The Craft of Master Playwrights

Instructor: Anton Bonnici

What makes the most beloved works of Western drama so ingenious and rich? The answer lies in the fundamental conventions of theatre, interpreted by each master playwright in a unique way. This course will take us on a critical journey through classical and modern plays in pursuit of three core concerns of dramatic convention: “first impressions,” “dialogue & tension,” and “climax.” Whether you are a theatre lover looking to expand your knowledge or a playwright seeking to sharpen your skills, this is the course for you!

First Impressions
The first few minutes of a play are among the most precious. The opening beats of a performance introduce the world of the play and its protagonists, conditioning the entire work of art. We will start our course by analyzing three very different yet equally effective ways of introducing a play, as found in Peter Shaffer’s Equus, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

Dialogue & Tension
A performance without tension, be it comic, tragic, or aesthetic, is a flat or “dead” performance. In this part of the course, we will turn to the work of Caryl Churchill (Top Girls), David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross), and Marsha Norman (Night, Mother) to see how the manipulation of dialogue directs, builds, diffuses, or explodes tension on stage with the specific intention of taking the audience on an emotional journey.

Maximum enrollment: 10


Wednesdays, 19:00 – 22:00
2-23 November 2022
12 hours (4 weeks)


75016, Paris

All PICT courses are held in person.

All PICT courses are exclusive for PICT Members. Become a member from 3 euros/month.


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