The Essential Tools and Techniques for Writing a Play

The Essential Tools and Techniques for Writing a Play

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This carefully curated bundle of 11 OnDemand Webinars includes the following classes on playwriting, led by experienced instructors such as Jonathan Dorf, Mitch Paradise, Steve Cuden, Kathy Berardi, and Elizabeth Sims. Topics include adapting from different source materials, playwriting basics, writing dynamic characters, and writing compelling dialogue. This bundle is perfect for playwrights, but also provides advice for TV and movie writers looking to expand into theater!

Adapting a Novel or Play for Film or Television: (OnDemand Webinar) Ideas for your next screenplay are all around you everyday. But writing an adaptation poses some unique challenges to screenwriters who are new to the practice. This OnDemand Webinar gives you practice instructions on how to evaluate your source material and construct a solid script from it. Writing a screenplay that is “based on underlying material” will give your script a leg up in a competitive marketplace. The industry responds to intellectual property. Checking one of those boxes will always be in your favor! ($49.99 value)

Playwriting 101: Everything You Need to Know to Write a Play: (OnDemand Webinar) Jonathan Dorf's plays have been produced worldwide, and as a teacher and script consultant, he's been guiding writers from Arizona to Australia toward production and publication for two decades. In this OnDemand webinar, he will share his expertise on how to develop your germ of an idea into a full-fledged script, the "big picture concepts" that will help you structure your play and keep it on track, and how to avoid the red flags that send plays to the reject pile. Above all, you'll learn to put into practice the most fundamental axiom of playwriting: "Plays are written to be produced." ($79.99 value) 

Writing Plays for Young People: How to Write for the Biggest Market Nobody Knows About: (OnDemand Webinar) Today's young people are tomorrow's audiences and theatre makers. They're hungry for great plays, and there isn't nearly enough quality material being written for teens and children. With a market that spans schools and theaters worldwide, the chances of production are exponentially higher, and a successful play can earn thousands of dollars. But that means not only mastering basic playwriting skills, but also developing a specific understanding of how to write for young actors and audiences. In this OnDemand webinar, Jonathan Dorf will share some of the techniques, tips and tricks on the craft that will help accelerate your learning curve, and just as important, he'll offer his practical insights into what makes a play successful in the youth market. ($79.99 value)

Acquiring Underlying Rights – The Nuts and Bolts of Locating, Negotiating for, and Acquiring the Rights to True Life Stories, Books, Plays, Newspapers and Magazine Articles: (OnDemand Webinar) There’s nothing harder than breaking into the entertainment business, but notice how many film and television projects are based on underlying material – books, articles, true life stories. Acquisition of underlying rights can seem an un-climbable mountain, but having a script that comes with the self-promotional attachment of underlying rights gives you a leg up on the competition. Mitch Paradise, a screenwriter who has been through this process a dozen times, will share with you tips and facts on how to locate the subject, approach and talk to the subject, and negotiate the best possible deal. He’ll use not just anecdotal experience, but share contracts and other material that will enable you to get to the finish line secure and ready to begin your adaptation. Learn how to overcome your fears, build trust between you and your subject, and feel comfortable with the legalese that might have seemed too daunting to attempt acquisition in the past. ($79.99 value) 

Playwriting for Movie and TV Writers: (OnDemand Webinar) Film is a visual medium. Screenwriters primarily work in images. Theater is a verbal medium. Screenwriters need to “re” learn rules, everything from the differences in format to navigating the Two Dimensional world of the stage vs. the 3D “silver light” of a movie screen. This OnDemand webinar will define if your original idea is appropriate for the stage and help with brainstorming techniques to help you write it. It will discuss adaptation techniques for writing a play based on a true story. It will clearly define the difference between writing for the visual medium of film and the verbal medium of a play. This course offers a breakdown on the three different types of adaptation you might write (original—faithful—and hybrid). It also challenges writers on their motivations for writing an original play, and gives some battle-tested strategy for how to approach your first play. ($79.99 value) 

The Character-Driven Drama: Write Parts Actors Love: (OnDemand Webinar) Critically and commercially acclaimed films don't rely on high concept or intriguing plot alone. Those are all useless without organic, unique, fascinating characters that A-list actors want to play, and top directors want to direct! In this OnDemand Webinar, you will learn the secrets to building bold, flawed, truly memorable protagonists that every director, actor, and studio wants, then how to construct your plot organically from those characters' needs. You'll be able to craft stories that get the industry's attention, all on the basis of your powerful, A-list-worthy characters! ($79.99 value) 

Creating Dynamic Characters - From Outline to Rewrite: (OnDemand Webinar) This OnDemand webinar discusses the techniques to craft dynamic characters to both serve your story and bring it to a new level. You’ll receive a bullet list of items to aid you in creating your characters and their backstory. You’ll learn how to dissect your characters in a way that serves both their evolution and helps you brainstorm plot points and conflicts. The instructor shows you how the process of creating your characters and making them shine starts before you even outline and doesn’t end until the last rewrite. ($79.00 value)

Writing the Hit Musical Adaptation From History, Literature and More: (OnDemand Webinar) Material that is ideal for being musicalized can be found in many sources: plays, books, magazine articles, history, movies, TV shows, games, toys, and more. Frequently, adaptors find it challenging to determine the right ingredients of a story that enables it to be told with song and dance that will make for a producible, commercial musical. In this OnDemand webinar, Steve Cuden, co-creator of the Broadway and international hit, Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical, and the musical Rudolf, Affaire Mayerling, teaches simple, straightforward methods of how to deconstruct an existing story to find the right pieces and parts that will help authors to tell an engaging tale with book, music, and lyrics. ($79.99 value)

How to Create Conflict to Drive an Original Story: (OnDemand Webinar) This OnDemand webinar will teach you as a storyteller how to identify ripe sources of conflict in your story; as well as how to elongate and stretch conflict in a way that tantalizes and holds an audience on the edge of their seats through the end of the program. The instructor, Kathy Berardi will provide exercises, examples and how-to techniques to easily help you get started on building a story based on conflict and realizing why conflict is essential to the dramatic art of storytelling as a whole (for both drama and comedic content). ($79.99 value) 

10 Effective Techniques for Creating Your Cast of Characters: (OnDemand Webinar) In this OnDemand Webinar you will learn how to bring your characters to life on the page. Using prompts and brainstorming tools, tap into your personal creative resources and the world immediately surrounding you to create intriguing, accessible, and unforgettable characters for your script. Instructor Tom Benedek will share his expertise on effective ways to tap into your heart and mind to create great characters, essentials of a strong relationship-core understanding between writer and your “family of characters”, and how to identify and build out different kinds of characters for specific story purposes. ($79.99 value) 

How To Write Dialogue Like A Pro: (OnDemand Webinar) Great authors use dialogue to reveal the hearts and minds of their characters, to create conflict and humor, to fuel action, and to rivet readers' attention. This intensive OnDemand webinar, written and presented by instructor and award-winning novelist Elizabeth Sims, will give you the same tools the pros use to craft terrific dialogue. She'll start by unlocking the great paradox of dialogue: Authors must write dialogue that comes across as real and believable, yet why does actual speech usually sound so dumb when transcribed onto the page? She'll cover the basics of good dialogue, then move into the nuts and bolts of generating ideas for dialogue, how to use characters' words—instead of narrative—to bring them to life and how to stay out of trouble when writing tricky passages. ($79.00 value) 


The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the Bundle. All sales are final.