve into writing for the stage, not the page.
Theatre as a Visual Medium
We will discuss theatre as a visual medium and how to build the world of the play. For each stage in your play's breakdown, provide a found or created image which encapsulates the action/mood of that stage.
The Art of Collaboration
Playwrights’ scenes will be workshopped with actors very experienced in working with new writing and works-in-progress. This is a great opportunity to understand how theatre is a collaborative art.
Consistency + Keep It Moving
For the final session, we will reflect on the workshop with actors and explore how to make sure that your characters’ mental, emotional, and physical states are true to each moment without being unpredictable or staid.
We will also be creating action plans to stay motivated to complete/further develop the plays created during the course. Exercises and information on how to redraft and edit will be provided, as well as a list of resources for playwriting opportunities and networks.
Need to Know
- 19:00 – 21:00
- Bishopsgate Institute
- Jennifer Farmer
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code