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503Studio: Advanced Playwriting

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503Studio: Advanced Playwriting

This five week class is suitable for writers with some experience, who have already written several scripts or had productions. You should come with a script in progress that you want to work on. Luke Barnes will take you through exercises re-examining structure, story and redrafting designed to develop your own work. You will be challenged to push your style and ideas and experiment with new theatrical forms. You’ll also receive feedback on your work from Luke and the other writers. Luke will tailor the course content around the needs of the participants.

Week 1 : Character

• Whats the relationship between character and stereotype?

• If we want characters, not stereotypes, how do the pillars society create characters for us?

• What drives a character? Want, need, shame or fear?

• If we are judged by our actions… What are the most surprising and interesting actions a character can take?

• How does the language of a character reflect how we want these characters and worlds to be seen?

• What does a play look like that is absent of character?

Week 2: Form

• How is the history of this space relevant to the story?

• How do we think about form as stepping into the world of psychosis but becoming clearer?

• How do we work from a basis of familiarity but innovate it?

• What is the culture of the world of the play and how is that present in our form?

• How do we differentiate place and space?

Week 3: Structure

• What does traditional structure look like?

• What does it look like when characters unexpectedly move away from it?

• What does post-structure look like?

• What does structure look ties in with theme look like?

• Whats the relationship between structure and genre?

Week 4: Theme

• Is the impetus of theme what we know or what we need know?

• What do we reject in the world and want to see rebuilt? / What is the truth that we know that would piss everyone off but everyone knows is true?

• How do we do this without preaching?

• What is the history of this thing, how did we get here, where are we, and where are we going? How is this a warning, a celebration, and a prophecy?

• How do we interrogate theme rigoursly from as many perspectives as possible?

Week 5: General

Please note we cannot commit to an ongoing dramaturgical relationship with any pieces that may develop on this course, or commit to a production. However we will offer an open and honest discussion with all participants about possible next steps for their work, recommendations of other development opportunities that might be of benefit, and guidance to where their work may best be suited in terms of future engagement.

Thanks to our Share The Drama scheme, we want to make sure those of you who are struggling in the current climate can still take part in our Writers Programme. While we prioritise anyone who is long term unemployed and/or claiming benefits, we’re also offering subsidies if you’re in financial difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

To express interest in a bursary place through our Share The Drama scheme, please sign up here. If you would prefer to speak directly to a member of our team about your circumstance or to ask for more information about this scheme, please contact us.

If you have any access requirements, you can let us know here. If you would rather discuss any access requirements and how we can accommodate them prior to booking, please get in touch with us here.

Five Monday sessions from May 9th – June 6th, 7 – 9.30pm. The sessions will take place over Zoom. Maximum class sizes are 14. A portion of spaces have been reserved for Share the Drama places.

To sign up for advanced booking for future iterations of the 503Studio: Writers Programme, please join the waiting list here.

Theatre; Freedom Project (Leeds Playhouse), Sad Club (National Theatre Connections), All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Bush Theatre & Paines Plough with Middle Child), No One Will Tell Me When To Start A Revolution (Hampstead Theatre), Chapel Street (Bush Theatre), Bottleneck (Soho Theatre with HighTide), The Jumper Factory (Young Vic), Lost Boys (Unity with National Youth Theatre), Cinderella – A Wicked Mother F*cker of a Night Out (James Seabright & Not Too Tame), Katie Johnstone (The Orange Tree), The Saints (Nuffield Theatres, Southampton), Eistedfodd (HighTide), There Should Be Unicorns (Greenwich and London International Festival with Middle Child), Ten Storey Love Song (Hull Truck with Middle Child), Weekend Rockstars (Hull Truck with Middle Child), A Wondrous Place (Manchester Royal Exchange/ Northern Stage/ Unity/ Crucible, Sheffield), The Class (The Unicorn with NYT), and Loki and Betty (Almeida Theatre). TV; Minted In Manchester (Original Single for Channel 4).


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