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New Play Development and Production Workshop

Course Code: PEFA 3120
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Credits: 6.0
Semester: 7 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course unites writers, apprentice directors, actors and stage designers/technicians for the purpose of developing new play scripts for production. Students will work as ensembles, in their own disciplines, and in cross-discipline roles, to simulate the operation of a small theatre company. In addition to learning how to work on a new script, students will learn other skills that make productions possible, such as leadership, teamwork, stage management, grant writing, fund raising, and house management. Mentors in various specialties will augment the instruction delivered by the primary instructor.

Course Content

Script development

  • The Cold Reading
  • The Role of the Dramaturge
  • Rewriting
  • The Staged Reading


  • Pre-production Text Analysis
  • Casting Issues
  • Rehearsal Tools and Techniques


  • Building a Collective Vision
  • Building a Committed Team


  • Understanding Roles
  • Interpersonal communication


  • The Actor’s Role in Creating New Characters
  • Workshop Protocol.
  • Advanced Practice in Working as an Ensemble

Designing a Production

  • Approaching a new script.
  • Visual storytelling
  • Creative Process for Design Elements

Stage Management

  • Organizational Skills
  • Aspects of Production Management

The Business of  Production

  • Grant writing
  • Fund raising through private sources
  • Budgeting
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Legal issues

Front of House

  • Box office, ticket sales
  • Concession
  • Programs

Methods of Instruction

Lecture: 3 hours per week

Workshop/studio: 12 hours per week

Means of Assessment

Weekly research assignments on topics such as dramaturgy, directing, design, budgeting and promotion 40%
Class participation 20%
Written assessments of scripts at the cold reading and staged reading phases 10%
Final projects (including final written analysis of the various aspects of production 30%

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will:

  • be able to discuss new scripts in an informed and constructive manner;
  • (the student writer will)  recognize contributions from other members of the artistic team and be able to move scripts forward by rewriting;
  • (the student designers will) be able to create an elementary design for a new play;
  • be able to work together in multiple capacities as a collective with a common goal;
  • understand  the artistic, financial and administrative aspects of  developing and producing  a new play; and
  • be able to mount a festival consisting of new plays.

course prerequisites

Diploma in Theatre or Stagecraft, or Associate of Arts Degree in Creative Writing, or equivalent education and/or experience. Student acceptance determined by the Performing Arts Coordinator.

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.