Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Writing for Stage and Screen

Module summary

Module code: COML1057
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Adeola Solanke

Specification

Aims

The course is designed to introduce students to the processes of writing for the stage and writing for the screen. To facilitate this, students will be expected to produce writing of their own and comment on and analyse a wide range of performance and screen writing material. Students will be introduced to the creative and technical skills necessary for effective stage and screen writing. They will explore the art and craft of writing for both forms and be encouraged to develop their own dramatic and cinematic style. Students will be introduced to the principles of drama, the differences of writing for the stage and screen and the specifics of writing a short play and short film, exploring aspects of the form such as conflict, action, characterisation, dialogue, structure, scene setting and style. Students will also be introduced to critical review writing and will be expected to write critical and comparative reviews of live and published plays in order to develop an engaged and analytical approach to the form, as well as their own writing process and practice.

Learning outcomes

The course is designed to introduce students to the processes of writing for the stage and writing for the screen. To facilitate this, students will be expected to produce writing of their own and comment on and analyse a wide range of performance and screen writing material. Students will be introduced to the creative and technical skills necessary for effective stage and screen writing. They will explore the art and craft of writing for both forms and be encouraged to develop their own dramatic and cinematic style. Students will be introduced to the principles of drama, the differences of writing for the stage and screen and the specifics of writing a short play and short film, exploring aspects of the form such as conflict, action, characterisation, dialogue, structure, scene setting and style. Students will also be introduced to critical review writing and will be expected to write critical and comparative reviews of live and published plays in order to develop an engaged and analytical approach to the form, as well as their own writing process and practice.

Indicative content

During the course, students will engage in the production of different aspects of stage writing and screen writing as well as commenting on and analysing a wide range of published and performed material. Students will explore a range of writing exercises designed to develop the processes of writing for the stage and writing for the screen. Students will be expected to see at least two theatre productions in the first term, followed up with analysis, designed to inform the students’ own practice and to develop their critical skills. Alongside production and analysis, students will be required to write a brief commentary on their play and a reflective essay on their screenplay, in which they are encouraged to reflect critically on their work, as well as a bibliography of texts that have inspired or interested them over the period of the course.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be delivered via a range of learning activities - lectures, seminars, visual stimuli, site-specific writing and various writing exercises - but the main emphasis in the course will be on workshop activity and the production of different forms of stage and screen writing. Workshops are designed to provide a variety of activities, such as reflective, explorative and analytic writing, reading out work that has been produced, critical debate and discussion, and practical advice, all of which allow the students to develop skills in writing plays and screenplays. Theatre visits and film screenings will provide students with the opportunity to explore the practice of stage writing and screen writing, and encourage them to seek out inspiration and ideas from other stage and screen writing practitioners, as well as develop their critical skills. Scheduled contact hours: Include in scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work, fieldwork, external visits.

Assessment

Reflective Essay - 20% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes - All.
1500 words.

10 Minute Screenpla - 40% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes - All.
1500 words.

10 Minute Play - 40% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes - All
1500 words.

Formative Assessment - Seminars / Workshops.

Students are not required to pass all components in order to pass the course.