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Part of the Drama One Curriculum

Playwriting

Created 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.

The unit culminates in a group written original play which is performed in front of the class. Please refer to the Pacing Guide for more details and ways to supplement with other DTA materials.

Unit Overview
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. The unit culminates in a group written original play which is performed in front of the class.
Additional Attachments
1: Structure
Students are introduced to the structural elements of a script.
2: Dialogue
Students are introduced to the concept of stakes as an additional element of a script, and participate in a group playwriting activity that allows performers to test out lines of dialogue in performance.
3: Stage Directions
Students learn the three types of stage directions, and apply what they’ve learned to their own scenes as well as open scenes (sample included).
4: Character Dialogue and Development
Students learn the importance of dialogue and creating it for their characters.
5: The Unities
Students are introduced to Aristotle’s 3 Unities and participate in an improv exercise to apply these guidelines for playwriting.
6: Writing: Part 1
Students apply what they have learned so far in the unit and participate in a group playwriting activity - the writing pass technique.
7: Writing: Part 2
Students continue to work on their group playwriting activity and finalize their script with stage directions, as well as complete staged readings.
Attachments
8: Unit Project
Students complete their script, format it properly, then hand it in. Next, they will perform their scene and complete a final reflection. A rubric is included.

Standards Addressed

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