An accessible, contemporary guide to the art of dramatic writing
During the ten years that Stuart Spencer has taught playwriting, he has struggled to find an effective playwriting handbook for his courses. Although most of the currently popular handbooks have good ideas in them, they all suffer from the same problems: they're poorly organized; are composed mostly of quirky, idiosyncratic advice on how specific playwrights have gone about writing their own work; and are full of abstract theorizing on the nature of art. As a result, they fail to offer any concrete information on how to construct a well-written play or any useful guidelines and exercises. Moreover, few of these books are actually written by working playwrights. Out of frustration, Spencer wrote his own book. The result, The Playwright's Guidebook, is a clear, concise, and engaging handbook. Spencer addresses the important principles of structure, includes insightful writing exercises that build upon one another, explores the creative process, and troubleshoots recurrent problems that playwrights actually face.
Do your students want to write plays that will actually get produced? Or are you a budding young playwright yourself? Then meet your new best friend: Young Playwrights 101, now in a newly revised edition, is designed to guide young writers through the playwriting process, from initial idea to submission and beyond. A complete course in a book, it's organized in easy-to-follow lessons and filled with practical exercises designed to hone young writers' skills and get them writing better plays faster.
Among the topics you'll find inside Young Playwrights 101: Creating Characters and Conflict, The Three Act Structure and its Alternatives, Choosing the Right Setting, The "Question" of the Play, How to Use an Outline, Handling Exposition, Using Punctuation to Write Better Dialogue, Beginning and Ending Your Play, Dealing with Writer's Block, Rewriting with The Writer's Web and the Troubleshooter's Checklist, How to Have a Useful Play Reading, The Playwright's Bill of Rights, A Suggested Reading List, Links to Young Playwrights Contests and much, much more...
Whether you're writing your first play, want to brush up on your skills or are looking for that missing "something" in your writing, Young Playwrights 101: Revised Edition, is the jumpstart you need to write plays that make it to the stage.
The third installment in the Modern Library's Paris Review "Writers at Work" series, this is an all-new gathering of interviews with the most important and compelling playwrights of our time. Their singular takes on their craft, their influences, their lives, the state of contemporary theater, and the tricks of the trade create an illuminating and unparalleled record of the life of the theater itself.
"At its best,Â Â theater is an antidote to the whiff of barbarity in the millennial air. 'My feeling is that people in a group, en masse, watching something, react differently, and perhaps more profoundly, than they do when they're alone in their living rooms,' Arthur Miller says here. In the dark, facing the stage, surrounded by others, the paying customer can let himself go; he is emboldened. The theatrical encounter allows a member of the public to think against received opinions. He can submerge himself in the extraordinary, admit his darkest, most infantile wishes, feel the pulse of the contemporary, hear the sludge of street talk turned into poetry. This enterprise can be joyous and dangerous; when the theater's game is good and tense, it is both." --from the Introduction by John Lahr
Stella Adler was one of the most influential acting teachers of all time, a legendary force of nature whose generations of students include Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Anthony Quinn, Diana Ross, Robert De Niro, Warren Beatty, Annette Benning, and Mark Ruffalo.
This long-awaited companion to her book on the master European playwrights brings to life Americaâs most revered playwrights, whom she knew, loved, and worked with. Brilliantly edited by Barry Paris, Adlerâs lectures on the giants of twentieth-century theater feature her indispensable insights into such classic plays as âLong Dayâs Journey into Night,â âThe Skin of Our Teeth,â âA Streetcar Named Desire,â âCome Back, Little Sheba,â âThe Glass Menagerie,âÂ and âDeath of a Salesman,â while shedding new light on such lesser known gems as Tennessee Williamsâs âThe Lady of Larkspur Lotionâ and Arthur Millerâs âAfter the Fall.â Illuminating, revelatory, inspiringâthis is Stella Adler at her electrifying best.
"The superheroines of the theater are backâand better and bolder than ever."â Backstage
"These plays have been developed and vetted for artistic excellence; they just happen to possess the added bonus of representing a voice that's currently being underproduced. It's part of a larger movement to say: There's an embarrassment of riches here."â Sheila Callaghan for the Kilroys
Not your typical book of monologues, this new collection embodies the mission of the Kilroys, an advocacy group founded in 2013 to raise awareness for the underutilized work of female and trans* playwrights. The collection is comprised of ninety-nine monologues, each from a different play off "The List" from 2014 and 2015, featuring the most unproduced (or under-produced), yet highest-recommended, plays by women in the United States. The monologues selected for this volume serve to highlight the talents of these writers in a wide array of pieces that vary in genre, style, and gender.
As it says on their website, the Kilroys "Make Trouble and Plays."
The Kilroys are a gang of playwrights and producers in Los Angeles, California, who advocate for the visibility of women playwrights in theatre. Founded in 2013, the Kilroys are named after the iconic graffiti tag "Kilroy Was Here" that was first left by WWII soldiers in unexpected places, a playfully subversive way of making their presence known. The members include Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.
For anyone interested in drama, Playwrights on Playwriting: From Ibsen to Ionesco offers revealing and astute insights on modern theater and the creation of plays. The book gathers the opinions and theories of the greatest names in the past 200 years of drama, among them Anton Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw, Federico Garcia Lorca, Eugene O'Neill, Bertolt Brecht, Tenessee Williams, Sean O'Casey, and Arthur Miller, to name a few. In the first part of the book, "Credos and Concepts," the playwrights offer their differing philosophies on the dynamics of theatrical performance and the changes in drama since Aristotle. In the second part, "Creations," the same dramatists look at specific plays of their own, commenting on their intended goals and the works' overall success. A unique and enlightening collection, Playwrights on Playwriting is an essential resource for the enthusiast of theater.
Every playwright has his or her own vision of life - and seeks to express that vision on stage. Over the past two hundred years, the world's greatest dramatists have been constructing models, or blueprints of their visions, to make sure that what is in their hearts gets put on stage. This book distills that genius and innovation into a practical manual.
In a clear and easily understood way, Gordon Farrell makes available the most potent and effective structures ever devised by the world's most important dramatists. Playwrights like Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekov, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Lillian Hellman, Bertolt Brecht, Jean Paul Sartre, Harold Pinter, and Jean Cocteau all developed powerful new writing tools that empowered them to capture their personal vision of the world on stage. The Power of the Playwright's Vision describes not only what these techniques are, but also how they can be put to use, enabling today's working playwrights to bring the power of their own personal vision to life in the theatre.
Here is the first and only manual for playwrights ever designed to draw directly from the wisdom of leading contemporary dramatists. Interwoven with hundreds of quotations from the author's own in-depth interview series at the Dramatists Guild, in New York City, The Playwright's Process offers a fresh and lively discussion of the indispensable ingredients of strong dramatic writing. Every essential step the writer must take to create a well-written, stageworthy play is examined and explored. Also mining his own experience as a dramatist and a teacher of playwriting, author Buzz McLaughlin details the entire process of developing the kernel of an idea into a fully realized play - from the writer's very first jottings to the readings and workshops that lead to a professional production. A resource for beginning and experienced writers, The Playwright's Process is a virtual guided tour of the dramatist's challenging and often mysterious creative process, chock-full of specific techniques, practical exercises, and candid observations on craft and method straight from the mouths of working, award-winning playwrights.
In a series of interviews with fifty playwrights from the US and UK, this book offers a fascinating study of the voices, thoughts, and opinions of today's most important dramatists.
Filled with probing questions, Fifty Playwrights on their Craft explores ideas such as how does playwriting help a global dialogue; where do dramatists find the ideas that become the stories and narratives within their plays; how can the stage inform the writer's creative process; how does crossing boundaries between art forms push the living art form of theatre-making forward; and will there be playwrights in another 50 years? Through these interrogating interviews we come to understand how and why playwrights write what they do and gain insight into their processes and motivations. Together, the interviews provide an inter-generational dialogue between dramatists whose work spans over six decades.
Featuring interviews with playwrights such as Edward Bond, Katori Hall, Chris Goode, David Greig, Willy Russell, David Henry Hwang, Alecky Blythe, Anne Washburn and Simon Stephens, Jester and Svich offer an unprecedented view into the multiple perspectives and approaches of key playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic.
This collection of exercises is designed to build creative muscle in students of playwriting and will prove useful as well to working dramatists who want to build their skills while stretching their imaginative powers. Contributed by some of America's foremost playwrights and playwriting teachers, these varied and inventive exercises offer new sources for dramatic inspiration, provide ways to embolden dramatic action, and encourage experimentation with the basic elements of playwriting.
Christopher Durang, Romulus Linney, and Theresa Rebeck are among the 30 playwrights offering playwriting advice in The Playwright's Workout.
Also giving guidance and inspiration are:
Janet Allard Lee Blessing Constance Congdon Kia Corthron Lisa D'Amour Dan Dietz Jordan Harrison Jeffrey Hatcher Naomi Iizuka Jon Jory Arthur Kopit Sherry Kramer Carson Kreitzer Carter Lewis Craig Lucas Eduardo Machado Emily Mann Melanie Marnich Ellen McLaughlin Kira Obolensky Jose Rivera Sarah Ruhl Caridad Svich C. Denby Swanson Kathleen Tolan Alice Tuan Elizabeth Wong Marsha Norman Mac Wellman
While most playwriting guides introduce students to basic concepts and practices, The Playwright's Workout offers a range of imaginative prompts to the creative act of playwriting.