Short Course: Playwriting

How many times have you been to the theatre and thought: “Actually, I could write better dialogue than this” or “I have a great idea for a play, I just don’t know where to begin”?

If there is a playwright inside of you itching to get out, then this is the course for you.

Playwriting is different from other forms of writing as it is not usually just a work of literature but 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.

This five week course will guide you into writing your first piece ready for the short play circuit where there are lots of opportunities for emerging playwrights. Participants will develop their own short play whilst learning the basics of playwriting through exercises and discussing the work of established playwrights.

The course will focus on the structure of storytelling, the creative process, writing dialogue and character development. Writers will be able to hear their work read aloud by their class mates. 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 or be submitted to short play festivals.

It is useful if participants come armed with an idea for a short play but are also welcome to be inspired through exercises in class.



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 Dolphins and Sharks and Our American Cousin at the Finborough Theatre, Our Children Will be Next at Theatre503, Superman and Me at Canal Café Theatre and Skinhead at Brockley Jack Studio 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 and Old Red Lion, Arcola, Southwark Playhouse and several theatres in New York. She was longlisted for the Old Vic 12 in 2016. Lydia teaches playwriting at the Actors Centre in London.


Course dates:

Tuesdays, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, on 26 February, 5, 12, 19, 26 March 2019.


Please note: you must sign up for the full course even if you cannot attend all dates. No partial course ticket is available.

Short Courses are for over 18s. If you are a young writer, you can sign up for our Spark Young Writers Programme.

All Writing West Midlands short courses are collaborative, and you will learn as much from your fellow course attendees as from the tutor. You will be expected to play an active role in group tasks, and you will also have time to reflect on your own writing during sessions.

Course handouts are sometimes (but not always) available, and notes may be available in advance upon request. If you have any additional needs, please contact Writing West Midlands in advance of the course starting and we will try to assist you.

More Info

Read More


Birmingham and Midland Institute
9 Margaret Street


26 Feb 2019


6:30 pm - 8:30 pm