FOCUS & FLOW: Developing a Generative Playwriting Practice (DRA2318.01)

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

There has been a war on our attention spans, and yet it is this attention span that must be cultivated and strengthened in order to create meaningful work. How can we become the artists and thinkers we wish to be if we can’t find clear, lucid focus within ourselves on a regular basis—and learn how to safeguard it? This course is offered in the spirit of rebuilding our attention spans and developing a generative playwriting practice.

Classes will begin with a check-in and short movement session. The instructor will then lead a series of interval writing workouts of 25 or 50 minutes in length. These generative writing workouts will be inspired by music, visual art, sensory explorations, nature objects, and a cross-cultural range of generative strategies artists from a variety of disciplines engage to support the creation of new work.

In addition to class work, participants will be asked to keep an analog journal they use to keep track of the quality and duration of their generative writing sessions outside of class. The reading component of the course will consist of essays, podcasts and book chapters on topics related to our explorations. At mid-semester participants will be asked to identify a premise, setting, dramatic question and cast of characters for a full length dramatic work, and spend the remainder of the semester generating material towards this assignment.


Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this course students will be equipped with a range of generative playwriting strategies they can use to develop their work. They will also have gone through a semester of building and monitoring their attention span and ability to focus and have a better understanding of the variables that affect the quality and duration of their focus. They will also have completed the first draft of a new play


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
Th 1:40PM - 5:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Drama , Fully In-Person
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