DTA | The Top Ten Playwriting Exercises
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The Top Ten Playwriting Exercises

Created by Lindsay Price

The Top Ten Playwriting Exercises Course not only gives you ten great exercises to ease your students into the playwriting waters, it's also going to give you the confidence to teach playwriting to your students.

Each exercise comes with instruction, why the exercise is important, how to assess the exercise and something specific for you to try.

Many of the modules include assignments and rubrics so you will be fully prepared to comprehend, apply and teach every these exercises.

11 Modules
3 hours, 1 minutes
6 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Module 0: Introduction 11:17 FREE PREVIEW
Outline of the exercises and how they will be taught and used.
Module 1: Automatic Writing 15:00 FREE PREVIEW
Analysis of automatic writing, or free writing, used as a warm up to get students writing by focusing on writing and not specifically content.
Module 2: Observation 23:56
Observation is wonderful tool for finding play ideas because when you start looking at the world as a writer, when you become attentive and aware, everything becomes a play idea.
Module 3: Point of View 12:20
This is an exercise to help students grow a concrete method for finding play ideas instead of just waiting for something to come along. It also addresses the rather unhelpful but often quoted suggestion: “Write what you know.”
Module 4: Prompts 21:31
Prompts give students a tool to do something different with their writing and in this module, you’ll look at three types of prompts: the picture prompt, the headline prompt, and the dialogue prompt.
Module 5: Character and Conflict 29:10
What is Character and Conflict? And how do Character and Conflict connect? You’ll learn two exercises to assess and an exercise to complete for yourself.
Module 6: Monologue 15:34
What is a monologue? What makes a good monologue? And why is important to practice the monologue?
Module 7: Dialogue 18:05
Exploring and practicing dialogue by using the foundation scene.
Module 8: Analyzing the Monologue 8:40
In order for students to get a full grasp on how they should use the elements of a monologue for their own writing, they should be able to identify those elements in an existing work.
Module 9: Analyzing the Scene 9:44
What is the criteria for analyzing a scene and what do you do when something doesn’t fit the criteria?
Module 10: Questions 16:03
Why questions are your most useful rewrite tool and what kinds of questions to ask.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade 7

TH:Cn10.1.7.a - Incorporate multiple perspectives and diverse community ideas in a drama/theatre work.

Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade 8

TH:Cn10.1.8.a - Examine a community issue through multiple perspectives in a drama/theatre work.

Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cn10.1.HSI.a - Investigate how cultural perspectives, community ideas and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.

Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cn10.1.HSII.a - Choose and interpret a drama/theatre work to reflect or question personal beliefs.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.a - Articulate and examine choices to refine a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 8

TH:Cr3.1.8.a - Use repetition and analysis in order to revise devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

7.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

7.TH:Cn10 - Incorporate multiple perspectives and diverse community ideas in a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

8.TH:Cn10 - Examine a community issue through multiple perspectives in a drama/theatre work.

Prof.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Prof.TH:Cn10 - Investigate how cultural contexts, community ideas, and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.

Acc.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Acc.TH:Cn10 - Choose and interpret a drama/theatre work to reflect or question personal beliefs.

Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts

Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards

Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)

Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.

Alberta, Canada

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting

Receive, offer, and apply constructive feedback

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Communicating and documenting

Compose, interpret, and expand ideas using symbolism, imagery, and elements

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Connecting and expanding

Demonstrate respect for themselves, others, and the audience

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Apply feedback to develop and refine ideas

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Communicate and document

Compose, interpret, and expand ideas using symbolism and imagery

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

Ontario, Canada

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