Dramatic Studio: Contemporary Playwriting Techniques

Timothy Daly

6 x Saturday afternoons: 13, 20, 27 October; 10, 17, 24 November, 1pm-4pm

Full Price: $660
Member: $460
Conc Member: $395

A six-week practical and intensive study of contemporary theatre and the writing techniques needed to succeed in it. Led by one of Australia’s most internationally produced playwrights, each session will concentrate on a range of topics including contemporary dialogue techniques, characterisation principles, dramatic structure, contemporary theatre genres and the latest trends in national and international theatre. Over half of each session will involve hands-on, practical workshopping of the participating writers’ scripts.

These six intensive sessions are designed to teach you the techniques for writing full-length plays and selling them to the national and international theatre markets.

Each week you will receive comprehensive notes and information, based on Timothy Daly’s knowledge and extensive experience of the Australian and overseas theatre scene. In the second half of each session you will workshop your own writing. A specific ‘selling strategy’ will be designed for each participant and their play.

1. Contemporary Dialogue Techniques

Writing so your characters—and your play—sound modern. Common dialogue patterns, texture and rhythms.

2. Characterisation Techniques

Creating a multi-level dramatic character, and other advanced character-creation techniques.

3. Play Structure, Large & Small

Act Structure, Phases & Scene Structure.

4. Work Methods

How to work with a day-job, finish the play and avoid Writer’s Block.

5. The National Theatre Market

What types of plays are produced in Australia and how to sell your play to an Australian theatre company.

6. International Theatre

Writing for the world theatre market; the how-to and why-you-should. Getting and agent – and keeping one.

Timothy Daly is one of those rare playwrights – one who can explain the art of it! He has a musical ear for dialogue and so many wonderfully well thought out ideas and processes for how to draft and redraft work to its absolute best. I started my career with Tim as a mentor/dramaturg, and he helped me to structure and craft my first ever professional play, which then went on to a performance at the Sydney Opera House. His short play course was instrumental in my own embracing of the form. Tim has considered insights into what works in which spaces and for which audiences, and he is able to reveal this with tremendous generosity and intelligence, and with the understanding of a working and talented practitioner.’
— Suzie Miller

Suzie Miller is a multi-award winning playwright who has been in residence with Ex Machina & Robert Lepage, National Theatre London, National Theatre of Scotland and Griffin Theatre. She has won and been shortlisted for the Kit Denton Fellowship, the AWGIES, state premier’s awards, Irish Times award, and the New York Fringe Festival.

Timothy Daly taught me about the musicality of language, and the importance of being bold in both my ideas and vision. He taught me about the importance of redrafting and editing and the priceless benefit of being open to robust, articulate dramaturgical feedback. He taught me about the creative drive and the necessity to work as hard as you can to get your work on the page and then the stage. So basically he taught me everything anyone needs to know about being a playwright.’
— Tom Holloway

Tom Holloway’s works have been seen around Australia as well as in the UK and Europe, including at the Volksbühne München, Traverse Theatre, Bush Theatre, Aårhus Teater, and Hampstead Theatre. His play Sunshine premiered with the Red Stitch Actors Theatre in 2016, as did his adaptation of Double Indemnity for Melbourne Theatre Company.

Participant Requirements

Pen and paper.

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