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UW Youth & Teen Programs

Playwriting Workshop for Middle School

In this workshop, you’ll dive into the art and craft of playwriting. We’ll cover playwriting basics, including character, conflict, structure, setting, dialogue and formatting. Since theater is live, we’ll set aside time for interactive improvisation games and other brainstorming activities to spark your creativity. We’ll also read aloud and simply stage works in progress, which may include short plays, scenes and monologues. Our last day will end with a collage performance that family and friends are invited to attend. 

What You'll Learn

  • The basic structure of a play and how writing can use or ignore it 
  • How to create a setting, develop character and dialogue, and show (not tell) conflict and a character’s backstory 
  • How to listen and respond respectfully to your fellow playwrights’ writing 
  • Strategies for sparking your creativity — brainstorming, improv games, journaling, collage making/world building, writing prompts, and listening 

Who Should Register 

This course is for incoming sixth to eighth graders. This course is not for those who need remedial writing help, and all students should have a high level of English language proficiency. 


Dora Lanier

More Information

This in-person course is taught on the UW Seattle campus.

Students who want a full-day experience can register for two courses — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — which will include a supervised lunch break between courses. Students should bring a lunch.

See the Policies page for details about registration, refunds, waitlists and more.


Jul 29–Aug 9, 2024

9 a.m.–12 p.m.
UW Seattle
Refund Deadline
Jun 17, 2024