Cover image for You can write a play!
You can write a play!
Polsky, Milton E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Applause Theatre & Cinema Books ; Milwaukee, WI : Sales and distribution, North America, Hal Leonard Corp., [2002]

Physical Description:
204 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1661 .P65 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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(Applause Books). Do you have an idea for a play? A situation or experience from your home or work life? Fantasy? With helpful, clear examples, taken from his own experiences in teaching, directing and playwriting, Milton Polsky shows how to find and shape a dramatic idea and bring it to fruition. In addition to providing many practical exercises, suggestions and tips, he discusses and illustrates with examples from established playwrights "the importance of giving shape to your idea so that what is in your head and heart can be expressed to the fullest." To facilitate this creative process, there are "What if?", "Just for You," "Playwright's Page" sections; diagrams, journal exercises; and for this revised edition, end of chapter "Suggested Activities for the Classroom" (solo and group); addditional appendices, including one on feedback; and over 50 new photos. This invaluable and basic guide to writing plays is ideal for teachers, students, camp counselors, community theatre leaders and for anyone who knows there's a play inside, trying to get out!

Author Notes

Milton E. Polsky has served as a drama specialist with the New York City Board of Education and the New York City Board of Higher Education. He has taught playwriting in the public school system, at the City University of New York and at New York University, where he was a Shubert Fellow in Playwriting. His plays have been widely produced and published, and he is the author of numerous articles and books, including Let's Improvise: Becoming Creative, Expressive, and Spontaneous Through Drama; The Improv Workshop Handbook: The Object Is Teamwork; Celebrate Your School Namesake: Creating Across the Curriculum; and Aquadrama: Acting in Waist-High Water. He is currently a mentor for the New York City Board of Education and serves as an Associate Professor at Hunter College. He is also Associate Chair of the UFT Players. Dr. Polsky has received the Rod Marriott Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Theatre Education. He lives in New York City with his wife, Roberta, and two children, Jay and Madelyn

Table of Contents

Introduction: Inviting Your Imaginationp. 11
I. Exploring the Dramatic Mediump. 14
II. Narrative vs. Dramaticp. 29
III. Discovering Your Ideap. 41
IV. Plot: Getting Startedp. 56
V. Shaping Your Plotp. 67
VI. More on Plot--and Plotting Lessp. 80
VII. Creating Your Charactersp. 94
VIII. The Art of Sounds and Silencesp. 113
IX. To Adapt or Not to Adaptp. 132
X. Opportunities in the Theatrep. 145
Bibliographyp. 162
Appendicesp. 165
Photo Creditsp. 194
Indexp. 197