My Introduction to Playwriting Experience

By Hannah Morpeth (September’s Guest Blogger)

Back in May I was accepted to attend Live Theatre’s Introduction to Playwriting course ran by Literary Manager, Gez Casey. The course challenged me as a writer to think in different ways and allowed me to explore the work of brilliant playwrights.

Before applying for the course I was in somewhat of a dry patch when it came to writing, I had a couple of ideas for scripts but didn’t have the motivation or in some ways, the skills to follow the ideas through and actually write the play. Taking part in the course helped me to develop what were once 2D characters into ones that were fully fleshed believable beings, it enabled me to understand the importance of structure and made me think more about the use of time in a play.

Introduction to Playwriting allowed time for writing scripts, time for talking about what makes a good play and even time for a bit of acting. As a writer it is easy to develop a degree of self-involvement, especially when all you want to do is finish writing something so take to locking yourself away to do so, but attending a course like the Introduction to Playwriting one allows you to learn from others by talking through ideas and ultimately giving them a test drive.

The five week course centred around three plays: Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth, A Number by Caryl Churchill and The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall, each play has a distinctive approach making them interesting to learn from and dissect. I tend to think that even reading or watching something you didn’t like is just as much use as something you did enjoy, at least that way you know the kind of writer you don’t want to be just as much as the one you do.

My one piece of advice would be to see as much theatre as you can. I absolutely adore going to the theatre from an entertainment perspective but also to help work out the kind things I like to watch and in turn write. Watching a brilliant production never fails to reignite my passion for theatre and creative writing.

I would recommend the Introduction to Playwriting to someone who, like me had an interest in playwriting but didn’t have the skills to produce full pieces of work but also to someone completely new to writing, the course catered for all abilities and enabled progression in many areas.

For information on how to apply click here.

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