Essential Elements of Playwriting

In this eight-week online course for beginning playwrights, we will delve into the art of writing plays that engage, delight, and move audiences. Using in-class writing exercises, discussion, and examples from produced plays, you will learn to craft believable, multifaceted characters, write memorable dialogue, find the structure that works best for your play, and incorporate setting, theme, rhythm, and imagery in ways that heighten dramatic impact. Each participant will write an original ten-minute play, which we will workshop together in a supportive environment during the final two weeks of the course.

Upcoming Sessions


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Meet Your Instructor, Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman is a playwright and novelist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. More than two dozen of her plays have been produced locally, nationally, and overseas. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Writers’ Guild, the Pear Theatre board of directors, and the Dramatists’ Guild. She has been a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival, the Theatre Bay Area TITAN award, the PlayPenn Conference, the Kentucky Women’s Theatre Conference Prize for Women Writers, the Henley Rose Competition, the New Dramatists playwrights’ residency, and more. She holds a PhD in political science (UC Irvine, 2011) and an MFA in creative writing (Spalding University, 2018). She lives in Fremont, CA with her husband and their two young children. 

Learn more about Bridgette at www.bridgetteduttaportman.com

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