Playwriting: How to write a short play

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Learn how to write a short play with our Creative Writing courses in Sydney.

Ever wanted to write a play but don’t know where to start? Short plays are becoming increasingly popular, with numerous events around Sydney focusing on the form. Learn how to develop characters and story, write believable dialogue and create dramatic tension or good comedy. This course will give you everything you need to get started writing a play.

Course outcomes

By the end of this course it is intended that students will be able to:

  • correctly format a play
  • demonstrate an understanding of the principles of story, character, dialogue and theatricality
  • edit a new or existing script for economy of language and to improve the flow
  • prepare a 10-minute play that is performance ready.

Course Content

  • Week 1: A brief overview of theatre and the world of short plays. Bringing the everyday to life. Entry points for writing your play. What to write about. What not to write. Scene starters.
  • Week 2: Read through of a top script. Tips on writing short plays: Formatting and layout; Story; Character; Dialogue; Theatricality; Comedy/Drama.
  • Week 3: Understanding structure. Story vs situation. Structural mapping. Designing a play.
  • Week 4: Creating characters and the character card. Developing characters – what would they do in a hypothetical situation. Editing for short plays. SPAG (spelling, punctuation & grammar).
  • Week 5: Hive mind writing: group feedback. Exploring genres. How to handle exposition. Writing style and style elements.
  • Week 6: Showcase the plays: performances of students' plays.

Please bring to class

  • A notebook and pen or laptop/tablet for writing

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

Course testimonials:

  • said: The course covered the key aspects of playwriting. The atmosphere in class was supportive and informal, and designed to instil confidence. During the course we were able to write our own 10 minute play, to receive feedback and to see it performed. It was very satisfying to reach that point after only six weeks, even though some of us have much more to learn. The teacher was very personable and knowledgeable and the class exercises designed to develop a full range of theatrical writing skills. In all it was a very satisfying experience!

  • said: Well - presented course, friendly small group

  • said: Knowledgeable tutor, sharing with course participants, lots of support

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