$400 – $500

DGI FALL 2019: Architecture of Plays (Online)

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"Studying with Gary is enlightening and inspiring. His passion shines, and his knowledge of playwriting is phenomenal." - DGI student

This is a course designed to acquaint dramatists at all levels of writing with a variety of dramatic structures that playwrights use in their narrative storytelling to enliven the world of their stories. The primary goal of this course is two-fold: to understand how writers structure their stories to enhance all the elements of compelling storytelling and to build a critical vocabulary that will be useful when a writer discusses their own creative work in a workshop or production environment. We’ll look at different styles of storytelling, genres, techniques and alternative approaches to writing dramatic texts that will be helpful in discussion with future collaborators. And finally, the course will explore alternatives to traditional basic dramatic structure (i.e., the well-made play), in such a way as to reinforce the strengths and weaknesses of what some consider the primary form.

This course is for students who:

  • Want to learn the rules of traditional dramatic structure in American plays;
  • Want to refresh themselves on the rules of traditional dramatic structure in American plays;
  • Want to immerse themselves in the canon of American theatre.

During this course, students will:

  • Read two plays per week from the canon of influential American plays;
  • Participate in analytical discussions about these plays with their instructor and peers;
  • Learn to break down/ map out the structural elements and key plot points in each play.

At the end of the semester, students will have learned:

  • How to analyze a play’s dramatic structure;
  • How to apply traditional dramatic structure to their own writing projects.


Instructor: Gary Garrison
Meeting time: Mondays, 8pm - 10pm
Fee: $400 (DG members) $500 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: September 9, 2019
Limit: 20 students

Please note: If you are applying for the DGI Certificate in Dramatic Writing, please register now to reserve your place in this class. If you are admitted to the certificate program, these tuition fees will be deducted from the overall cost of the program.

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