Introduction to Playwriting

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Creative Writing
Course Code
CRWR 1102
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course concentrates on the process of writing stage plays. It includes instruction in play mechanics, dramatic structure, character development, speech patterns, movement, action, and dialogue in the writing of drama. Students are introduced to a range of stage play formats and styles through the study of traditional and modern plays. Student work is presented and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop environment.
Course Content

Selected plays from published texts.

Students’ manuscripts will form the bulk of the course content.

Methods Of Instruction

The bulk of the classes will be conducted in the workshop format. The following may be combined with the workshop:

  • in-class performance of students’ work
  • lectures and discussions
  • small group work
  • assigned reading and class presentations
  • interviews with instructor
Means of Assessment

A minimum of three assignments submitted for class discussion, including a monologue, a short sketch, and a one-act play will count for a minimum of 60% of the course grade.  Other evaluations may include self-evaluations of submitted material, in-class writing assignments, participation in the workshop (in-class critical analysis of student work), and a 500-word report on a professional live play seen during the term.  An overall minimum of 40 pages of work is required.

Students are required to attend 80% of the workshops.  A student missing more than 20% of the workshops without receiving prior permission from the instructor will receive a 0 in class participation.  Leaving after the break is considered half an absence. 

Learning Outcomes

General Objectives:

The student will learn the techniques of dialogue, characterization, and plot construction as these apply to the writing of stage plays.  The student will write drama for in-class discussion and will learn how to revise manuscripts.

Specific Objectives:


  1. The student will learn to identify and outline script ideas suited to stage presentation.
  2. The student will learn to utilize dramatic action, character revelation, lighting, stage movement, set and costume in the presentation of play ideas.
  3. The student will develop dramatic material through controlled classroom exercises.


  1. The student will recognize the various stages in drafting a play.
  2. The student will recognize a variety of modern and traditional dramatic forms and will learn to express play ideas using these forms.
  3. The student will learn to develop writing habits consistent with the production of quality written work.
  4. Over the term, the student will learn to write dramatic material that shows development in the understanding of dramatic form.


  1. The student will read and watch the work of published and produced playwrights to discover how those writers deal with problems of form and craft.          
  2. The student will recognize how playwrights use character development, dramatic structure, dialogue and stage direction to write successful plays.
  3. By reading the work of his/her peers aloud in the classroom, the student will develop the critical skills necessary to judge the effectiveness of dramatic material.


  1. The student will recognize the value of revision as an essential writing process and where suitable will revise his/her work for class discussion.
  2. The student will evaluate critical suggestions from the instructor and his/her peers, and incorporate these into the revised play.
  3. The student will learn to prepare a play manuscript for presentation to producer, editors and workshops.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

The following may be required:

The text of a play being produced by the Douglas College Theatre Department in the current semester. To be announced at beginning of term; a relevant play anthology such as Modern Canadian Plays (ed. Jerry Wasserman).



Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement with the exceptions of the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU and the assessments listed below. These require the specified higher standard for entry into CMNS, CRWR and ENGL courses.
• a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
• a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490, OR
• Mastery in ELLA 0330 and any two of ELLA 0310, 0320, or 0340, OR
• TOEFL overall score of 83 with a minimum of 21 in Writing, OR
• IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0; for individual bands below 6.0:
       • if in Speaking, ELLA 0210 required
       • if in Reading or Listening, ELLA 0220 required
       • if in Writing, ELLA 0230 and ELLA 0240 required
• CLB score of 8, OR
• CEFR level B2+, OR
• CAEL minimum overall and essay score of 70 (computer or paper based), OR
• recognized equivalent or exemption.


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CRWR 1102
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ENGL 296 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU CRWR 1XXX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG ENGL 1XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CA 1XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU THTR 325 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ARTS 1st (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV CRWR 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 1XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ENGL 211 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC WRIT 1XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU CREW 1st (3)

Course Offerings

Fall 2022

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