Jeffrey Hatcher knows the nuts and bolts of writing for the theater. Here, he shares his views on it all--from building tension and plotting a scene, right down to moving a character from one side of the stage to the other. From crafting an intriguing beginning to delivering a satisfying ending. In Hatcher's one-on-one discussions with acclaimed American playwrights Lee Blessing, Marsha Norman and Jose Rivera, you'll find a wealth of practical advice, tricks of the trade and insight that will help you in your own creative efforts.
Playwriting Seminars is "a treasure-trove of information, philosophy, and inspiration" (Theatre Journal), "an absolutely essential guide to all aspects of playwriting and a valuable whitewater raft trip down the rapids of Hollywood screenwriting" (Magellan), and "a terrific learning environment for writers" (WebCrawler Select). It was also a recommended resource for playwrights at New Dramatists (NYC). The Handbook's initial concepts came from the author's work with Lucasfilm and the BBC. It was originally developed for playwrights and screenwriters, but has since been used by writers of fiction and nonfiction books. This new edition covers all aspects of writing full-length plays with an expanded treatment of screenwriting for Hollywood and independent film as well as diagrams of key elements of dramatic structure. Playwriting techniques are explained with many examples from classic and contemporary plays performed today by America's regional theatres as well as on Broadway and Off-Broadway. The 392 page Handbook explains the interconnections between characters and plot and the importance of subtext to character development in the contemporary theatre (what characters don't tell us matters as much as what they say in dialogue). Key exercises are included for developing "voice" as a writer and for creating the essential dual plot structure that supports intriguing characters in today's theatre. Many professionals in theatre and film are quoted on key parts of the art and craft of playwriting and screenwriting to help explain effective techniques. Special sections of the Handbook focus on getting inspiration and avoiding writer's block, editing first drafts, professional script formats for theatre and film (including software), how to launch new scripts, putting together submission packages for theatres and competitions, how to write an effective script synopsis and writer's bio, working with directors, actors and agents, how to survive audience "talkbacks" following readings and workshop productions, methods to adjust your playwriting skills for screenwriting and television work, and options for making a living at the craft of dramatic writing.
Full of inspiration and practical advice, Playwriting: A Writers' & Artists' Companion is a comprehensive companion to writing for the stage. PART 1 includes reflections on the art and the craft of playwriting, guidance on writing for a full range of genres and spaces and a brief history of playwriting itself. PART 2 contains inspiring advice and reflections from leading playwrights:April De Angelis, Bryony Lavery, David Greig, Christina Reid, Dennis Kelly, Frank McGuinness, Lynn Nottage, Howard Brenton, Roy Williams, Tanika Gupta, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Polly Stenham, Tom Stoppard, Jack Thorne, Steve Waters, E.V. Crowe, David Henry Hwang, Lin Coghlan, Zinnie Harris and Anne Washburn. PART 3 offers practical exercises and advice on planning and conducting research, working out plots and characters, mastering authentic but accessible dialogue, navigating the industry and the rehearsal and production process.
An accessible, contemporary guide to the art of dramatic writing During the ten years that Stuart Spencer has taught playwriting, he has struggled to find an effective playwriting handbook for his courses. Although most of the currently popular handbooks have good ideas in them, they all suffer from the same problems: they're poorly organized; are composed mostly of quirky, idiosyncratic advice on how specific playwrights have gone about writing their own work; and are full of abstract theorizing on the nature of art. As a result, they fail to offer any concrete information on how to construct a well-written play or any useful guidelines and exercises. Moreover, few of these books are actually written by working playwrights. Out of frustration, Spencer wrote his own book. The result, The Playwright's Guidebook, is a clear, concise, and engaging handbook. Spencer addresses the important principles of structure, includes insightful writing exercises that build upon one another, explores the creative process, and troubleshoots recurrent problems that playwrights actually face.
The art and craft of playwriting as explored in candid conversations with some of the most important contemporary dramatists Edward Albee, Lanford Wilson, Lynn Nottage, A. R. Gurney, and a host of other major creative voices of the theater discuss the art of playwriting, from inspiration to production, in a volume that marks the tenth anniversary of the Yale Drama Series and the David Charles Horn Foundation Prize for emerging playwrights. Jeffrey Sweet, himself an award-winning dramatist, hosts a virtual roundtable of perspectives on how to tell stories onstage featuring extensive interviews with a gallery of gifted contemporary dramatists. In their own words, Arthur Kopit, Marsha Norman, Christopher Durang, David Hare, and many others offer insights into all aspects of the creative writing process as well as their personal views on the business, politics, and fraternity of professional theater. This essential work will give playwrights and playgoers alike a deeper and more profound appreciation of the art form they love.
Rosemarie Tichler and Barry Jay Kaplan take us behind the scenes in conversations with thirteen of today’s most distinguished playwrights, including Tony Kushner, John Guare, Wallace Shawn, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Henry Hwang, and Sarah Ruhl. To familiarize the reader with the world of each playwright, Tichler and Kaplan introduce us to the environments in which the work happens, conducting their interviews in the playwright’s home, a dark theater, or a coffee shop. Topics of conversation range from the playwrights’ earliest memories of the theater to finding their unique voices, and from their working relationships with directors, actors, and designers to their involvement in the purely commercial aspects of their profession. Taken together, these conversations constitute a collectively taught master class in the art and craft of writing for the stage.
This guide for screenwriters and those interested in the screenwriting process has important information on every facet of the screenwriter’s trade. Introductory chapters discuss skills essential for all screenwriters. The second part covers various options available to screenwriters (such as different genres, indie films, adaptation) with important methods for each. Part Three is a collection of revealing interviews by the author with several established and seasoned professionals. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
It's a time of passion and confusion. Virtue is barely holding down its petticoats. People are bursting their corsets with unbridled desire. It's 1885, and the typewriter and the suffrage movement are sending things topsy-turvy. In the midst of it all, five ambitious New Women and one Newish Man struggle to find their way. Miss Mary Barfoot runs a school for secretaries with her young lover, Miss Rhoda Nunn. But when the Misses Madden - spinsters Virginia and Alice and beautiful young Monica - arrive, along with the attractive Dr. Everard Barfoot, things can never be the same. Age of Arousal is a lavish, sexy, frenetic ensemble piece about the forbidden and gloriously liberated self - genre-busting, rule-bending, and ambitiously original. The book includes notes and a rousing, thoughtful essay on Victorian women's suffrage by the playwright. 'Endlessly witty, vigorous, funny... brilliantly inventive.' - Calgary Herald 'Griffiths is one of Canada's 'originals' known not only for the quality of her work, but for the sheer range of her career.' - Maclean's
Language Arts & Disciplines by William Missouri Downs
Naked Playwriting is a complete playwriting course?from developing a theme through plotting and structuring a play, developing characters, creating dialog, formatting the script, and applying methods that aid the actual writing and rewriting processes. Naked Playwriting also offers sound guidance on marketing and submitting play scripts for both contests and production, protecting one's copyright, and working with directors and theater companies. Well-written, comprehensive, and filled with illustrative examples, Naked Playwriting includes both innovative and tried-and-true writing techniques, sage advice from veteran writers, a short study of the major schools of dramatic thought, and writing anecdotes. This one-of-a-kind playwriting book, which covers both the basics of playwriting and the practical advice on getting a play published and produced, will help both novices and working writers discover and improve their playwriting skills and see their plays performed on a stage.