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Master Course Outline
DRMA 281
Beginning Playwriting

Credits: 5
Clock Hours per Quarter: 50

AA Discipline: [Humanities] [Diversity]

Lecture Hours:50

Focuses on the composition, drafting, revising, and performing of original play scripts. Besides studying, applying, and performing dramatic structure in student generated scripts, students will also develop critical thinking skills through the analysis of plays selected from the history of world drama. This class will also explore the diverse voices, issues, and cultures of theatre history. Recommended: ENGL& 101, DRMA& 101, DRMA 151, or CMST& 220.

Intended Learning Outcomes
  • Apply group communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Employ the writing process in the production of multiple drafts.
  • Explain how issues related to diversity and the role of power, privilege, and social relationships regarding these issues (i.e., race, gender, mental and physical abilities, sexual orientation, age, culture, religion, class, and socioeconomic status) relate to both play texts and performance types.
  • Apply the basic mechanics of language (syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling) effectively.
  • Interpret texts from world drama for key ideas and structure; differentiate between dramatic texts for literary styles, voices, and the cultural influences from which the works arise; and appraise the contributions of often overlooked or marginalized voices.
  • Describe the role of power, privilege, mental and physical identify, and social relationships as they relate to both play texts and performance types.
  • Explain human similarities and differences, particularly as they are reflected through the lens of dramatic dialogue and action.
  • Synthesize the key ides, diverse voices, styles, values, experiences, structures, and cultural influence of world drama into original short plays.
  • Construct coherent, organized written and performed scenes and short plays appropriate to a variety of audiences.
  • Employ models from world drama in working toward developing one's own themes and style as a playwright.
  • Compose short plays, scenes, and monologues that explore a variety of identities and perspectives.
  • Evaluate and apply ways in which a play's insights and creation can be relevant both culturally and personally.

  • Course Topics
  • Foundations of the playwriting process
  • Stuart Spencer, The Playwright's Guidebook
  • Scenes from classical, modern, and contemporary scripts
  • Theatre history and theory
  • Playwright biographies
  • Pre-colonial forms of theatre and ritual
  • Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed
  • Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty
  • Dramaturgy
  • Intercultural communication
  • Staging techniques
  • Writing monologues and scenes from shifting points of view, allowing for and employing changes in perspective based upon class, gender, ethnicity, and orientation.

  • Syllabi Listing See ALL Quarters
    Year Quarter
    DRMA 281
    Fall 2010
    Jessica Barkl
    DRMA 281
    Summer 2010
    Jessica Barkl

    Two Year Projected Schedule

    Year One* Year Two**

    *If fall quarter starts on an odd year (2003, 2005, etc.), it's Year One.
    If fall quarter starts on an even year (2002, 2004, etc.), it's Year Two.