Module Identifier DR34230  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Professor David I Rabey  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite DR10220 , DR10120  
Course delivery Lecture   One 2-hour lecture/workshop per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Performance of which should total approximately 15-20 minutes playing time First Assignment: Script 25%
Semester Assessment Performance of which should total approximately 40 minutes playing time Second Submission: Script55%
Semester Assessment Presentation - Critical Reflection on Creative Development Critical Reflection on Creative Development10%
Semester Assessment Portfolio - Critical Reflection on Creative Development  10%
Supplementary Assessment A completed or revised First Submission A completed or revised Second Submission Critical Reflection on Creative Development 100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should have:
1. An understanding of the nature of the dramatic, and of dramatic structure.
2. The ability to write monologues
3. The ability to write a short, well-structured piece of drama
4. An understanding of the relationship of the audience with the work on stage and how this differs from the relationship that exists between the audience and the screen.
5. Some knowledge of the history of Western theatre.
6. An understanding of appearance and reality in the Theatre: the conflict between what's said and what's meant; between what's said and what happens: the relationship between text and sub-text.
7. An awareness of production considerations inherent in translating text from page to stage.

Brief description

This Level Three module will explore the theory and practice of creative writing for the stage through a series of workshops/seminars, which will include analysis of dramatic technique and the craft of playwriting, as well as playwriting exercises and writing assignments. Students submit a first piece of writing for assessment, which will in turn receive feedback to inform their development of a major submission; students will also keep a writer's notebook from the beginning of the module which will assist them in their reflections and which they will submit; and that they reflect critically within the module on their contribution and experience of the process, in terms of the module's learning outcomes, in an oral examination. The notebook and oral examination will together count for 20% of the assessment for the module.


To develop students' critical appreciation of the theory and practice of creative writing for the stage.


Teaching Programme:

David will lead the first six sessions, the first five of which will take a theoretical work as a first point of departure, before going on to discuss principles, examine examples, set exercises and give and elicit feedback. He will also refer to examples of his own writing for the stage.

Lecture 1: Introduction (DIR)
Relevant Reading: Greig, Noel (2005) ' Playwriting: A Practical Guide' Routledge

Lecture 2: (DIR)
Relevant Reading: Yeger, Sheila (1990) 'The Sound of One Hand Clapping' Oxford: Amber Lane

Lecture 3: (DIR)
Relevant Reading: Spencer, Stuart (2002) 'The Playwright's Guidebook' Faber

Lecture 4: (DIR)
Relevant Reading: McKee, Robert (1998) 'Story' Methuen

Lecture 5: (DIR)
Relevant Reading: Mamet, David (2007) 'Three Uses of the Knife' Methuen

Lecture 6: (DIR)
Retrospective, and development
Relevant Reading: Rabey, David Ian (2004) 'The Wye Plays' Intellect

Assignment week

Lucy will lead the last four sessions, taking an example of her own writing for the stage as a central reference, and then also going on to discuss principles, examine examples, set exercises and give and elicit feedback.

Lecture 7: (LG)
Relevant Reading: Gough, Lucy (2006) 'By a Thread and The Raft' Methuen

Lecture 8: Pace (LG)

Lecture 9: Story (LG)

Lecture 10: Use of Theatrical Space (LG)

Module Skills

Problem solving This element is not assessed directly. However, all scriptwriting involves problem solving: what type of character will best convey a particular theme? What plot devices will most effectively propel the story to the next plot point? The effectiveness with which the author has solved problems is evident in the quality of the finished product.  
Research skills The element is not assessed directly. However most scripts involve some form of specialized knowledge that the student must research independently.  
Communication All assessed assignments require a high level of written communication. Lectures include segments on how to communicate effectively in these media, and the overall assessment of a piece includes assessments on how well the concept has been communicated.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are expected to drive their own learning and to develop their own unique creative approaches. Part of the assessment for the Script is how well students have improved the work from their first submission.  
Team work Students will have the opportunity to access and give feedback on each other¿s work.  
Information Technology Not assessed, although it is the Department¿s expectation that students present their work in word processed format.  
Application of Number Not assessed or developed.  
Personal Development and Career planning Career planning is not assessed. However, it will be developed through discussion of the expectations the media places on a writer, what types of approaches to the media are construed to be professional, and what type of work is most likely to enhance the student¿s writing prospects.  
Subject Specific Skills None in addition to those noted under 3 above  

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Greig, Noel (2005) Playwriting: A Practical Guide Routledge
Mamet, David (2007) Three Uses of the Knife Methuen
McKee, Robert (1998) Story London Methuen
Spencer, Stuart (2002) The Playwright's Guidebook Faber
Yeger, Sheila (1990) The Sound of One Hand Clapping Oxford: Amber Lane
** Recommended Text
Gough, Lucy (2006) By a Thread and The Raft Methuen
Rabey, David Ian (2007) Lovefuries Intellect
Rabey, David Ian (2004) The Wye Plays Intellect


This module is at CQFW Level 6