Next week we will be taking our Final Exam NYS Assessment for this course. Please review the following items:
All items can be found in the reading or
chapter handouts, the blog, eLearning, the internet and your own notes (if you took any).
The Final Exam for Playwriting may cover any or all of the following items, please review:
The plays & playwrights:
Jane Martin: Talking With
John Leguzamo: Spic-o-Rama
Ntozake Shange: For Colored Girls...Enuf
Eve Ensler: The Vagina Monologues
Dael Orlandersmith: Monster
James Cameron Mitchell: Hedwig & the Angry Inch
Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound
Euripides: The Bacchae
William Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus
Henrik Ibsen: Hedda Gabler
Anton Chekhov: The Seagull
August Strindberg: Miss Julie
George Bernard Shaw: Major Barbara
George S. Kaufman: If Men Played Cards as Women Do
Tennessee Williams: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Proper script format
How to create characters/characterization
Techniques to motivate and gather ideas
Premise: a deeply held belief by the playwright which shapes a script.
From handout: chp. 3 'Structure: Part One, story and plot':
- Aristotle's six elements of plays: plot, character, diction (dialogue), thought (theme), spectacle, song/music
Unity: all parts of the plot (exposition, rising action, turning point,
climax, resolution, etc.) should work and fit together.
- Inciting Incident: the point of attack, the inciting incident forces the protagonist into the action of the play's plot.
Dramatic Question (MDQ): the hook that keeps an audience interested in a
play; a dramatic question that a reader/viewer wants answered.
- Major decision: A decision a character makes in the plot that creates the turning point for their character.
- The three C's: Conflict, crisis, complication: obstacles characters must face for an interesting and dramatic plot.
- Rising Action
dark moment/crisis: the lowest moment of a character's struggle--when
all the world seems lost, the fight unbeatable, the "darkest hour before
dawn" -- a stunning reversal of fortune and sense of failure.
ex machina: a contrived ending. Often one in which the characters did
not have a hand in solving. (It is more interesting to see a character
deal with their own problems rather than an outside force solving it for
them.) literally, a "god from a machine"
- Enlightenment: When the
protagonist understands how to defeat the antagonist. A revelation that
begins the movement toward a climax.
Ten minute play format
One act plays
Full length plays (2, 3, 4, or 5 act)
Commedia d'ell Arte (eLearning)
Generating ideas for plays (from handout & blog; eLearning)
Moscow Art Theatre
From Handout: 'Structure, Part two: creativity, scenario, & writing'
- The Event: a uniquely significant moment in the character's lives
lock: setting up a time limit or specific deadline characters have to
meet in order to spur them into action (for example having a script
- French scenes
- Place & setting
- Scenario: an outline for a writer to identify major/minor characters, plot, and setting used BEFORE writing a script
- Catalyst: the event in the play that causes a character to take action
- Positive Motivation
- Character flaw
- need vs. desire
- Creating credible characters
what is not said in a character's line. The subtext are the subtle
details or clues used by the actor to develop their character.
- Beat: a short exchange of dialogue
- A Confidant: a character the protagonist or antagonist can talk with to reveal necessary backstory
- Verisimilitude: the semblance of truth in characters and setting. "a king should act like a king, not a foul-mouthed beggar."
The Building Blocks of Dialogue
Dialogue (tips and advice) (blog, eLearning)
genres: realism, modernism, absurdism, symbolism, sentimental comedy, naturalism,
romanticism, expressionism, Elizabethan, Neoclassicism, tragedy, comedy, etc. (blog, notes, eLearning)
Play development & workshopping a play (blog, eLearning)
Writing and rewriting a script (advice) (blog, eLearning)
Please continue working on your play script projects. Use the time in
the lab to make progress and work with your workshop groups on various