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Playwriting

81 Playwriting Exercises: eBook

This resource provides 81 exercises that can be used to get students in the habit of writing on a regular basis. Use these exercises:
• As a daily warm-up during a playwriting unit
• To keep students writing if they’re stuck in the middle of a specific writing project
• To allow students to practice the craft of writing monologues and scenes
• For an emergency lesson plan when you can’t be there
• If your classroom environment changes (e.g., distance learning)
Playwriting is possible for every student when you start with small, achievable exercises. Get writing!

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A Pause for Pauses

Pauses serve a great purpose in theatre. What's not being said in that pause? Here's an acting exercise to use in rehearsal.

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Automatic Writing Prompts

Use these prompts as bell-work or as warm ups before a writing exercise. The focus of automatic writing is to get words on the page: good, bad and ugly.

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Distance Learning: Issue Personification

Students will be able to demonstrate how to visualize an issue through character.

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First Lines

Use these first lines prompts (list of 35) for monologue and scene work.

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Headline Characters Exercise

Use this exercise to practice creating characters and then writing the first few lines of a monologue. Students will use a headline as a jumping off point.

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Language Profile Sheet

This exercise helps students think about how their characters sound.

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Monologue Prompts

A page of prompts for student-written monologues.

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Picture Prompts

Picture prompts are a great way to initiate student writing. They don’t have to have an idea, they simply respond to the picture. Have students study the picture and answer the provided questions. Each picture includes a character or a story element question.

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Playing with Punctuation

A short guide for playwriting punctuation.

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Playwriting: Developing A Point of View

One of the best things a playwright can do is develop a point of view. This is a self reflection exercise and scene writing exercise all rolled into one.

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Posters: Devising for the Drama Classroom (set of 4)

A set of four posters for your drama classroom - each with a different message about devising.

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Self Reflection Sentence Starters

Sometimes all students need is a little push. Give students one of these self reflection sentence starters to get them going. You'll be amazed at what they write next.

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The 10 Line Scene

Practice the act of writing a two character, one location scene with these short exercises. Whatever the scenario, limit the length: 10 lines per character.

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The 24 Hour Student Playwriting Festival

What is a 24 hour playwriting festival? Student playwrights gather together and write for 12 hours. (eg: 8pm to 8am) Student directors and actors then cast, stage, rehearse and perform during the next 12 hours (8am to 8pm). Everything from concept to production takes place within 24 hours. Follow the step by step outline in the resource.

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