Advanced Playwriting

by Bradley Moss


Students will demonstrate their understanding of dramatic text and their ability to create character, relationship, dialogue, and action by writing original 10 to 15 minute long scripts.


Class Level:



Main Concepts:

Dramatic structure, character analysis, text analysis, relationship, conflict, dialogue


1994 National Standards:

Content Standard 1: Script writing by improvising, writing, and refining scripts based on personal experience and heritage, imagination, literature, and history.

Content Standard 4: Directing by interpreting dramatic texts and organizing and conducting rehearsals for informal or formal productions.



This unit usually happens at an intermediate or advanced level after students have been through a basic playwriting unit to introduce basic concepts of play structure, character develop and script format. Additionally, it is nice if the students have completed a unit in theatre history or theatre movements so they are aware of many different approaches, styles, and movements in theatre.


Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: Dramatic Writing
Students will demonstrate their understanding of the difference between narrative and dramatic writing by creating scenes where story is told mostly through action.


Lesson 2: Where Do The Ideas Come From?
Students will understand process of idea generation for script writing by creating storylines from guided and free writing exercises.


Lesson 3: Sharing and Revising Story Ideas
Students will demonstrate their ability to create storylines by presenting their ideas and by offering suggestions to other students about how to improve their storylines.


Lesson 4: Telling Stories Through Action and Dialogue
Students will show and understanding of script structure by shifting story ideas into dialogue and action.


Lesson 5: Creating Characters and Relationships
Students will demonstrate their understanding of the process of character development for script writing by creating dialogue to establish character, objectives, and relationships.


Lesson 6: Sharing of Script Cuttings
Students will demonstrate their understanding of strong script structure by sharing five pages from their final scripts and critiques other students’ work.


Lesson 7: Work Day
Students will demonstrate their abilities in all areas of playwriting by completing their scripts.


Lesson 8: Final Scripts
Students will show their ability to create dramatic texts by bringing a completed script to class and responding to the work of their peers.



Author’s Notes:

The completed scripts coming out of this unit are perfect for submission into young playwright contests.


Advanced Playwriting Unit of Lessons by Bradley Moss