Introduction to Playwriting

The script is the backbone of any theatre production, from the point of conception through to the realisation of the final work on stage. Delivered as a two-day intensive workshop, a ten-week evening class, or as a longer five-month course, I have designed this course to be a stimulating and inspiring introduction to the craft of playwriting.

Through discussions and practical workshop sessions, this course helps writers to develop script writing skills essential for the theatre. We will explore the art of storytelling, narrative structure, character function and creation, the exploitation of arena, and key tricks and devices for writing successful narrative and dialogue. In each session, I work with writers as a group, as well as offering individual feedback throughout the course, or via online Skype tutorials when writing a short play during the course.

Writers will enjoy an insight into the art of playwriting and develop new skills, which can later be applied to the origination of any new creative writing work, be it plays, short stories or poetry. Whilst we are not focusing on writing for screen, many of the techniques will be relevant to writing for film and television.


As well as looking at the key building blocks of the writing process, previous courses have included a theatre visit with post-theatre discussion and analysis, as well as the opportunity to work with actors to present a rehearsed reading of short plays written during the course.



Delivered in weekly sessions (2hrs) over 8 weeks, or 10 weeks with the option of a staged reading of participants short plays at the end of the course. One-to-one feedback on participants work is provided at intervals throughout the course, plus the option of a theatre trip to aid critical review.


Delivered over two, ten-hour days, the participants' work can be shared with the group in an informal setting at the close of the course.


This course structure is based on five group sessions (2hrs), scheduled once a month over five months. In addition to the group sessions, one to one feedback on participants work is provided via weekly Skype calls between sessions. Participants work towards developing the final draft of a short play.

From January to March 2015 I delivered this course at the Chelsea Theatre, London, for a group of new writers. At the start of the course, each writer was given one of the seven deadly sins to inspire their writing as a key theme. The result was Deadly Seven, a collection of seven-minute plays with a cast of seven professional actors, performed on stage at the theatre in front of a full house.

"Thanks so much for getting the actors together and then putting all our plays on stage. I really enjoyed the course and as a tutor, you're a natural. I'll definitely be making use of many of the exercises in the future and taking into account your feedback."

Course participant

CASE STUDY / Chelsea Theatre, London, UK

From March to June 2016 I delivered this course in at Theatre Britain in Texas. At the start of the course, each writer chose a story or even from June 6th throughout the ages as the stimulus for their short play. On This Day, a collection of nine short plays with a cast of four actors was presented at the Cox Playhouse in Downtown Plano.

"I never thought I'd write a play or see my thoughts and ideas performed on stage. This course made me sit down and do what I've always wanted... thanks, Paul!"

Course participant

"This is a great course, with a skilled and knowledgeable instructor. This will drive you to create plays, and better them."

Course participant

CASE STUDY / Theatre Britain, Plano, Texas, USA


Please get in touch to find out about future courses, or to request a course or workshop for your theatre, college, or university.


Location Auckland, NZ

© 2020 Paul Kalburgi