FTH5110EN - Advanced Script Analysis

Course description

Aids students in developing the skills necessary for analyzing scripts in preparation for production. Focuses on dramatic theory, structure and techniques that enable the actor, director, designer, or playwright to uncover the problems of translating theory into practice. Develops advanced dramaturgy skills and hermeneutical approaches to reading scripts.

How this course benefits students

The course moves beyond basic elements of drama (plot, theme, character, dialogue, rhythm, spectacle) as well as modern elements (convention, genre, and audience). Advanced dramaturgy skills develop as students examine play scripts at a deep level taking a line-by-line approach to evaluate the psychological motives of the characters as well as the intent of the playwright. Advanced script analysis skills are not only foundational to playwrights, but to performers and directors as well.

Why this course is important

Script analysis can be described as the “hermeneutics” of the play. Students who study script analysis will learn to have a deeper appreciate for every drama they study, including the greatest drama: the story of Christ. In a time when Christian performances (particularly films) are mocked as “cheesy,” script analysis and dramaturgy skills will aid the student practitioner in producing a good, solid work that holds up to secular scrutiny.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Film & Theatre Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Script analysis is analogous to hermeneutics. For this reason, the entire Bible will serve as the ultimate example of script analysis. The Bible is not a collection of stories, but rather, the Bible is a living drama, complete with plot, theme, characters, dialogue, rhythm, and spectacle. The more we study the Bible, the more we understand it. The same principle applies to script analysis. By studying a script intently, we are not merely learning about the play; we are actually learning about the playwright.

Missionally driven

The course will provide the student practitioner with the skills to see everything in terms of script analysis/hermeneutics, even people. Everyone has a story. Missionaries and evangelists will be able to examine every encounter with the lost as a slice of dramatic action which will aid them in becoming all things to all men that they might by all means save some (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

Contextually informed

The course is essentially a study in theatrical hermeneutics. Because exegesis is primarily concerned with context, this course will expose the student to the idea of interpreting dramatic play scripts exegetically

Interculturally focused

Exegesis of play scripts includes consideration for the cultural context in which they take place, including the motives behind every word spoken. Students will learn to interpret a play and adapt it for various audiences. Furthermore, this course will act as a prerequisite for playwriting skills, which students will have in mind when authoring plays for various audiences.

Practically minded

Christian drama and films are often panned by critics. Time spent in serious study of the play will also enable students to produce a quality production that will earn the respect of critics by giving students practical skills to produce good work.

Experientially transformed

Theatre arts, by nature and definition, is an experiential medium. Students will be equipped to take the lessons learned from the course and apply them directly in their church or missionary assignments.