LITT07017 2019 Writing and Practice: Playwriting

General Details

Full Title
Writing and Practice: Playwriting
Transcript Title
Writing and Practice: Playwrit
80 %
Subject Area
LITT - Literature
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
07 - NFQ Level 7
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Tom Weir, Una Mannion, Marian Quinn, Rhona Trench
Programme Membership
SG_HWRIT_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature SG_HWLIT_H08 202000 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature

This module is about learning to write plays for stage. Learners will write play scripts through the exploration of the craft of playwriting including dialogue, narrative voice, character, plot, structure, language, and setting. The module is facilitated through a workshop environment where learners present their weekly work to the class and receive feedback from the tutors and other students. Participants will build up a portfolio of their learning which will culminate in re-edits of their work, a reflective piece of writing on their learning, and a rehearsed reading of their work at the end of the semester.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


demonstrate an understanding of the craft and technique of playwriting through the development of their own work;


Critically evaluate their own work and that of others;


Situate their work within the broad context of the respective media of theatre


Understand the role of the writer in the professional context of the stage


Use the appropriate industry format and conventions associated with writing for the stage


Understand different dramatic genres relevant to playwriting;


Develop their own creative voice with a view to a realisation of their work for performance;


Develop skills in collaboration with other creative partners, directors, dramaturgs, designers and cast.


Demonstrate the necessary research for writing;

Teaching and Learning Strategies

A series of guided lectures will introduce students to the history and practice of the theatre industry. The principal activity will be workshops where students will participate in writing, editing and sharing their work. Students will respond critically to their written work and that of others. The students will be expected to write independently and engage in guided independent study.  We will have presentations from visiting industry professionals as well as going to see productions currently showing during the course of the semester. Students will document their learning in their reflective portfolios of work.

Module Assessment Strategies

  • Weekly writing tasks
  • Critical/analytical tasks
  • Presentation - Directed reading
  • Portfolio of writing - samples of stage plays, scene analysis, written assignments, reflective commentaries
  • Attendance and engagement with the class

Repeat Assessments

Repeat attend

Indicative Syllabus

This module will examine in theory and in practice the following:

  • The development of plays
  • Treatment for plays
  • Script analysis, discussion of characterisation, story lines, setting, script realisation
  • The role of the playwright for stage - movement, sound, space, lighting, technology.
  • Actors, designers, directors and the dramaturg in realising the script for performance 

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Assessment Continuous Assessment Assessment 70 % OnGoing 1,2,4,6,9
2 Written plays Project Assignment 20 % End of Term 1,2,4,5,6,9
3 Reflective writing Project Assignment 10 % End of Term 3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Group Learning Flat Classroom workshop 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
20/01/2019 Playwrights on Playwriting Cooper Square Press

Required Reading
20/01/2019 The Art and Craft of Playwriting Story Press

Required Reading
20/01/2019 A Practical Guide to Becoming a Playwright Andrew Biss

Required Reading
20/10/2019 So You Want to be a Playwright Nick Hern

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Reid Plays: 1: Tea in a China Cup, Did You Hear the One About the Irishman...?, Joyriders, The Belle of the Belfast City, My Name, Shall I Tell You My ... City, Clowns Vol 1 (Contemporary Dramatists) Paperback – 12 May 1997 by Christina Reid 

The Complete Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett (Faber Drama) 5 Jan 2006 

Marina Carr: Plays 2: On Raftery’s Hill; Ariel; Woman and Scarecrow; The Cordelia Dream; Marble (Ff Contemporary Classics)15 Oct 2009

Marina Carr Plays 1: "Low in the Dark", "The Mai", "Portia Coughlan", "By the Bog of Cats" v. 1 (Contemporary Classics)1 Jan 1900

Walsh Plays: One (Bedbound, Chatroom, Disco Pigs, Misterman)10 Feb 2011

Deirdre Kinahan, Halcyon Days. (Nick Hern Books 2012)

Hickson, Ella. Eight (monologues) (NHB Modern Plays) Paperback – 2 Jul 2009

Ravenhill, Mark. Plays 2. (Methuen 2008)

Penelope Skinner, Meek. (Oberon Books, 2018)

Christian O'Reilly. The Good Father (Dramatists Services Inc. 2014)




Journal Resources

JSTOR - in itsligo library

URL Resources

Playwrights podcast -

Playwriting podcast - Player FM -

Irish playwright talk about their process and work -

Other Resources

Black Box space for break out readings

Additional Information