ONLINE On-demand Short Course: Beginning Playwriting: the Ten-Minute Play

with Lydia Parker

On-demand 5 session course, fully available after purchase to work through at your leisure.


Join us in our virtual classroom for a five session short course you can follow at your own pace.

Do you have a great idea for a play and just don’t know where to begin? Or perhaps writing a full length play seems a bit daunting right now? A gentle way to ease into playwriting is with a ten minute play; it’s an art form in itself, just like a short story, but can also be inspiration for a longer work.

Playwriting is different from other forms of writing as it is one part of a live performance, a piece of work which must be interpreted by actors and a director before it is experienced by an audience, either in person, recorded or online.

There is plenty of opportunity for emerging playwrights. This five week course will guide you into writing your first piece ready for the short play circuit, scratch nights and online performance groups. Participants will develop their own short play whilst learning the basics of playwriting through a combination of lessons and exercises as well as reading, watching and analysing the work of established playwrights, with complete flexibility to the participant’s schedule.

This course will focus on the structure of storytelling, the creative process, writing dialogue and character development. By the end of the course each participant will have a first draft of a ten minute play which may be further developed into a longer work, submitted to short play festivals or produced online.

The course will be self-led, so you can follow along according to your own schedule. The online software is simple and easy to navigate, and you can pause and come back to it as often as you wish. The teaching is a mix of video, written information and instructions, and writing challenges for you to complete.

No prior writing experience is necessary for this course.



Lydia Parker is artistic director of Over Here Theatre Company which produced ObamAmerica, a festival of new American short plays at Theatre503. Directing work includes The Actor’s Nightmare at the Park Theatre, Dolphins and Sharks and Our American Cousin at the Finborough Theatre, as well as many short plays for Little Pieces of Gold. Her plays American Dream and Gringo were produced at the Union Theatre and New Wimbledon Studio. She has also had work performed at Old Red Lion, Arcola, Southwark Playhouse and several theatres in New York. Her play A Better Pronoun was published in Short Plays with Great Roles for Women by Routledge Press. Lydia has written comedy for BBC Radio 4 and co-wrote the web series The Band Formerly Known As with her daughter Sabrina, which has just been long-listed for a Funny Women award. She is currently writing and directing the web series Lonely in Lockdown. Lydia has directed for Identity School of Drama. She has taught playwriting workshops for Writing West Midlands, Aston University, University of Northampton and the Actors Centre.


Please note: you must sign up for the full course even if you do not complete the course. No partial course ticket is available.

Short Courses (online and in-person) are for over 18s. If you are a young writer, you can sign up for our Spark Young Writers Programme.

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20 Feb 2022