Theatre Tech gets creative with playwriting


Gavin Baker (12) and Bentley Savelle (10) talk about their skit ideas to add to their group's script. Each group of students spent time in class on discussing and planning everything to form a skit script. "The writing process is difficult, but with teamwork, we were able to persevere and make a wonderful skit," Savelle said.

Students in Mrs. Chapman (faculty)’s Theatre Technology (tech.) class get the opportunity every day to view musical productions and plays from a different point of view, like with the sound crew, or stage management. Recently, the students in Theatre Tech. dove further into the “behind the scenes” view of theatre productions, going through the process of playwriting.

Unlike any previous activity in the class, playwriting involves the creation of a play or musical from the ground up. Students were able to let their creativity shine with their own ideas. To come up with ideas and form a script, the tech. students went through the process of brainstorming and forming a production, all the while learning new skills and strengthening old ones.

“We got to work in teams and improve our teamwork . . . we improved our writing and narrative skills, and we got to demonstrate our knowledge of tech. design,” Kelly Kennedy (10) said.

Students were divided into groups, and each group was given the objective of being playwrights and coming up with their own skits. The brainstorming process involved forming a character list. The character list’s were used to develop each skit character and give them a unique personality so they would be able to have a skit with interesting and dynamic characters. Once each character was fleshed out, students formed a basic plot line to follow during the writing of the skit, deciding on locations, settings and structure. Once students had an outline of the plot, they worked on their playwriting, writing out the scenes, dialogue and actions for the skit. 

“It was really fun [working on playwriting], we all got to be creative as a team,” Chloe Butts (10) said.  

Once all of the groups are finished with a full production script, they will introduce their skit to Mrs. Chapman as a pitch idea, telling her the basis for their skit and presenting it to her as a performance. Presenting their skits to Mrs. Chapman will involve putting together costumes and props to use, as well as working on and arranging lighting and sound design. 

“Doing all this has been a really interesting and creative experience,” Haynes Sharpe (12) said. “It’s a nice change of scenery and protocol to get to express ourselves in this way with a school project.”  

Skits that Mrs. Chapman approves of will be used in theatre classes throughout the year. Theatre tech’s playwriting project has allowed students to really let their creativity shine and experience the process of putting products together in a whole new light, right from the first brainstorming session.