Sources Writers The Playwright / PREPARATION




Always start with your local College and University courses. Normally they will offer extensive courses in writing techniques including how to become a playwright. You may consult our file on Graduate Schools or seek help through many private school offerings. Although many regard becoming a Playwright as highly specialised we hope that the below links will provide you with proper guidance and valuable information.

Gotham on-line College courses from New York . Rated best by Forbes:

Theater is the oldest form of dramatic storytelling, and many still consider it the most electrifying. Nothing beats the intensity of actors sharing the same air as the audience. The laughs and gasps and tears happen live, on the spot. And a play can be staged anywhere, from an empty space surrounded by folding chairs to a plush Broadway house.

A play will not soar in performance unless it's great on the page. In our courses, you will learn how to tell a story that is theatrical and produce-able as well as such playwriting craft elements as structure, plot, dialogue, setting, theme, scene development, and format. You will also learn how and where to market your work.

Whether you seek to write one-acts or full-lengths, traditional or experimental, we'll show you how to write plays that will enthral audiences.

The following article is from Wikipedia

A playwright , also known as a dramatist, is someone who writes dramatic literature or drama . These works may be written specifically to be performed by actors or they may be closet dramas or literary works written using dramatic forms but not meant for performance.

The term is not a variant spelling of playwrite , but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder (as in a wheelwright or cartwright ). Hence the prefix and the suffix combine to indicate someone who crafts plays . The homophone with write is in this case coincidental.


The earliest playwrights in Western literature with surviving works are Ancient Greeks with some of the earliest plays being written around the 5th century BC . These playwrights are notable as they established forms that are still relied on by modern playwrights. Notable among them are Aeschylus , Sophocles , Euripides , and Aristophanes .

Shakespeare wrote classical tragedies and comedies which a lot of other work is based on. For example, Kiss Me, Kate is based on The Taming of the Shrew , and Romeo and Juliet has been remade more times than can be counted. Tom Stoppard created the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead in 1966 which is a modern transformation of Hamlet .

Many playwrights are never known because only historical successes and current successes such as Broadway hits become known. Many more off-Broadway, off-off Broadway, student playwrights, and plays that never see the light of day, among others, are still playwrights even if they never achieve commercial or popular success.

Contemporarily, successful playwrights – in stark contrast to the lot of the screenwriter — are often high-status figures in their industry. This is a corollary of the more literary approach that has characterised the theatre since its roots in poetry . The form has a greater reverence for the text and is much less oriented around a director. The playwright's vision often takes precedence.

In recent years this attitude has, sadly, started to be slowly overhauled. A less rigidly formal approach to text for performance is now common, informed by practitioners like Joan Littlewood and her protégé Mike Leigh .

Documentary plays are also a common feature of the theatrical landscape since the middle of the Twentieth Century when they were employed, often tendentiously, in agit-prop or general political protest. These plays demand something different of a playwright, often the editing and reproduction of the other people's words within a narrative structure. A recent example is Stuff Happens , David Hare 's 2004 play about the Iraq War , in which many of the speeches were taken verbatim from George W. Bush , Tony Blair et al.

For more extensive information on Script Writing see:

The category on : Screenplay (immediately above on the menu)

OR, if you wish to make contact with a professional Script

Writer, see: Script Writers listed under ‘Support Services'

Austin Script Works - Supports dramatic writers by providing opportunities at all stages in the writing process - from inception through production.

Dramatic Exchange - The Dramatic Exchange is a Web resource for playwrights, producers, and anybody interested in plays.

The Dramatists Guild of America - Professional association of American playwrights. The Guild protects the rights of dramatists in relation to producers and more recently Directors.

Northwest Playwrights Guild - Provide a reliable forum for the exchange of information and ideas about playwriting for playwrights living in the Northwest.

Playwrighting Resources - From Artslynx International Theatre Resources.

The Playwrights' Center of San Francisco - A service for playwrights, showing the schedule of staged readings of new plays.

The Playwrights Forum - The Playwrights Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to the artistic development of talented playwrights from the Washington D.C. area.

Screenwriters/Playwrights Page - Craft instruction and resources for screenwriters and playwrights. The free website for screenwriters and playwrights.

La Ronde Webring - Playwright's Ring; presenting the work of an individual playwright or groups of playwrights.

Other Resources: 

Support Organizations: 

•  Dramatists Guild of America  

•  Northwest Playwrights Guild -- includes a list of competitions

•  Playwrights Center , The - A support organization based in the Minneapolis MN area.

•  Playwrights Guild of Canada

Design Archives : Searchable databases of design images

Visual Research Resources 

 Courtesy of Artslynx International Services:

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