Items tagged "Playwriting"

6 Courses, 10 Units, 18 Lesson Plans, 22 Resources, and 2 PLCs tagged "Playwriting" for Drama Teachers.


The Top Ten Playwriting Exercises

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.

21st Century Skills Through Devising

by Allison Williams

Allison Williams leads the course: 21st Century Skills Through Devising. This course covers what devising is, why to do it, how to do it, and how your students can master the 21st Century Skills of collaborations and cooperation, critical thinking, creative thinking through devising. High school is a great place to try devising with your students. But it’s not something you want to throw at your students without any preparation. Framework is important and this course takes you through a number of exercises you can take into the classroom tomorrow to help build a place of physical safety, a place where students work at making a lot of choices instead of waiting for the perfect choice, and a place where students feel comfortable making creative choices. The material also reviews the process of putting together a show from the idea/research stage to editing, to giving feedback. Your students have what it takes to create their own material, collaborate with each other, and have a unique theatrical experience!

Play Adaptation Project

by Lindsay Price

Adaptation is a fabulous classroom project: it requires students to analyze, adapt, modify, plan synthesize, devise. All the higher order thinking skills. But you can’t just throw a narrator into a script and call it a day. You have to have a preparation process leading up to the writing process. In this course you will learn practical exercises and a path to prepare your students to take on their own adaptation project. We’ll look at the guidelines to adaptation, things to think about when choosing a text, how to analyze the source material and writing that first draft. So join me, Lindsay Price, in the Play Adaptation Project.

The Dilemma Project

by Claire Broome

Moral dilemmas are not only faced by characters in gripping plays, but are also faced by our students. The project outlined in this course will help students develop their critical thinking skills through the use of one of the dilemma questions to shape a student written production. If you had the choice to press a button and earn $25,000,000... but a species (not of your choosing) would become extinct, what would you do? More importantly, what would your character do? Join drama teacher and playwright Claire Broome through this course which includes role-playing, Stanislavski’s Magic If, character creation, playwriting and staging.

How to Give Feedback to Student Playwrights

by Nicholas Pappas

The two big questions we’re going to answer in this course are: What is feedback? And, What is useful feedback? Now, if you asked a hundred people to answer these two questions, you’ll likely get a hundred different answers, but at its core, all the answers will focus on giving notes that will improve the work, which, in this case, is our student’s plays. And, as a teacher, that’s what your hope is, right? To help your students improve as writers, one work at a time. We want our students to write, and to grow through their writing. If we want our students to get better, we need to get better. Understanding the definition of feedback, and understanding how to provide useful feedback is the key to all of us getting better. Join Nick Pappas in this course designed to give you the tools to help your student writers find their voice.

Playwriting Outside the Lines

by Steven Stack

Instructor Steven Stack leads this course in a unique way to teach playwriting. He will show you how to set foundations and guide posts for your students, and then give them freedom to play. The intent is to help students develop their own voice and create for creating sake. The 5 modules lead teachers through how to use this style of teaching playwriting, and includes handouts and resources to support the learning.



by Corinna Rezzelle

While the Drama Two Curriculum has a focus on acting, it’s always important to include a unit on the technical theatre skills that are necessary to any production. Students will also be able to use what they’ve learned in this unit in their upcoming devising project. Students will begin by exploring design for the stage by experimenting with line, shape, texture, size, and color. They will expand their understanding of stage properties and scenic flats. They will then apply their knowledge of these building blocks of design to create a high-concept design for a miniature “stage.”


by Karen Loftus

Students will explore the structural elements of a play: character, objective, obstacles, tactics, resolution, and raising the stakes. They will also learn how to write character-driven dialogue and stage directions. Students will work in groups to create and present a short play.

Monologue Writing Made Easy

by Matthew Banaszynski

Join Matt Banaszynski in this dynamic unit designed to introduce students to the process of starting, drafting, polishing, and performing a self-created, stand-alone monologue. This unit introduces students to writing their own stand-alone monologues. Students will learn the steps involved in going from a simple idea to a written piece to performing that piece. They will also provide feedback to others and give themselves a self-assessment. This unit has been prepared for a middle school drama class but could be adapted for high school. It was designed as a way to get non-theatre students more involved in theatre.

The Working Playwright *Hyperdoc

by Lindsay Price

In this unit, students will gain insight into the day to day responsibilities of a working artist. This unit aims to illuminate for students that creative expression is only one element in a sustainable arts career, and attempt to address the essential question: How does a playwright turn creative expression into a career? The culminating project for the unit is a playwright submissions packet for a theatre company. This unit is delivered in hyperdoc format. What does that mean? A hyperdoc is an interactive tool that encourages digital learning. In this case, students are given a document on a subject, and there they can read articles, watch videos, do some independent research, and apply what they’ve learned. Because they’re working on their own, students are in charge of their own pacing. Before you start the unit, ensure you read the Teacher Guide first. It will give you clear instructions on how to distribute the hyperdoc format and make it easy for you and your students.

Playwriting Unit: Beginner

by Lindsay Price

This unit provides an introduction to the process of playwriting in a practical step-by-step framework. Playwriting can be a practical task-driven process that any student can accomplish, given the right parameters. This playwriting unit will give students the tools they need to write their first short play and gain the confidence they need to write further. The culminating project for this unit is a three- to five-page play or extended scene.

Playwriting Unit: 10 to 15 Minute Play

by Lindsay Price

This playwriting unit offers lessons for students to complete a 10- to 15-minute play, instructed by professional playwright Lindsay Price. The unit includes class writing time as well as students writing on their own; in setting it up this way, the unit can be interspersed between other lessons. Students are challenged to apply themselves to write on their own - as all writers must do. Class time also focuses on giving and receiving feedback.

Playwriting Kickstart: Multi platform

by Lindsay Price

This unit focuses on the idea stage of playwriting. Before you start a playwriting project, take students through these lessons to provide students a step-by-step process for idea generation. When students are told they’re going to write a play, they often freeze. I can’t do it. I’m not creative; my ideas are stupid. The purpose of this unit is to give students a place to start and a way to move from finding a topic to creating an idea to writing theatrically on ideas. This unit is designed to reach as many classroom environments as possible and includes: standard in-class lessons, instruction videos, instruction handouts, and quizzes.

Self-Management Playwriting

by Lindsay Price

In this unit, students will decide on a topic they care about and write a short play within a designated time frame. They will mostly write on their own, using class to discuss and share how they are managing their time, monitoring their progress, and adapting their writing plan of action. The goal of this unit is not the final product but rather the self-management skills they apply throughout. In this unit, students will demonstrate their self-management skills by setting a goal, identifying a strategy to achieve the goal, creating a plan of action, monitoring their process, reflecting on what is working and what’s not working, taking personality responsibility throughout as they write on their own, and demonstrating an ownership mindset through self-assessment.

30 Second Monologues

by Lindsay Price

A monologue unit is an excellent way for students to demonstrate learned skills: vocal skills, movement skills, memorization skills, and character development. It also touches on soft skills such as communication, confidence, and attitude. That being said, monologues are not easy. A typical monologue is two minutes long. That is a lot of text to memorize, block, and develop into an engaging presentation. How often have you sat through a bad monologue performance with little to no characterization, wandering blocking, and a tenuous grasp of the lines? Performing a monologue is a learned skill. And the best way to learn a skill is in steps. Instead of starting with the end goal—that two-minute piece—start at the beginning. This four-lesson unit will take students up the ladder toward the goal of a longer monologue.


by Corinna Rezzelle

In this Devising Unit, students will create characters, practice storytelling through stage movement and tableaux, collaborate on a one-minute scene, and write a play. Improvisational games will help unleash students’ creativity and build their in-class ensemble skills. Games, activities, and talking points are provided to help students gain a basic knowledge of stagecraft, stage movement, and the creative writing aspect of devising a play. Students will vote for a play topic and experiment with activities such as HotSeating, Mantle of the Expert, and Role on the Wall. Discussion, reflection, and feedback are parts of the process.

Lesson Plans

Story vs Monologue

by Lindsay Price

Students will discuss and answer questions regarding the differences between a monologue and a story using The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as a model.

From Speech to Playwriting

by Lindsay Price

The speech is a great gateway to teach students about how to write a monologue. Use this lesson to identify the similarities between a speech and a monologue. Students will analyze a speech, identify what makes a good speech, and learn that the same qualities apply when it comes to writing a good monologue. They will write their own speech in pairs, and adapt their speech into a monologue.

Prose Into Theatre

by Lindsay Price

Use this lesson plan to get your students to practice the act of writing theatrical action. It's much different than writing a story. Students learn that in plays characters "do" an action, they don't "describe" an action. Students practice taking prose descriptive sentences and re-writing them as theatrical action. Students are also introduced to proper play formatting.

The Foundations of Playwriting

by Lindsay Price

Use this lesson plan as an introduction to a playwriting unit. This is a two lesson plan unit. Students complete exercises that demystify and reframe the four foundational elements of the playwriting process: Warm Ups, The Idea, Character, and Conflict. These plans are grounded in the statement: “You can’t build a house without a good foundation.” In order to write plays students need to know the basics first.

The Criteria of a Good Monologue

by Lindsay Price

Students will identify the elements of a good monologue through analysis and evaluation, focusing on a need to speak (Why does the character speak?), a specific character voice (Who is the character?) and a journey (Is there a beginning, middle, end?).

Monologue Writing: The Need to Speak

by Lindsay Price

Students will complete exercises that demonstrate how a character’s need to speak results in a better monologue. They will then write a monologue that applies this knowledge.

Writing a Two Character Scene

by Lindsay Price

Students will read a handout and discuss what it takes to write a two character scene. They will then apply their knowledge through exercises done in class. Finally, they will write and hand in a two character, one location scene which will be assessed.

Preparing to Rewrite

by Lindsay Price

For some students, the first draft is the final draft. I got to the end. I’m done. For some students, writer’s block sinks in quickly after a couple of scenes. Use this lesson plan in the middle of a playwriting unit, after your students have completed some writing on a play - either a first draft or even a couple of scenes. When your students aren’t sure how to move their writing forward - ask questions, define purpose, address writer’s block.

Crumpled Paper

by Karen Loftus

Some students dread writing. Just the thought of pencil and paper make them want to crumple up that paper and throw it. Well, now they can. In this exercise, students are introduced to story elements such as character, objective, obstacle/conflict, tactics, and resolution. Pairs of students add each new story element to an ever growing story that can be shared with the class. Reflection and Rubric included.

Group Playwriting

by Karen Loftus

In this highly structured exercise, students work in groups and use clearly defined goals to create the dialogue of a scene. Each member of the group has an assigned task and contributes to the final creation.

Subtext: Pass the Salt

by Lindsay Price

Subtext is the underlying meaning in a text. What is a character thinking? Learning to apply subtext to a scene is an excellent character development tool. It encourages students to think about “the why” behind a line. “Why does a character say this line? Why do they use a particular inflection? What are they really trying to say? In this lesson plan, students explore the meaning of subtext, practice applying subtext in dialogue and to create their own scene.

Create and Perform a Radio Play

by Kerry Hishon

The objective of the lesson is for students to create and perform their own radio play using a children’s story as the source material. Radio plays are fantastic for students to practice and develop many performance skills like projection, diction, using emotion, and using their voices. They give students the opportunity to creatively work with playwriting, selecting appropriate music, and creating sound effects.

Shakepeare's Words: Iambic Pentameter

by Kerry Hishon

The objective of the lesson is for students to learn what iambic pentameter is and to have the opportunity to create their own monologues using iambic pentameter. This lesson is a useful complement towards studying classical works by playwrights such as William Shakespeare.

Using Theatre to Share and Celebrate History

by Kerry Hishon

The objective of the lesson is for students to explore historical events that are significant to them through various theatrical mediums that may seem unusual or “out of the box.” The inspiration for this lesson plan comes from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s theatrical hit Hamilton, which utilizes rap and hip-hop music and colourblind casting to tell the story of the American founding fathers.

Playwriting: Forms and Prompts

by Lindsay Price

Use this lesson at the beginning of a playwriting unit, or a devising unit. Students practice the act of choosing a form for a scene and a prompt as a starting point. Drive home for students the importance of execution - instead of students ruminating on the perfect idea, they choose a form, choose a prompt and execute. The goal of the lesson is to show students that there are many different ways to form a theatrical piece and that execution is more useful to moving a piece forward than being stuck on the idea.

Playwriting: Analyzing and Applying a Form

by Lindsay Price

Use this as part of a playwriting unit or a devising unit. The goal of the lesson is to show students different ways to explore a theme through writing. Not every scene has to be linear, and not every scene has to follow a traditional format. Students will read existing scenes that apply a specific form for a scene. They will analyze those scenes and then apply their knowledge by writing their own scene.

Emergency Lesson Plan: Jigsaw Puzzle Scene

by Lindsay Price

In this ELP, students will analyze individual lines on strips of paper. The lines have been separated out from a complete scene. The group must collaborate to put the lines together in order. They will then write a paragraph that identifies their thought process and their choices.

Emergency Lesson Plan: Theatrical Problem Solving - The Playwright in Production

by Lindsay Price

In this ELP, students will take on the role of a working playwright in the process of having a play produced. The relationship between playwright and production is sometimes precarious – directors have been known to ban playwrights from rehearsals, actors have been known to change lines.


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.

Drama Teacher Tune Up

Take a Drama Teacher Tune Up! We look at including mask work in the classroom, the rehearsal process, classroom management, and playwriting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Language Profile Sheet

This exercise helps students think about how their characters sound.

First Lines

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

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.

What are the Structural Elements of a Script

This handout names and describes the structural elements of a script: character, objective, obstacle, tactics, and resolution.

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.

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.

Send-Home Packet: Playwriting - Part One

This packet includes an introduction for the teacher, and cover sheet for the student, to assign the Playwriting Part One packet for at-home distance learning, without technology.

Send-Home Packet: Playwriting - Part Two

This packet includes an introduction for the teacher, and cover sheet for the student, to assign the Playwriting Part Two packet for at-home distance learning, without technology.

Masterclass with Vincent Terrell Durham: Playwriting

Masterclass is a series of one-on-one interviews with experts, creators and innovators in the world of Theatre that you can study in-depth, or share with your classes. Think of this series as ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ for Drama Teachers. This masterclass is with Vincent Terrell Durham, a playwright who first honed his storytelling skills as a standup comic in comedy clubs across the country. Matt Webster chats with him about his journey in becoming a playwright.

How to Give Feedback to Student Playwrights

Author Nick Pappas has created a resource for teachers to develop the tools they need to help student writers find their voice. This resource focuses on two big questions: What is Feedback?, and What is Useful Feedback? At its core, all answers will focus on giving notes that will improve the work, which, in this case, is our students’ plays. And, as a teacher, that’s the goal: we want our students to write and to grow through their writing. If we want students to get better, we need to get better. Understanding the definition of feedback and understanding how to provide useful feedback is the key to all of us getting better.

The Creative Sandbox: Your Journal

This journal was created as an accompaniment to Steven Stack's DTA course: Playwriting Outside the Lines. It can also be used as a stand alone resource, as a writing tool and a path for creation. The journal is divided into 5 sections: Creative Sandbox, Play/Scene Development, Random Thoughts and Lines, Home of the Rough Drafts, and Notes from Others.


Playwriting in the Classroom

Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price, Scott Giessler, Christian Kiley

Want to try a playwriting unit but have no idea where to start? Or have you tried introducing playwriting in the past but didn’t get the results you hoped for? We’ve got a great panel of playwright/teachers who are here to share their most successful approaches and strategies.

Distance Learning: Playwriting

Hosted by Matt Webster, Lindsay Price

Playwriting is an easy to adapt activity for distance learning. But there are still some obstacles: how do you deal with writing insecurity? How do you handle peer feedback? How do you present work digitally? Playwright Lindsay Price will take you through exercises and a game plan for incorporating playwriting into your distance learning framework.

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