Drama Writing Competition

In this eight-week Drama Writing Competition, students will learn how to create a stage script and create a ten-minute/ten-page script. While developing the narrative and theme, they also consider the needs of the audience and the actors/performers' needs. By learning a series of visual narrative examples, students will learn how to scriptwriting. We will also review scenes from performance plays and TV shows to understand dialogue, character close-ups, and rhythm (interval and intonation).
Designed for

Students in grade 9-12 who want to participate in drama writing competitions


All levels

Class format

One-on-one and small group (Max. 7 students/class)

Class Introduction

One of the most exciting, creative, and popular forms of writing is scripting for the stage. It is the kind of functional writing that integrates both communication and imagination in innovative ways, considering not only narrative but the logistics of the form itself –lighting, sound effects, stage directions, restraints (or opportunities) with the stage, needs of the actors, and more. Dramatic writing is also one of the most challenging to do effectively and with originality and is an advanced skill in the writer’s community.

In this eight-week course, students will learn how to apply script writing conventions and techniques to creating one stageplay –ten fully polished pages that equate to a 10-minute play. They will consider their audiences’ needs and those of the actors/performers as they develop their narratives and themes. Students will learn how to write in this new form by studying examples of various visual narratives. We will review recorded scenes from performed plays and TV shows to understand dialogue, character proxemics, and prosodics (spacing and tone).


The aim of this course is to produce one fully polished 10-minute stageplay that will then be submitted to the following competitions and opportunities:

  • Three plays are to be selected by one of the following venues for a run-through reading with professional actors in a live theatre.
    • Breadcrumbs Productions/Wunderbar in Syracuse, NY
    • LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY
    • Russell Sage College in Troy, NY
  • The Princeton Ten-Minute Play Contest(Please note that this particular competition is for 11th-grade students in the US and the international equivalent of that grade).
  • The Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival Competition
  • New Voices One-Act Competition for Young Playwrights.
  • All pieces will be published on www.haringeyunchained.com and www.peoplesrepublicofcreativity.com.
Course Content
1Intro to the course – What is Dramatic Writing?
2Setting in a stageplay (and Genre and Character)
3Finding Your Character
4Conventions of the written stageplay form – stage directions, layout of form
5Freytag’s Dramatic Structure (acts 1-3) – alongside anti structure versus/linear structure
6Using Dialogue to Develop Character Arc and Create Tension in Dramatic Writing
7Focus to be based on the needs of the students and the progress of their scripts
8Workshopping pages – student readings and performances plus writer’s descriptions of intentions

Students and their parents will receive brief feedback after each class regarding the student’s general participation in class. Students will also receive feedback on graded assignments via email. 


10 hours of classes, 90 minutes/class

2024 Summer Group Classes: Open for Registration

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