D.W. Gregory is at the 90th annual International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska, this week, conducting a series of workshops on playwriting fundamentals. Her Playwrights’ Boot Camp is offered in four sessions, a nuts-and-bolts interactive that employs writing exercises and acting improvisations to help students develop a new character, write the dramatic action, reconsider structure, and develop a story from a static situation.
The first session of the workshop focuses on developing character through the creation of a detailed biography, using 99 questions to help the students think through the family history, experiences, and current dilemmas of their characters.
The second session focuses on the importance of understanding the actor’s triad of action-objective-obstacle before writing a scene.
The third session deals with how structure creates meaning in the drama and is intimately entwined with character.
The fourth session is designed to help students move from a static situation to an active scene.
D.W. Gregory discusses some of these methods in a series of articles published by Dramatics online. Dramatics is a publication of the Educational Theatre Association, which sponsors the International Thespian Festival and is read by some 30,000 high school drama students and their teachers across the United States.
In August 2018, Dramatics issued its annual survey of the most-produced plays in U.S. high schools. D.W. Gregory’s Radium Girls was included on that list for the first time.
The first installment of her series for Dramatics can be found here:
The other articles in the series are
Finding Your Character’s Voice: Writing the Exploratory Scene
and Mapping the Major Events – both online at Dramatics.org.
The fourth and final installment in the series will be published soon.