This course is designed as a hands-on workshop in the art and craft of dramatic writing. It involves the study of new plays, the systematic exploration of such elements as storymaking, plot, structure, theme, character, dialogue, setting, etc.; and most importantly, the development of students' own short plays through a series of written assignments and in-class exercises. Since a great deal of this work takes place in class - through lectures, discussions, spontaneous writing exercises, and the reading of student work - weekly attendance and active participation is crucial. At the end of the semester, students' plays are read in a staged reading environment by professional actors.