FTH6120EN - Advanced Playwriting Techniques

Course description

This course will provide students with advanced knowledge of dramatic structure and experience in dramatic writing. It will involve the creation of a one act play. Students will spend all the course time involved in the creative process, including working with principles of dramatic structure to construct new and original works for stage or screen.

How this course benefits students

Students evaluate the playwriting techniques made popular by drama therapist Norman J. Fedder, Ph.D., RDT/BCT and compare them to other playwriting approaches in theatre studies. Students then utilize one or more of Fedder’s techniques in writing a one-act play of four scenes that is suitable for a live audience.

Why this course is important

Students who study playwriting will learn to have a deeper appreciation for every play ever written, including the greatest drama: the story of Christ. In a time when Christian performances (particularly films) are mocked as “cheesy,” this playwriting course will aid the student practitioner in producing a good, solid work that holds up to secular scrutiny by incorporating the tools gained in this course and combining it with tools gained in prerequisite courses.

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

The course will require Script Analysis as a prerequisite, which will focus on the idea of hermeneutics. In the prerequisite course, students learned about the playwright by reading the play. This time, students will convey who the playwright is by writing the play. The Biblical concept is that the redemption story is a cosmic drama that essentially can be broken down into the elements of “Fedder’s Four”. The course should cultivate a deeper appreciation for the Bible as a complete drama from start to finish.

Missionally driven

The course will not only provide the student practitioner with the skills to see everything in terms of script analysis/hermeneutics, but to actually create new works that can be performed with the intention of connecting to an audience that is an evangelistic target.

Contextually informed

Context is an important part of this course, as students will actually be creating context. Students will be writing scenes, skits, or plays in which the action takes place within the context they have created. It will also focus further upon the idea of context in hermeneutics as applied in the Script Analysis prerequisite.

Interculturally focused

Students will learn to write plays for specific or various audiences, this can include audiences from specific cultures or various different cultures.

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.