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Playwriting Master Class: The Personality of Process and the Art of Rewriting

Overview

The act of writing a new play occurs in solitude, with a personality all its own. The playwright makes a thousand choices no one else sees -- choices that other playwrights and theatre artists can benefit from. Now, for the first time, Michael Wright makes this personal process public.

Playwriting Master Class does what no other playwriting book has: it looks at the range of creative choices as a new play evolves. Michael Wright challenged seven playwrights to create original ...

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Overview

The act of writing a new play occurs in solitude, with a personality all its own. The playwright makes a thousand choices no one else sees -- choices that other playwrights and theatre artists can benefit from. Now, for the first time, Michael Wright makes this personal process public.

Playwriting Master Class does what no other playwriting book has: it looks at the range of creative choices as a new play evolves. Michael Wright challenged seven playwrights to create original work in reaction to the same prompt and to interpret that prompt in any way they saw fit. Through sample drafts, explorations, journals, and follow-up interviews, Wright offers special insight into these playwrights' processes, methods, and thinking -- allowing us virtually to look over their shoulders while they work. The playwrights span various generations, backgrounds, styles, and points of view, and include Elizabeth Wong, David Crespy, Elena Carrillo, Gary Garrison, Velina Hasu Houston, Guillermo Reyes, and Julie Jensen.

Playwriting Master Class will be a valuable classroom tool and an excellent resource for playwrights at all levels. Directors, dramaturgs, and actors will find its insight into the writer's methods and mentality extremely useful.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Many books on the market examine the process of playwriting, but dramatist Wright (Playwriting in Process) has done something unique by asking seven other playwrights to compose an original ten-minute play for this work. In addition, each playwright (Elizabeth Wong and David Crespy, among others) kept a journal of the playwriting process and turned it over to Wright along with all the play drafts. In each chapter, Wright explicates one playwright's offerings and then reproduces his or her final draft in its entirety. His careful editing and instructive commentary clearly connect the playwrights' processes with their product, making the variety of material in this volume impressive rather than overwhelming. In fact, Wright's deft handling of this variety helps him demonstrate the desired conclusion that playwrights can and should use any method of writing that works for them. This work will not only encourage struggling playwrights, as the author hopes, but will provide any writer with some valuable tools. Because it has a very specific aim, it will find its greatest audience in academic libraries that support playwriting programs.--Cheryl J. Van Til, Kent Dist. Lib. Comstock Park, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Wright (Austin Script Works Theatre and WordBRIDGE Playwrights Lab) examines the range of creative choices available as a new play evolves. Using sample drafts, explorations, journals, and follow-up interviews, he offers insight into the processes, methods and thinking of seven playwrights (Elizabeth Wong, David Crespy, Elena Carrillo, Gary Garrison, Velina Hasu Houston, Buillermo Reyes, and Julie Jensen) who span various generations, backgrounds, styles, and points of view. He provides an over-the-shoulder look at how these writers wrote and revised, and how they coped with dead ends as well as sudden flashes of insight and breakthrough. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

- Foreward by Mead Hunter, AKS Theater Projects, L.A.

A fascinating and movingly honest look into several individual processes of playwriting, from the first kernel of dream state inspiration to the painstaking details of rewriting a final draft. More of an inside look into coaching sessions rather than our standard idea of a more rigid class, the book does indeed demystify the art of playwriting with revelations of the very individual progress down a creative road it is - albeit with helpful sign posts along the way.

- Morgan Jenness, Creative Consultant, Abrams Artists Agency

This book is an invaluable tool for anyone who seeks to understandint he secret that is playwrighting.

- Lee Blessing

This book is like an archeological dig: it reveals much of what usually remains buried about the most personal aspects of the act of writing. The eight playwrights in this book open up their processes to the reader’s scrutiny and in doing so, they provide a guide of sorts to the reader’s own trajectory.

A terrific addition to the literature on writing!

- Moisés Kaufman, Writer - Director, Tectonic Theater Project

This is a one-of-a-kind wonder of a book on the writer's complex,emotional process of writing a play. Deep inside you'll discover not only the unique path each writer takes to dramatically express their theatrical ideas, but you're privy to an assessment of that process by one our country's most important scholars in the theatre -- Michael Wright.

- Gary Garrison

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325001692
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 11/6/2000
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael Wright is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Creative Writing at the University of Tulsa, and holds joint appointments in Theatre and Film Studies Departments. He is a playwright and author whose books include "Playwriting at Work and Play," "Playwriting in Process," "Playwriting Master Class."He is the founder and moderator of the Fictional Character Writers Collective in Tulsa and is the U.S. Representative to both World Interplay and the Inter-Scribe project in Australia, as well as Interplay Europe. His plays have been produced across the US and the world.
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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction: An Overview 1
Part I Dreams 13
Chapter 1 Elizabeth Wong: Inside a Red Envelope 15
Chapter 2 David Crespy: Beshert 39
Part II Journeys 77
Chapter 3 Elena Carrillo: One Wasp 79
Chapter 4 Gary Garrison: Cherry Reds 107
Chapter 5 Velina Hasu Houston: Mister Los Angeles 137
Part III Cut From Whole Cloth 159
Chapter 6 Guillermo Reyes: Bitter 161
Chapter 7 Julie Jensen: Give Us This Day 177
Afterword 199
Contributors 203
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