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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Writing for Theatre: An Introduction (ENLI10342)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims by seminar and workshop to introduce students to theoretical, historical and practical issues involved in the writing of plays. Issues to be addressed include: character and action; dialogue; plot and structure; theatre semiotics; the transition from page to stage. It will also offer students a chance to practice drafting and redrafting their work, to give and receive feedback on their writing from their peers, and to engage in production analysis.
Course description WEEK 1: Introduction. Theatre in Four Dimensions - workshop/ seminar
WEEK 2: Character and Action. 'Ramallah' by David Greig, 'Snuff' by Davey Anderson
WEEK 3: From page to stage: using the sign systems of theatre - 'Theatre as Sign-System' by Astona and Savona
WEEK 4: Virtual World: space and time. 'Distracted' by Morna Pearson, 'The Price of a Fish Supper' by Catherine Czerkawska
WEEK 5: Dialogue. 'Harm' by Douglas Maxwell, 'The Basement Flat' by Rona Munro
WEEK 6: Plot and Structure. 'Better Days, Better Knights' by Stanley Eveling, 'The Importance of Being Alfred' by Louise Welsh
WEEK 7: WORKSHOP - 3 plays
WEEK 8: Production analysis week
WEEK 9: WORKSHOP - 3 plays
WEEK 10: WORKSHOP - 3 plays
WEEK 11: WORKSHOP - 3 plays
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts; Tickets for performance x2
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as cross disciplinary, "Freshman Seminars", civilisation or creative writing classes are not considered for admission to this course.
Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course
having four or more literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Other Study Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) one-hour per week Autonomous Learning Group
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) mid-semester Assessment parts 1 and 2 (40%)
A short play of 20-30 minutes running time (60%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gained an insight into the fundamentals of writing for theatre.
  2. been introduced to writing the short play form, a basic calling card for theatre companies in the UK.
  3. been introduced to the theories of sign systems at work within a theatre text and performance and be able to analyze a performance according to these theories.
  4. had critical feedback and development on their work led by a professional playwright and director actively working in the industry.
  5. increased skills in both theatre criticism and dramaturgy.
Reading List
Scottish Shorts, selected and introduced by Philip Howard, Nick Hern Books (5 Aug 2010)
Aston, Elaine & Savona, George. Theatre as Sign-System: a Semiotics of Text and Performance, Routledge, (Nov 1991)
Elam, Keir. The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama, Routledge (June 2002)
Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works , various editions
Sophocles, Oedipus, various editions
Carter, David. How to Write a Play (Teach Yourself Educational), Teach Yourself Books 1998
Edgar, David. How Plays Work: A Practical Guide to Playwriting, Nick Hern Books (June 2009)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminar: 2 hour(s) per week for 10 weeks: plus 1 hour per week attendance at Autonomous Learning Group - at times to be arranged.
KeywordsENLI10342 Writing Theatre Creative Writing Playwriting
Course organiserMs Nicola McCartney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3629
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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