Teaching Writing for Performance Online: Creative Approaches to the Online Workshop

Morash, Karen (2021) Teaching Writing for Performance Online: Creative Approaches to the Online Workshop. Body, Space & Technology, 21 (1). ISSN 1470-9120


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This paper builds on my on-going research into the playwright’s role within the collaborative devising process, which includes questioning traditional pedagogical approaches to writing for the stage. In addition, it references the practical experience of developing and teaching modules focused on the craft of playmaking for the online Theatre Studies BA at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. Although there may appear to be a disconnection between encouraging playwrights to engage with collaborative theatre making and the mainly asynchronous nature of an online degree, where students often work in isolation, the core tenet of this ‘Perspectives’ piece is that all teaching of playwriting, regardless of whether it is online or not, needs to move beyond the traditional classroom/workshop approach. Whilst the pedagogical framework that sees students engage in text-based studies of scripts and books about writing cannot be entirely abandoned, students benefit from a more embodied approach, which reminds them that they are writing for a medium which communicates in a multi-faceted way and is negotiated in the moment, so that they gain a more holistic understanding of how a script might be interpreted in live performance. Drawing on both my practice as a playwright and dramaturg, and my work in online teaching, I argue that there is potential to treat the ‘Zoom room’ as workshop, where students can work together, improvise, and treat their screens as spaces for experimentation and performance. In addition, this more dynamic approach helps to prepare students for a rapidly evolving theatre ecology, which had embraced digital technology long before Covid-19 entered our lives.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Dr Karen Morash
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2022 12:47
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 12:47
URI: https://bruford.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/26

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