Fiction Workshop: Playwriting

Instructor: Y York



Artistic philosophy: It is my belief that what is unknown to the author is best revealed by writing. That which is consciously unavailable becomes tangible and useful by exploration through writing. The writer sifts through the ore of knowledge, discarding the dust while seeking the gold. It is my intension to provide a process whereby the writer can critique the work, while honoring the point-of-view and unique life experience of each individual writer.


Playwriting workshop: While terminology may be familiar to some of the writers, the active investigation and process of discovery will be new. Early classes include review (or introduction) of terminology: character, orchestration, action (subtext, intension), dramatic action, causality. Exploratory exercises designed to keep the writing process moving forward. Analysis of example scenes for their dramatic content (what the author needed to know in order to write it). All exercises are modeled and explained. Writers are expected to create characters and a situation that they will develop into a play. Students will read several plays that reveal different structural possibilities. There will be no direct address in student work. (Characters talk to one another, not to the audience.)




Playwriting: Othello, Shakespeare; TopDog/Underdog, Suzan-Lori Parks, Dramatists Play Service

PDFs provided: Hedda Gabler, by Ibsen; Woof, …And LA is Burning, Framed, Bleachers in the Sun (all by instructor)


Class structure and requests: You will never have to share writing that you generate in class. You will always be told of the possibility of sharing writing that you generate at home. All turned-in assignments are typed and hardcopy. All cellphones must be turned off and put away. All internet access must be turned off. You may use a laptop or tablet or pencil and paper for in-class writing. No recording allowed. When we begin to read scenes, bring in enough copies for students to share as you read.


Grading percentages

Attendance 20

Assignments turned in 30

First act of play 30

Participation 20