Playwriting

This class offers 1-on-1 support through powerful exercises to help you put your story on the page in script format. Whether you're writing for yourself, a small circle of friends, or the world at large, start today! Review playwriting basics, including structure, theme, character, plot, and dialogue. Outline, draft, and revise dramatic writing while improving your craft through writing exercises.

At a glance

What: Playwriting

When: Start anytime, complete within 1 year

Where: Online

Cost: $395

Continuing education credit: 30 hours (3.0 CEUs)

Instructor: Liz Fentress

Register Online
or register by phone at
608-262-2451
Register anytime

For additional information, contact Sarah Marty: 608-263-2790


Unit 1: Writing for the Stage and an Audience

  • How is writing for the theatre different from writing for the printed page or TV or film?
  • Write and revise your first monologue
  • Alternate exercises for more advanced writers
  • E-mail your revised monologue, or 5-6 pages of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work

Unit 2: Creating a Character

  • Creating a character who wants something—and who overcomes obstacles to get it
  • Writing in beats
  • Write and revise your second monologue
  • Alternate exercises for more advanced writers
  • E-mail your revised monologue, or 5-6 pages of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work

Unit 3: Germinal Idea and Theme

  • Explore what your play is about
  • Articulate your play’s theme
  • Writing plays about people who change
  • E-mail your writing exercises, or 5-6 pages of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work

Unit 4: Structure

  • Decide on the major structural elements of your play
  • Create a simple scenario for your play
  • E-mail your writing exercises, or 5-6 pages of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work

Unit 5: Writing Dialogue

  • Writing dialogue that reveals character or advances the plot
  • How dialogue serves as a blueprint for other collaborators in the theatre
  • Formatting guidelines for playwriting—and why you should follow them
  • The all-important Dialogue Checklist
  • Alternate exercise for more advanced writers
  • E-mail your writing exercises, or 5-6 pages of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work

Unit 6: Shaping Dialogue - Writing in Beats and Building Scenes

  • Revisiting the beat—the basic structural component of a play
  • Different kinds of beats: plot, character, thought
  • The four components of a beat: stimulus, rise, climax, end
  • Using beats to build a scene
  • Writing reversals
  • E-mail a scene— 5-6 pages—of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work

Unit 7: Revising Your Play

  • A play is not written, it is re-written
  • Revisiting your theme
  • Revisiting your characters, plot, scenes, and dialogue
  • Breaking the rules
  • E-mail your revision exercise and a revised scene— 5-6 pages—of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work

Unit 8: Getting Your Play Out There

  • Hearing your play aloud
  • Getting feedback
  • Playwriting groups
  • Playwright organizations
  • Submitting
  • E-mail your Next Steps exercise, or 5-6 pages of your current playwriting project
  • Schedule 10-minute phone conversation to review submitted work