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503Studio: Write Your First Short Play

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503Studio: Write Your First Short Play

The short play is the most distilled format in dramatic writing – it’s also the one that most emerging writers are asked to master, via submissions like our own Rapid Write Response series. On this practical course, Mia Chung will take you through all the essential elements of crafting an effective short play, leading to a sharing of work in the last week.

This course is designed for early writers who wish to cultivate their voices and write for the stage.  We will employ tactics to “be a good host” to the creative impulse.  We will find and shape our dramatic content.  We will form a cadre of fellow travelers that read and share work with each other.  By course end, each participant will write a short play.

This will include:

Finding inspiration – How you can creatively unlock your ideas, from the world around you and your imagination. Understanding the role of the story, in helping you translate what you want to say to an audience.

Character – Understanding compelling characters, the worlds they inhabit and how you can use this to bring your short play to life.

Structure – What is a traditional structure? Can you bend the rules? Understanding how you can use different techniques to bring out your voice and style.

Putting it altogether – practical writing exercise that will allow you to build dramatic action, dialogue and bring your characters and the worlds they inhabit into life.

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.

To be added to our waiting list, please sign up here (please note that some places have been held off sale to prioritise Share the Drama beneficiaries – see below)

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 Spring 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. You can view what we currently are able to offer on our Accessibility page. If you would rather discuss any access requirements and how we can accommodate them prior to booking,please get in touch with us.

Five Thursday sessions from 10 February – 10 March, 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.


Mia Chung’s CATCH AS CATCH CAN premieres at Steppenwolf in the 2022-23 season; Page 73 produced the world premiere (NYC).  Her monologue CHARM SCHOOL will be presented by NAATCO and The Public Theatre in February 2022 (NYC).  Her play DOUBLE TAKE was included in Playwrights Horizons’s Almanac, an online and print publication for the 2020-2021 pandemic year.

Additional plays include:  THIS EXQUISITE CORPSE (in development, multiple awards).  YOU FOR ME FOR YOU [the National Theatre Company of Korea (Seoul), The Royal Court (London), Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC); and multiple theatres across the US].  

Additional awards, commissions, fellowships, and residencies include:  Clubbed Thumb, Frederick Loewe Award in Music-Theatre, Huntington Theatre Fellowship, JAW at Portland Center Stage, MTC/Sloan, Mu Performing Arts, NEA, NYTW, Playwrights’ Center, Playwrights Horizons/Steinberg commission, Playwrights Realm, South Coast Rep, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Stavis Playwright Award, TCG Global Connections, and the Unicorn Theatre (London).  She is an alum of Ma-Yi Writers Lab and New Dramatists.

Her work is included in Fifty Playwrights on Their Craft (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2018); The Kilroys List: 99 Monologues by Female & Trans* Playwrights, Vol 1 (Theatre Communications Group, 2016); and The Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2013 (Smith & Kraus). 

Her teaching work includes courses at Brown University, Hunter College, Mt. Holyoke, the New School, NYU/Tisch, SUNY Purchase, and the University of Rochester.

Her TV work includes developing SILENCE OF BONES for Bound Entertainment (Korea/USA) and writing episodes for THE SINNER (USA/Netflix) and THE DIPLOMAT (Netflix).



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