Instructor: R. Smith                    MWF                   12:20pm-1:15pm

In this course, students will explore the craft of playwriting, writing one ten-minute play and the first 10-15 pages of a full-length play, along with a complete outline. We will also read and discuss a number of published plays—most of which will be contemporary. The primary goal of this class is to approach playwriting as a singular form with its own particular set of possibilities and constraints. In other words, we will continually ask: how can we write plays that have to be plays, that take unique advantage of drama as a live medium, as something that actually happens, in real time and shared physical space, with an audience present? And how can we take advantage of the uniquely collaborative nature of drama? The workshop experience will be lively and will reflect the theatrical nature of the form we are working in. All plays will be read aloud, and we’ll actively work with the playwright to uncover characters’ motivations, explore solutions to dramatic problems, and find new ways to deepen, clarify, and dramatize the play’s central dramatic questions.

This course should appeal to aspiring playwrights, actors, and other theater artists who are seeking to hone their writing talents; to fiction writers looking to sharpen their skills for dialogue, action, gesture, and subtext; and to any writers who are excited about the possibilities of exploring a living, collaborative art form. No previous experience is necessary.