Playwriting 101: The Next Steps

with Dan Bray

This interactive playwriting course, led by The Villains Theatre’s artistic director Dan Bray, is the perfect introduction for burgeoning playwrights. Students will begin by using fun and accessible prompts and stream-of-consciousness techniques to kickstart the writing process. Students will isolate themes and images to create monologues. From here, they will explore the concept of “active writing” and use this material to generate dialogue between multiple characters. Next, they will use this new dialogue to flesh out scenes, characters, and arcs. Finally, they will share with the group. Students will ideally also receive one-on-one feedback with the instructor, which will introduce them to the role of the dramaturge and the importance of workshopping new work. There will be designated writing time throughout to introduce students to the art of “giving oneself permission to write without interruption.” 

Recommended: 3 part series

Options: “Intro session only (1 workshop)” and “In depth series (5+ sessions) as suited to requests”

All DramaFest Workshops have limited availability. This workshop is not available April 19-23 or May 25-28. Availability is also limited due to bookings by other classes.

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Dan Bray (he/him) is a multidisciplinary artist from Kjipuktuk/Halifax. He is the founder and artistic director of The Villains Theatre, an independent company now celebrating its thirteenth season. He is currently the Playwright in Residence for Shakespeare by the Sea, and he has worked as a performer, assistant director, dramaturg, and playwright for the company many times over the past seven years. In addition to SBTS, Dan has had the privilege to work in various capacities with many of Nova Scotia’s most established companies, including Eastern Front, Two Planks & a Passion, and Xara Choral Theatre. Two of Dan’s past works (Arden (2015) and Zomblet (2019)) earned him Robert Merritt Theatre Award Nominations for “Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian Playwright, and many of his past fringe shows have won him similar playwriting awards from the Halifax Fringe. Currently, Dan is adapting and directing the 2000 British novel Observatory Mansions, marking the first time this text has ever been reimagined for the stage. View Dan Bray’s profile.

  1. This workshop can be offered as a multi-part series or as a stand-alone workshop. Recommended length is a three part series.
  2. Students remain seated throughout this workshop.
  3. This workshop include take-home work. 

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.