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Writing: The Dramatic Monologue  

Lynne Kaufman We are story telling creatures. It is through narrative that we understand and share our life experiences. The popularity of telling and listening to personal stories is attested to by such radio shows as This American Life, The Moth, and Snap Judgment and the performances at our local Marsh Theatre. In this class you will learn the principles of creating and performing an effective dramatic narrative. You will outline, write your monologue and perform it to constructive critique from the instructor and the class. The goal is to improve your skills as both a writer and an oral storyteller while having a lot of fun. No writing or performing experience necessary. Week One: Reading and listening to several types of dramatic monologues. Deconstructing the monologues and discussing such aspects as point of view, narrative arc, description, exposition, suspense, pace, repetition and humor. Week Two: Students choose a story they wish to tell and, in class, write a title, a one sentence description and a one paragraph synopsis. These are read in class and critiqued by the instructor and class. Students write their dramatic monologue at home and bring to the next class. Week Three: Half the class presents their dramatic monologues. They are critiqued for both literary and presentational effectiveness. Week Four: The other half of the class presents their dramatic monologues which are critiqued for both literary and presentational effectiveness Week Five: A review of major elements of writing and presenting successful dramatic monologues. Students have the option of revising and presenting their original dramatic monologue Week Six: Final presentation of dramatic monologues. Lynne Kaufman is an award winning, nationally recognized playwright whose 20 full length plays have been performed in S.F., L.A. NYC. She teaches writing at The Fromm Institute, CIIS and various OLLIs.


  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University
    835 Market Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Phone: (415) 817-4243 Website: