Writing for Performance/Designing Creative Inquiry

Course Description

Starting with renowned playwright Adrienne Kennedy’s People Who Led to My Plays, you will begin to create an archive of creative inspiration and curiosity from which to begin to develop their writing. You will then be led through a process of “data collection”, conducting interviews, facilitated observation of the built environment, and image research from five different sources (ex. RISD Nature Lab, Brown Library, your personal Facebook/Instagram, family photos, City Landmarks). This data will be used to chart and inform an investigation of a core question or theme using writing as a mode of inquiry.

Throughout this process, you will engage the work and creative practices of artists, such as Anna Deavere Smith (text: Talk to Me; script: House Arrest), Marc Bamuthi Joseph (red, black and green: a blues), Daniel Alexander Jones (performance cycle: The Book of Daniel), Eiko Otake (site-specific performance), Suzan Lori Parks (essay: Elements of Style), Virginia Grise (script: blu), and Christopher Chen (script: Caught). You will simultaneously engage in the process of making work and documenting the process. The course is grounded in embodied storytelling and applied dramaturgy (a form of theater research) as you work towards a final text.

Writing for performance is different from other forms of creative writing in that it requires the author to consider the sound, performers, space, and audience who will amplify and engage with the text. Although this is not a production course (written work will not be performed), the consideration of these other elements will expand the possibilities for inquiry, engagement, and discovery.

During this course you will:

• Critically analyze dramatic literature.
• Identify and examine theatrical components in writing.
• Identify and explore the use of metaphor in narrative structure.
• Develop a creative inquiry from initial inspiration to a fully formed idea.
• Integrate the practice of revision in developing a single piece of writing.
• Propose alternative and innovative approaches to theatrical production methods.

Through a close exploration of personalized inquiry, dramatic writing, and formal presentations this course prepares students for further theatrical study and writing. It will equip students with an innovative approach to a broad range of subjects that rely on creative inquiry such as business, medicine, science, and other artistic practice.


No specific prior experience or knowledge is required.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 25, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 3:30P-6:20P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Tara Holman
Kyla Searle
Course Number: 10302