Playwriting Technique

HB Studio offers both online classes and in-person classes at the Studio. Before your first class, please review the information outlined on the relevant page(s). Class titles below indicate which are running online vs. in person.


For new students, experienced playwrights who want to go back to the basics, actors wanting to write, and highly motivated beginners. You are introduced to a variety of tools designed to offer a strong sense of craft. Assignments, written as ten-minute plays, will cover dialogue, action, conflict, motivation, plot, structure, subtext, direct address and story. Others are designed to encourage the creative process, provoke the imagination, explore language, texture, character and impulse. These elements will be introduced slowly and methodically. You will develop a portfolio of well-crafted 10-minute plays in a safe and supportive environment.

Note: You must have working knowledge of and access to a word processing program in order to format your work according to industry standards (eg. Microsoft Word, Final Draft, Celtx, or equivalent).

Playwriting Technique Instructors:

Julie McKee | James Anthony Tyler

James Anthony Tyler joins the HB faculty in Summer 2021! James is the recipient of the 3rd Annual Horton Foote Playwriting Award, and was one of the inaugural playwrights to receive a commission from Audible’s emerging playwrights fund. His plays include ARTNEY JACKSON (World Premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival, 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award) and SOME OLD BLACK MAN (Berkshire Playwrights Lab at St. James Place and 59E59 Theaters NYC). Current projects: ALL WE NEED IS US (Audio Play 35 min); HOP THA A (Audio Play 87 min, Ars Nova, The Drama League and Asolo Rep); and DOLPHINS AND SHARKS (LAByrinth Theater Company and the Finborough Theatre in London)…read more about James

Playwright Martyna Majok will visit James Anthony Tyler’s summer class as a guest speaker on June 29th! Her play, IRONBOUND, will be studied in class.


Required reading:

James Anthony Tyler: BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES by Inua Ellams; PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS by Duncan MacMillan.

Julie Mckee:  THE PLAYWRIGHTS GUIDEBOOK by Stuart Spencer; GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS by David Mamet; INTIMATE APPAREL by Lynn Nottage; THE MIRACLE WORKER by William Gibson. Julie McKee’s class follows the Liz Lerman Critical Response Process method of critique. You must complete the assignments before bringing in your own projects.