Dramatic Writing Classes

Actor's Theatre of Charlotte focuses on contemporary work, which means work written by writers of this century.  Without the writer, there is no show.   Whether you are just looking for a fun way to stretch as a writer, or want to make writing the part of your profession, we've designed these workshops to add tools to your quiver as a writer.   The work will be applicable to film or stage, as the elements of drama remain consistent throughout.

All workshops require a laptop, tablet or other internet connected writing tool to ensure the ease of editing and sharing your writing.  No experience is needed as a writer.  These workshops will focus on the creation of new work and may not allow for continued work on those project in progress.  Whether writing for the stage or screen, these lessons will be applicable to your goals.


Each workshop is $50 and will run approximately 3hrs.
Each course can be taken independently or as a full four section course. 
Focused for adult writers, but high schoolers 16+ are welcome. 


Inspiration & Progress

Saturday, March 11th, 2017 - 10am

This workshop is meant for anyone looking to expand on their skills as a playwright or screenwriter.  Much time as a writer can be spent waiting for inspiration, or doubting the stories that have already arrived.  This workshop will focus on the first stages of writing a dramatic work, while also working on the tools need to see a project through to completion.  How to start writing, keep writing, and expand your stories.


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Foundations of Action & Tension

Saturday, March 11th, 2017 - 2pm

More than any other form of writing, drama requires a deep understanding of action and tension.  Often times, action is confused with plot and number of pages, and tension is confused with misdirection and surprise.  In this workshop, we will explore these two key components of dramatic writing that keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats.  There is no mystery here, just craft of the dramatist.


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Creating Dream Worlds

Saturday, March 18th, 2017- 10am

Lights go out, and lights come up.  A world is revealed.   It's not the world we inhabit; drama fails to respect time and space.  We jump from place to place, compress time, and see the machines of gods' enter from the sky to save/doom all.  While these things would be disconcerting in our day to day lives, manipulating time and space is a requirement in drama.  A writer must be able to leverage the possibilities of form, while not alienating the audience.  This workshop will focus on the building of compelling and interesting worlds.


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Marrying of Form & Content

Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 2pm

It is one thing to bring a story to the stage, another to use the tools of the stage to telling the story. Just as a poem about a train might use a rhythm of chug chug, a play must keep it's seen of the stage in its bones.  The use of objects and actions to create a metaphor of the stage is key to elevating your tale from storytelling to drama. This is the hard work elevating craft to art.  It is where the metaphor of drama comes alive.


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Instructor Bio:
Martin Kettling is currently the General Manager at the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte. In 2009, Martin was part of the team at The O'Neill which was awarded the Special Tony Award for Regional Theatre. His work there included literary management, dramaturgy, teaching and Google Apps Script developer.  He continues to teach dramatic writing at The O'Neill National Puppetry Conference, and The O'Neill was awarded, by President Obama, the National Arts Medal in 2016 for the company's contribution to the arts of the country.  As dramaturg, he has worked on new plays with Rachel Axler, Rebecca Gilman, Lauren Gunderson, Jennifer Haley, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Gregory Moss, Ursula Rani-Sarma, and Anne Washburn.  He has also supported the development of work by Julia Cho, Nilo Cruz, Jason Grote, and Jeff Whitty. At Arena Stage in Washington, DC, he assisted the world premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, and served as writer’s assistant to Moisés Kaufman on 33 Variations.  Credits in puppetry include working as dramaturg on Leslie Cararra-Rudolph, and presenting his trunk show Air Piracy in Steppenwolf’s Garage. Martin has worked internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the International Chekhov Festival in Moscow, the University of Passau, Germany, and helped found the Baltic Playwrights Conference.   He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and serves as an emeritus member of the Board of Directors for The Ruckus Theater in Chicago.




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