The Pulitzer Prize winner teaches you everything he’s learned across 26 video lessons on dramatic writing.
Learn from the Pulitzer Prize winner in his first-ever online class. Only available through MasterClass.
Write great drama
David Mamet sat in on a poker game full of thieves and left with the inspiration for American Buffalo. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Glengarry Glen Ross takes you through his process for turning life’s strangest moments into dramatic art. He’ll teach you the rules of drama, the nuances of dialogue, and the skills to develop your own voice and create your masterpiece.
- 01 IntroductionDavid outlines what he’ll cover in this class, and the best mindset you can have to learn how to write great drama.
- 02 Purpose of DramaTrying to understand drama? Look no further than everyday life. David teaches you how to recognize drama at its best—when it seeks to simply entertain, not teach.
- 03 Purpose of Drama (Cont’d)Learn how drama functions as a form of myth, the ways in which it enlightens the complexities of humanity, and how it provides us with an outlet for expressing the issues that preoccupy us.
- 04 Dramatic RulesAs a dramatist, your job is to tell a story. David teaches you how to keep your story simple by using Aristotle’s Poetics as a guide. Learn how to keep your hero’s journey at the heart of your narrative.
- 05 Dramatic Rules (Cont’d)Start at the beginning of your story and don’t stop until you reach the end. Throw away anything that isn’t plot. David teaches you what to cut from your script and how to master the rules of writing.
- 06 Story IdeasDavid teaches you how to harness your fantasies and life experiences for drama. Look for drama in places where you’d least expect it and discover the inspiration behind several of his plays.
- 07 CharacterDavid teaches you what character really is—action. Learn how to create objectives for your characters and avoid the erroneous techniques commonly taught.
- 08 PlotPlot is paramount. Become familiar with the essential ingredients of a plot like the precipitating event and the second-act problem. Learn how to find the plot hiding behind your scenes.
- 09 Structuring the PlotDavid shares with you the methods he uses to structure a plot and teaches you how to connect plot points.
- 10 Structuring the Plot (Cont’d)Learn the ins and outs of the structure of a three-act play and how to achieve cohesion across acts.
- 11 Case Study: Structuring the Plot – American BuffaloDavid discusses the history of American Buffalo and delves into its plot, teaching you the symbolism of the eponymous coin and how the narrative speaks to viewers on a deeply human level.
- 12 Case Study: Structuring the Plot – Glengarry Glen RossDavid shares the inspiration behind Glengarry Glen Ross and discusses the differences between drama and tragedy.
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