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THEA 400 Playwriting I

Writing for the spoken word and for acting demands different skills than writing for the page. Develop your ear, your signature of voice, your sense of subtext. Through a variety of approaches, from improvisation to creative autobiography, students explore character, conflict and drama as metaphor. Writers with material they would like to explore or adapt for the stage are welcome. Expect to complete at least one short play.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 24, 2002 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Construct a unified argument expressed in spectacle, sound, movement and metaphor, which supports the playwright's vision.
  • Develop theme which is expressive of the individual's point of view, and extends to the human condition.
  • Draft, re-write and complete, within the constructs of the class, one final draft of a 10-30 minute play, in standard format for submission.
  • Understand at a fundamental level, the creative and established process of developing work for the stage.
  • Understand the unique possibilities as well as the limits of writing for the live theater stage.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Spring 2023

Section Title Instructor
21 Playwriting I Beller, Jonathan Steven Books Course details

Fall 2023

Section Title Instructor
01 Playwriting I Smogard, Gail S Books Course details