What is the course about?
This online course continues to investigate the key elements of writing for the theatre, including character, structure and dialogue to an advanced level. It is a practical online workshop in which the focus is on submitting pieces of work for constructive criticism by other participants and the tutor. Ideally you'll be working on a draft of a short-length or full-length play. In addition to workshopping, professionally produced playscripts are also examined with an eye toward learning from established writers' techniques.
Students like: "the group dyanamic"; "learning dramaturgical skills to add to my writing craft"; "really excellent teaching"; "great mix of exercises, workshopping, and reading.".
What will we cover?
This online course examines every aspect of writing for the stage, from the initial spark to the completed first draft of a play, through critical analysis of student work. Topics that may arise from student work include premise and theme, character, motivation, dramatic structure and the construction of individual scenes. Student work will be read, discussed and critiqued in a supportive online atmosphere, and additional issues of craft will be investigated in detail when they arise in relation to a particular piece. In addition to workshopping, professionally produced playscripts are also examined with an eye toward learning from established writers' techniques.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Demonstrate a fuller awareness of the playwriting process
- Produce a new draft of your play
- Exhibit increased mastery of dramaturgical and writing skills in your own work
- Exercise a critical insight into the playwriting process and in analysing plays either in performance or in print.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a continuation of 'Developing your playwriting' and 'Advanced playwriting.' Returning students may have completed several previous terms of study. However, new students are very welcome to join if they have some previous writing experience and a keen interest in the theatre through reading plays and seeing productions. You should be able to access and comfortably use a computer that has an internet connection, working microphone and a webcam (optional).
Students need to have a good standard of written and spoken English and should be willing to join in group discussions and feedback sessions, and to share their work with the group.
If you have prior or current experience working in theatre but have never written a play or taken a playwriting course, we recommend that you enrol on Ways into playwriting before progressing to the intermediate or advanced level.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Lectures/seminars/discussions on components and aspects of dramatic writing
- Writing exercises and dramaturgical sessions
- Live in-session readings of students’ work followed by feedback and analysis
- Analysis of written dramatic work.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
This course will be delivered online, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Set texts might be advised but do not necessarily need to be purchased. You should be prepared to provide an electronic copy of the scenes you have written at home when it is your turn to have your work read out during the live session.
You will need access to a computer with an internet connection, working microphone, and webcam (optional). Please come prepared with a pen and paper. If you struggle to read printed text on a screen, you may also need access to a printer to make hard copies of any reading assignments, however these will be very short and limited in number.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The course is an ongoing workshop so you may enrol several times.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.