University of Iowa

Writing the Two-Character Play: A Workshop on Making the One-Act

Weeklong July 21 to July 26 2019

Working from the premise that the two-character play is the most difficult contemporary dramatic form to complete, and the observation that two-character pieces, also, are one of the most expedient forms to stage and produce, we will make a number of short plays over the course of the week, each one working with dialogue, setting, and the restrictions and freedoms of the two-character format. We will write for the first four days in workshop from prompts designed to get us to create from surprising places. We will read from plays by Edward Albee, Caryl Churchill, Chicago writers Jenny Magnus, and Mickle Maher. We will listen to our new work read aloud. We will chose one piece to present on the final day in a completed rough draft. Students will come away from the workshop with a sharper sense of dialogue, story, and completion. The workshop is open to all; beginning playwrights and experienced playwrights will benefit from this week!


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts.