This course is part of the University of Cambridge’s Micro Master’s program in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries.
We will be looking in depth at how to find your own distinctive dramatic voice as you develop as a playwright. How do we choose themes that will resonate with our audience? What qualities makes a powerful character? How should we structure a scene so that it moves the dramatic action forward? How do we find our creative flow when writing under time pressure? How can you connect with new writing theatres and get your work read? All these questions and more will be answered.
We will be thinking comparatively about play-texts and production and well as considering how audiences receive and contribute to the creative process within theatre-making. This is a comprehensive introduction to theatre writing that will give beginners a strong understanding of essential concepts, as well as reinvigorate anyone who has been working in this area for a while, and who wants to find fresh perspective.
Learning to write dialogue for theatre, and how to communicate most effectively with our audience, gives us a good toolbox for expert communication in any professional sphere.
Skill transferability, flexible thinking, and expert language abilities are now essential in a diversifying global job market - come and learn essential new skills, and have fun doing it!
You will be set writing exercises over the course of the module, and you will asked to keep a brief creativity journal to note how your ideas progress and how your intuition leads you into productivity. By the end of this module, you will have completed several new scenes of a play - this can be the development of something you are working on already, or this might be completely new material derived from working on this module - and you will have created a lead character for a piece of stage writing.
What you'll learn
- Specialised knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for performance as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within performance; of contemporary critical, analytical, and narrative theories of performance;
- advanced awareness of the relevant market and distribution demands of entertainment industries;
- enhanced understanding of the applications of performance in educational, community, and social contexts;
- detailed understanding of key performance components within the discipline, to include: ideational sources, body, space, image, sound, text, movement, environment.
- dramaturgical and script-editing skills within playwriting
- developed advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty and unfamiliarity;
- an understanding of group dynamics and project management skills in order to collaborate within collective, creative, and professional contexts as well as generating performance texts and presentations;
- how to create effective structure within a scene; how to edit your scene and think like a dramaturg; how to create effective characters.