Scenes (DRA4379.01)

Abe Koogler

To write a play, write a scene. And then another. And then another. In this course, we will take a close look at how scenes work by reading great scenes and considering them in the context of their plays. What function does the scene serve in the play? How does the scene work, moment by moment? Where does conflict appear, and how is character revealed? What surprises and power shifts propel the scene? What holds our attention and builds anticipation? In short: what makes a scene great?

We will look at five types of scenes: beginnings, middles, endings, scenes that break the play, and scenes from other mediums. We will attempt to define some unifying principles for each type of scene. Weekly assignments will include critical reading responses and original scenes. By the end of the workshop, students will be expected to write a one-act play of at least 30 minutes incorporating lessons learned, as well as a scenework manifesto.

Authors will include Tennessee Williams, Martin McDonagh, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Caryl Churchill, and Young Jean Lee. We will also watch Ben Affleck’s movie The Town.


Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Entirely remote (synchronous)
Prerequisites:Interested students should submit a sample of any form of writing, as well as a brief statement of interest, to by November 6. You will be e-mailed about class acceptance by November 11.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
Th 1:40PM - 5:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Drama , Entirely Remote , Literature
Tags: ,