An Introduction to Playwriting

An Introduction to Playwriting

Course dates:

Module 1: 3rd November - 18th December 2021
Module 2: 19th January - 20th February 2022

Course Details:

What's the course about?
The course offers an introduction to some of the skills and techniques needed to write for theatre, as well as insights into the new writing industry in the UK and the process of moving a play from the page to the stage. Over the duration of the course, students will:

  • Learn how good plays are constructed through various exercises and discussions
  • Study existing texts
  • Begin work on a play of their own
  • See their work performed by actors
  • Receive one-to-one feedback on their progress
  • Gain an understanding of the business of being a playwright

What experience do I need?
None - all that's required is an enthusiasm for plays and playwriting. The course is perfect for total beginners, unperformed playwrights at the start of their careers, and those who have professional writing experience in other mediums.

What's covered in the course?
Some of the topics we'll look at are:

  • Who are you writing for? Genre, playwriting fashions, and the outlets for a new play.
  • Constructing a narrative. The building blocks of structure.
  • What makes a scene? Economy, subtext and internal dynamics.
  • Style, rhythm and tone. Writing in a range of linguistic modes.
  • Character. Writing vivid three-dimensional characters.
  • Learning from the best. Study and analysis of classic plays.

Who is teaching the course?

The course tutor is playwright and actor Mark Burgess. Having trained at the Guildford School of Acting, Mark made his West End debut in the award-winning play 'Another Country' at the Queen's Theatre. In 1986, Mark was cast as Gordon Collins in Channel 4's 'Brookside', a part he played for four years in nearly 150 episodes.

As a writer his plays include: Casting Shadows (2002). Einstein in Cromer, with David Suchet in the title role (2004). From Father with Love, on Ian Fleming's relationship with his son Caspar. Sam O'Bedlam (2006). The Wrong Hero, A King's Speech, on Lionel Logue and George VI (2009)(Radio 4). Tales from Tate Modern, BBC Radio 4 Short Story (2010). Two Halves Of Guinness Stage Play (2011). Eel Pie Island short story BBC radio 4 (2012). The Only Way, a one-act play to commemorate Bedford Modern School's 10 years of co-education, starring Chris Edge and Elsa Keep (2013). With Wings as Eagles, a play celebrating 250 years of Bedford Modern School, starring Gregor Copeland.

Staged Readings
There is a script in hand performance of the work developed by the students on the course performed by professional actors at The Lantern Theatre at ACT. This is a ticketed event and an exciting opportunity for the students to see how their work plays in front of an audience. The Staged Readings take place on Sunday 20th February 2022.

Course Structure

The course is structured to allow time for students to write and rehearse.

Module 1 - Writing the Play 2021

Wednesday 3rd November 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Sunday 7th November 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10th November 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Wednesday 17th November 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Wednesday 24th November 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Wednesday 1st December 7.00pm - 10.00pm (1st Draft Deadline)
Wednesday 8th December 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Wednesday 15th December 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Saturday 18th December 10am - 4pm

19th December 2021 to 12th January 2022 - writing the 2nd draft
Deadline for second draft submission - Wednesday 12th January 2022

Module 2 - Working with Actors 2022

Wednesday 19th January 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Wednesday 26th January 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Wednesday 2nd February 7.00pm - 10.00pm

Staged Readings

Sunday 20th February: The Lantern Theatre @ ACT Brighton.
Rehearsals 10am - 6pm. Each playwright has a 1 hour rehearsal slot for basic blocking with the actors. Show starts at 8pm. Post show discussion with cast and audience in the bar afterwards.

Final draft must be submitted by Monday 7th February with a short synopsis and biog for the programme.
Writers may have two complimentary tickets each. Tickets are £6

Course = 55 hours plus ongoing support by email.

Course Fees: £425.00 Deposit: £125.00

The Academy Of Creative Training reserves the right to alter the advertised course and course content.