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Life as a Playwright: A Survival Guide

Jon Klein

Jon Klein is the head of the MFA Playwriting Program at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and author of over 30 produced plays, performed Off-Broadway and at many prestigious regional theatres. He has also written several adaptations and his stage version of Stendhal’s classic novel The Red and the Black was produced at ACT Theatre, Seattle. He adapted T Bone N Weasel for a Turner Network film, starring Gregory Hines and Christopher Lloyd and for which received both the HBO Playwrights USA award and the Midwest Author’s award. His other plays include Losing It, Chance and Necessity and Dimly Perceived Threats to the System. He has been a Playwright-in-Residence at the American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, and the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta and he has taught playwriting and screenwriting at UCLA, the University of Texas, the University of Washington, Ohio University, and Hollins University. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Methuen Drama, 2018

Short Guides and Biography

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...Addressing the questions central to any playwright's career and identity, Jon Klein offers you a glimpse into a career writing for the theatre. As well as an account of the day-to-day life of a writer, he also discusses what an aspiring...

Drama – the apparently incomplete text

Michelene Wandor

Michelene Wandor is a playwright who in 1987 was the first woman playwright to have a drama on one of the National Theatre’s main stages – ‘The Wandering Jew’. Her prolific radio drama includes original radio plays and dramatisations, many nominated for awards. Her books on contemporary theatre include Postwar British Drama: Looking Back in Gender. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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The Art of Writing Drama

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2008

Books

...There is, wrote Raymond Williams, a ‘confusion, both theoretical and practical, in our contemporary understanding of the relation between a dramatic text and a dramatic performance . . .’...

How To Write About Culture, Society And Politics

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher is one of Scotland’s foremost commentators on the arts. With over 25 years’ experience, he is the Scottish theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List and a freelance contributor to Variety, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. He is the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (“A wonderfully practical but also inspirational book full of good advice” - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian) and the co-editor of Made in Scotland, an anthology of plays published by Methuen Drama. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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How To Write About Theatre : A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015

Books

...Finding shared reference points The West End opening of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2013 was accompanied by much fanfare. Director Sam Mendes was fresh from the James Bond movie Skyfall. Round the corner at the Cambridge...

How To Write About Acting

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher is one of Scotland’s foremost commentators on the arts. With over 25 years’ experience, he is the Scottish theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List and a freelance contributor to Variety, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. He is the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (“A wonderfully practical but also inspirational book full of good advice” - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian) and the co-editor of Made in Scotland, an anthology of plays published by Methuen Drama. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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How To Write About Theatre : A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015

Books

...The art of precision Writing about actors comes less easily to many critics than writing about plays. That’s partly to do with literary training. From a young age, most of us have been taught how to analyse character, language...

Basic Joke Writing

John Byrne

John Byrne has over 20 years of experience as a writer, cartoonist, broadcaster and performer for TV, radio, theatre and print, as well as working as a personal advisor to many top performers and entertainers, both one-to-one and via his popular weekly advice column in The Stage. He regularly lectures on arts careers for events such as Actors Expo, the Edinburgh Festival and institutions such as The Guildhall, BIMM and The Brits School. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Writing Handbooks : Writing Comedy

Bloomsbury Publishing, 1999

Books

...Probably the most common question asked of professional humorists is ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ I know it’s the most common question I get asked – in fact I’m usually the one asking it, whenever I’m staring at a blank screen...

The Building Blocks of Narrative

Andrew Tidmarsh

Andrew Tidmarsh is theatre and film director, writer and teacher. He has taught this practical approach to genre to writers, directors and actors at RADA, Goldsmiths, and Drama Centre at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He has directed in UK, Germany, Canada and Philippines, and is the director of an annual new writing festival at the Soho Theatre in London. He regularly teaches in Canada and Dubai. His book An Attitude for Acting will be published by Nick Hern books in 2011. Andrew Tidmarsh is a theatre director, film-maker and teacher. He has taught at leading drama schools and currently runs the Foundation course at RADA. He has directed work at Soho Theatre, Wimbledon Studio, Shakespeare's Globe and Jermyn Street Theatre. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Genre : A Guide to Writing for Stage and Screen

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2014

Books

...It seems strange perhaps that this field of enquiry has come about – whether in an academic context or in a more informal ‘how to’ context. Surely storytelling is a primary impulse, something that requires no analysis. It either works...

How To Take On Different Critical Styles

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher is one of Scotland’s foremost commentators on the arts. With over 25 years’ experience, he is the Scottish theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List and a freelance contributor to Variety, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. He is the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (“A wonderfully practical but also inspirational book full of good advice” - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian) and the co-editor of Made in Scotland, an anthology of plays published by Methuen Drama. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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How To Write About Theatre : A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015

Books

...What do you think you are doing? The three questions we take from Alessandro Manzoni – what were the theatremakers trying to do, how well did they do it and was it worth it? – should ensure a respectful, creative and fruitful...

A Second Starburst: TV Mini-Series 1999–2007

Robin Nelson

Robin Nelson is Visiting Professor at the University of London (CSSD) and Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University where he was Professor of Theatre and Television Drama until 2010. His other publications include State of Play: contemporary “High-end” TV drama and the co-edited Mapping Intermediality in Performance. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Stephen Poliakoff : On Stage and Screen

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2011

Books

...Stephen Poliakoff’s work is now better known than it has ever been courtesy of his remarkable output for television, beginning with Shooting the Past (1999) and followed in quick succession by Perfect Strangers (2001) and The Lost Prince...

Teaching and learning the art of writing drama

Michelene Wandor

Michelene Wandor is a playwright who in 1987 was the first woman playwright to have a drama on one of the National Theatre’s main stages – ‘The Wandering Jew’. Her prolific radio drama includes original radio plays and dramatisations, many nominated for awards. Her books on contemporary theatre include Postwar British Drama: Looking Back in Gender. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications

The Art of Writing Drama

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2008

Books

...As all teachers and students know, the quicksilver ambience and activity of the classroom is virtually impossible to document accurately. Teachers sometimes describe the way they work, aiming to create an impression of the atmosphere...

Can I Learn to Write Comedy from a Book?

John Byrne

John Byrne has over 20 years of experience as a writer, cartoonist, broadcaster and performer for TV, radio, theatre and print, as well as working as a personal advisor to many top performers and entertainers, both one-to-one and via his popular weekly advice column in The Stage. He regularly lectures on arts careers for events such as Actors Expo, the Edinburgh Festival and institutions such as The Guildhall, BIMM and The Brits School. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Writing Handbooks : Writing Comedy

Bloomsbury Publishing, 1999

Books

...Somebody once said that comedy writers and comedians are people who see the funny side of everything – except comedy itself. Certainly wherever comics and writers gather, the question that opens this chapter is often hotly and passionately...