cover of book

Scriptwork: A Director's Approach to New Play Development
by David Kahn and Donna Breed
foreword by Lanford WILSON
Southern Illinois University Press, 1995
Paper: 978-0-8093-1759-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8093-1985-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-8385-6
Library of Congress Classification PN2053.K34 1995
Dewey Decimal Classification 792.0233


Despite the popular myth that plays arrive at the theater fully formed and ready for production, the truth is that for centuries, most scripts have been developed through a collaborative process in rehearsal and in concert with other theater artists. David Kahn and Donna Breed provide the first codified approach to this time-honored method of play development, with a flexible methodology that takes into account differing environments and various stages of formation.

Directors can use this unique guidebook for new play development from the beginning to the end of the process. Kahn and Breed explore ways of choosing new projects, talk about where to find new scripts, and explore the legal aspects of script development. They present a detailed system for theatrical analysis of the new script and show how to continue exploration and development of the script within the laboratory of the theater. Most importantly, they delineate the parameters of the relationship between the director and the playwright, offering proven methods to help the playwright and help facilitate the healthy development of the script.

Breed and Kahn offer suggestions on casting, incorporating rewrites, and script handling plus how and when to use audience response and how to decide what step to take next. They also include extended interviews with developmental directors, dramaturgs, and playwrights, who give credence to the new script development process.

In short, Kahn and Breed demystify a common, though often convoluted, theater process, providing a unique codification of ways to work on new plays.

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