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.

Overview

The overview lays out the outcome, objectives, and description of the unit as well as a breakdown of each of the 12 lessons in the unit.

Additional Attachments
1: What is a Playwright

In this first lesson, students discuss their preconceived notions about playwriting, their expectations and fears, and identify actions: What does a playwright do?

2: Where Do Ideas Come From?

In this lesson, students will explore different methods of gathering ideas.

3: Monologues

In this lesson, students will analyze existing monologues, identify the criteria for a good monologue, and write their own monologue in the practice session.

4: Dialogue

In this lesson students will write two-character, one-location, ten-line scenes to practice getting to the heart of effective and efficient scene writing.

5: Character

In this lesson, students will work on a character profile and apply character development details to a monologue or scene. Students will also receive the criteria for their culminating project and start work on their outlines.

6: Conflict

In this lesson, students will work on a conflict profile and apply the details to a monologue. Student will also begin writing their first draft.

7: What is Theatricality?

Students will answer the question “What is theatricality?” in terms of what makes a play stageable. Students will apply this concept to a stageability exercise.

8: How Do You Give Feedback?

The first draft is due in this class. The class will begin with a feedback exercise. Then students will read their draft aloud and receive feedback.

9: Writing and Post-First Draft Questions

Students are given time to work on their second draft. Students also receive a Post-First Draft Questions sheet to apply critical thinking skills to their draft.

10: Writing and In-Depth Character Profile

Students are given time to work on their second draft. They will read an excerpt of their play aloud and receive feedback. Students will also receive an In-depth Character Profile sheet to help them apply critical thinking skills to their draft.

11: Practice, Performance, Reflection

In these last two lessons, students will focus on the performance aspect of playwriting. It’s important to include performance in the unit because the ultimate goal of all plays is to be performed (rather than read). Students have the opportunity to rehearse in groups, present to the class, and then reflect on their experience with the unit.

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


Alberta, Canada


British Columbia (2018)


GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

Ontario, Canada