Thursday, July 4, 2013

Top Five Playwriting Books

1. The Art of Dramatic Writing. The classic by Lajos Egri. Though highly opinionated by far the best book to learn the craft. Egri's advice has helped generations of playwrights, scriptwriters, and writers for television. I'm one of them and never stop to recommend this excellent book full of timeless wisdom to my colleagues.

2. The Playwright's Process: Learning the Craft from Today's Leading Dramatists. Interwoven with hundreds of quotations from the author's own in-depth interview series at the Dramatists Guild, in New York City, The Playwright's Process offers a fresh and lively discussion of the indispensable ingredients of strong dramatic writing. By Buzz McLaughlin.

3. Naked Playwriting: The Art, The Craft, And The Life Laid Bare. A complete playwriting course -- from developing a theme through plotting and structuring a play, developing characters, creating dialog, formatting the script, and applying methods that aid the actual writing and rewriting processes. The book also offers sound guidance on marketing and submitting play scripts for both contests and production, protecting ones copyright, and working with directors and theatre companies. Well-written, comprehensive, and filled with illustrative examples.

4. The Playwright's Handbook helps you craft a script into a successful theatrical work and get it produced. Written by Frank Pike, an award-winning playwright, and Thomas G. Dunn, founder of the prestigious Minneapolis Playwrights Center, this guide contains the expertise of professionals actively working in the theater.

5. The Playwrights Work Book. A series of 13 written workshops covering, among other topics, conflict and character: the dominant image: Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller; Overheard voices: Ibsen and Shakespeare * The solo performance piece: listening for stories; Terror and vulnerability: Ionesco; The point of absurdity: creating without possessing: Pinter and Beckett; and much more.

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