The Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival

Dramaturgy: Find the Story

with Lara Lewis

This workshop is a two-part introductory textual analysis course. In the first session, students will learn the basics of story structure, and identify themes, arcs, and stakes within narratives. As homework, the students will be assigned to do the same with a narrative (book, film, play, etc), and given a reading and report back to the next session, two weeks after the first. In this second session, students will share their findings and learn how to apply this knowledge in a dramaturgical context when examining plays.

Materials and Key Vocabulary:

  • Dramaturgy
  • Freytag’s pyramid
  • Freytag’s pyramid chart
  • The Hero’s Journey
  • Hero’s Journey chart
  • Story Structure
  • Arcs
  • Themes
  • Stakes
  • Motivation Text: The Lady from the Sea by Susan Sontag
  • Text: EF’s Visit to a Small Planet

All DramaFest Workshops have limited availability. This workshop is not available May 12th-14th. Availability may also be limited due to bookings by other classes.

LEARNING TARGET(S) Students can analyze text for the purpose of clarifying the process of storytelling.


  • Students will be able to respond with critical awareness to their own work and to the work of others.
  • Students will be able to respond with sensitivity and respect to the ideas of others.
  • Students will listen to others, work collaboratively with others or independently alongside others, and/or work to build consensus.
  • Students will address problems and make decisions relating to their drama work.

Lara Lewis is a queer Mi’kmaw theatre artist from Kjipuktuk/Halifax. A graduate of Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, Lara has been performing professionally since 2017 and working as a dramaturge since 2018. Recent credits include work with The Villains Theatre and Zuppa Theatre. Later this year, Lara will make her film debut in The Agnostics, a short film by Rebecca Falvey. In 2018, she was nominated for a Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category. Lara is currently an apprentice dramaturge with Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. As an administrator, Lara has worked for Halifax Fringe and Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax, and is the incoming Chair of the Bus Stop Theatre Co-operative. View Lara’s profile.

  1. This workshop is a two part series. You can book both parts of the series on our Bookings page.
  2. Students remain seated throughout this workshop.
  3. This workshop can include take-home work. 

Book now

Please note: Theatre Nova Scotia respectfully requests that schools and community groups ideally do not cancel workshops once they are booked, unless absolutely necessary. If a group must cancel or reschedule, please give us a week of prior notice. In these precarious days for arts workers, TNS is going to great lengths to provide schools with exceptional theatre education and local artists with paid work in our industry. Please be aware that artists may have turned down other paid work to accommodate these workshop bookings. Thank you for your understanding.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. 

This workshop is a three-part series. 

Students stay seated throughout this workshop.

This workshop includes take-home work.