Write That Play


This is a playwriting course aimed at writers of any level. You will be working on your own play or starting from scratch if you are currently between plays (or if you have not yet started writing your first one). There will also be exercises where you will be asked to write new material and various activities that will get you thinking about your own writing and some of the theoretical terms behind it (this only to support you in understanding the craft better).

The course will consist of 8 sessions running in the evenings between 7:30 and 10:00 pm at The Junction (Boardroom on the mezzanine), the dates are:

Tue 17th Feb
Tue 24th Feb
Mon 2nd March
Tue 10th March
Wed 18th March
Mon 23rd March
Mon 30th March
Tue 14th April
(Apologies for inconsistency of weekdays, this is due to the Junction’s availability.)

There will also be (optional) theatre visits in between, some to the Junction at discounted ticket prices, all details of these theatre trips tbc.

The cost for all eight workshops is £120 for members and £140 for non-members (£135 concessions), the latter including membership until 31 March 2016. The number of participants to limited to 12. Please email workshops@writeon.org.uk to register.

Course outline

Each of the eight sessions is focussed on a specific aspect of playwriting and will be facilitated by two (out of the three) facilitators: Julia Bolden, Kim Komljanec and Richard Peoples. For two sessions, a number of experienced actors will join the group to support the writers in developing their scripts.

All participants will be asked to share their work in group and support others during any group discussions or group/pair work. There may be some occasions where the writers will be asked to do some acting and/or directing, but only for the purposes of the exercises, so don’t worry if this is not something you are familiar with. Do, please, let us know in advance of any disabilities that would prevent you to do simple physical actions, so that we can plan ahead. No one will be asked to do anything they would feel uncomfortable with.

All in all, the course is packed with useful techniques, skills exercises, inspirational approaches and theoretical information as well as being good fun, so hopefully, we should all come out of it a little wiser and/or happier.

Session 1 (17th Feb): STARTING POINTS

What are the “right” starting points to writing a play?
Planning a plot? Choosing a theme? Creating a character?
What is a good opening to a play?

Session 2 (24th Feb): PLOT

What is plot? What moves the plot forward?
Elements of plot. Acts. Scenes.  Events.
Different plot structures

Session 3 (2nd March): CHARACTER

What makes a character believable, dramatic, multi-layered, interesting, fun for the actor to play?
How much can/should a character change/develop?
Who is the main character?

Session 4 (10th March): DIALOGUE AND ACTION

What do the lines do rather than say?
What makes an action dramatic?
How to write, not describe action(s)?


Hearing your script read by actors changes everything.
Seeing the director take over changes everything.

Session 6 (23rd March): WORKING WITH ACTORS AGAIN

Everything changed. New drafts, new scenes, perhaps even new characters. More play time.

Session 7 (30th March): THEME, SETTING, TIME

What is theme vs. topic vs. subject vs. idea vs. thought vs. message?
Where in the play does the theme reside?
How important are the where and when?
What is your play really about?

Session 8 (14th April): EDITING AND REWRITING

Cutting and/or changing. How to kill your babies and be sure it was right to do so.
Processing feedback and not losing your own voice.
Rewriting courage and confidence.
Your play is finished. What now?