This year’s Wontner Masterclass featured the playwright Danusia Iwaszko, an Artistic Associate at The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. She worked with Drama Scholars on the process of playwriting. She has many years of theatrical experience, and worked as an actor and director before deciding to dedicate herself to writing.
She began the workshop with the etymology of the word “playwright”, which has its roots in the word “wrought”, meaning twisted or shaped. She said this was key to understanding that playwriting is a craft and not simply about putting pen to paper. She discussed eight questions to consider during the process of writing scripts, including character development and awareness of the live audience, offered tips on how to deal with writer’s block, and pointed out the differences between film and theatre.
Most importantly she advised the pupils to start with something they are passionate about, so that they will automatically be more invested in the piece and find the necessary authenticity in the characters and emotional impact to make it effective for the audience, and satisfying for the writer.