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Playwriting (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

Led by a professional playwright, this unique programme focuses on the practical exploration of the theory and craft of writing for performance. It explores how a script is written to be interpreted by the key creative artists in theatre and how that script plays out in space and time in front of an audience.

Through seminars, tutorials, workshops and professional master classes (led by some of Europe’s leading playwrights and theatre artists), you will develop an understanding of live performance theory, self-motivation and the focus necessary to work as an independent artist within the theatre industry.

Edinburgh has a buzzing theatre scene and the programme draws on this to culminate in a public, professional reading of your work in progress at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Programme structure

The programme will be taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, independent study, one-to-one supervision and professional master classes. There will also be regular theatre visits.

A central component of the programme will be development workshops with professional actors and established directors, focusing on your own work. You will also work with the performing artists-in-residence, who will offer workshops in each semester. Over two semesters you will take three compulsory courses and one option course.

On completion of these courses, you will produce a major piece of performance writing, supported by one-to-one supervision and development workshops, to be given a professional reading at the end of the programme.

Compulsory courses:

The Craft of the Playwright I
The Craft of the Playwright II
Time and Space of Performance

Option courses may include:

Theatre, Performance, Performativity
Cinema Auteurs 2
Shakespearean Sexualities
Theatre, Performance and Performativity
Shakespeare Adapted

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this programme will:

be introduced to and become skilled in a range of applied methods for the development and structuring of dramatic script for live performance
develop a knowledge and understanding of writing for different kinds of performance contexts from the single-authored play to devised work
develop a knowledge and understanding of the theory, methodology and practice of writing different genres from tragedy and comedy to political theatre
develop self-motivation and the focus necessary to work as an independent artist within the theatre industry
develop their critical skills as readers of their own and others’ work and as creators and consumers of live performance
develop a familiarity with the professional development and production processes of live performance and how these impact on the making of script

Career opportunities

This highly practical programme allows you to forge valuable links within Edinburgh’s performing arts community. You may choose to use the research skills you have developed to pursue advanced study, or seek a role within the theatrical field.

The transferable skills you gain from your studies, such as communication, research and project management will be valuable to your career development whatever path you choose.

Visit the Playwriting (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline is normally required, or equivalent professional experience.

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