All too often the craft of playwriting is overlooked in the curriculum. English teachers are often cautious when approaching any type of drama-centered activities, frequently choosing to stick to writing stories or poetry. Drama teachers often regard written work as a burden, a task to set instead of practical work and something which eats into their all too precious practical time. However, it is a rich and useful craft that we as drama teachers should encourage as an integral and rewarding part of the curriculum. By studying the work of playwrights and emulating dramatic techniques in their own performances, students can access a wealth of information about playwriting, as well as useful skills for their devised pieces, such as structure, characterisation and the development of themes. This scheme contains a balance of theory and practical exploration which will hopefully engage your students and introduce them to the skills and joys of playwriting.
- To create and develop naturalistic characters through a number of dramatic techniques, such as role-on-the-wall, hotseating, centring and the ‘magic if’
- To understand themes and their importance to scripting and to develop themes in their own writing through the use of a theme machine
- To understand what plot is and how an effective plot is shaped, and to understand how the structure of the plot can enhance and develop a play
- To understand how some directors create and edit their plays using improvisation
- To understand the correct conventions of script layout
- To create a script using practical techniques to develop characters, themes, dialogue, and action, using the correct conventions of script layout
- To evaluate and justify their own and others’ decisions and developments using set criteria