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Why Writing Matters

Why Writing Matters in Theatre

"Writing is very important in the world of theatre, because you often have to develop scripts on your own. "

~Dave Rzeszutek , Assistant Professor of Theatre

 

Why Writing Matters in Theatre

In Theatre, what you say and how well you say it affect how your work is perceived. 

To quote Neil LaBute, author of Fat Pig: "what interests me so much about writing, I suppose . . . [is] this notion of creation and how easy it is to make everything work out on paper. . . . Writers, for better or worse, are gods of their own universe."

Typical Writing Assignments

Many types of writing assignments are used in theatre, depending on the course or situation; researched papers, reviews, adaptations of literary works, summaries, script analysis, character analysis, summary, and reflections on performances are typical.

Writing is also a tool used by theatre professionals for problem-solving and decision-making in interpretation, style and performance.

Qualities of Good Writing

Both what you say and how well you say it determine the quality of your writing. Written work is assessed for content, style, and proper mechanics of writing. What qualifies as good writing will depend on the genre. Instructors will generally provide rubrics that identify the characteristics of effective writing for a particular type of work; they may also offer the opportunity to submit a draft for feedback prior to submitting a paper for the final grade.

Appropriate Types of Evidence & Support

Evidence and support likewise will depend on the genre. The assignment guidelines themselves will usually indicate what types of evidence and support are most appropriate for the specific type of paper you are writing.

Citation Convention

All academic work is expected to be the result of the student's own thought, research, or self-expression. When you write, properly credit ideas taken from other sources, including class lectures and texts. Plagiarism is using another's ideas or writing as your own. Do not use someone else's ideas or language without referencing the source appropriately! 

Format and reference citations should follow MLA guidelines unless otherwise directed by the professor.

Special Comments

Here are some tips that will enhance your writing:

a. Allow adequate time for preparing written assignments.
b. Read the assignment carefully, so you know what to do.
c. Organize your thoughts; an outline and multiple drafts will help.
d. Support main points with additional information and use topic sentences to introduce paragraphs.
e. When using the Internet, be sure your sources are credible.
f. Remember your audience; ask youself if someone who does not know you or your work will understand what you have written. 
g. Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and writing style.
h. Proofread carefully; do not simply rely on spellcheck.

References and Resources

  • Becoming familiar with journals and professional organizations in the field, such as the American Alliance for Theatre in Education, will help familiarize you with the world of theatre. Consult these journals as a starting point for research papers.
  • SVSU Writing Center

 

Faculty Perspectives 
on Writing:

Dave Rzeszutek

My Writing Story