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Naked Playwriting

The Art, the Craft, and the Life Laid Bare

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William Missouri Downs and Robin Russin

Naked Playwriting
Naked Playwriting
341 pages
7x10, paper
Naked Playwriting is a complete playwriting course—from developing a theme through plotting and structuring a play, developing characters, creating dialog, formatting the script, and plying methods that aid the actual writing and rewriting processes. It also offers sound guidance on marketing and submitting play scripts for both contests and production, getting an agent, protecting one's copyright, and working with directors, actors, and theater companies.

Well-written, comprehensive, and filled with illustrative examples, it provides innovative and tried-and-true writing techniques, sage advice from veteran writers, a short study of the major schools of dramatic thought, and pertinent writing anecdotes. This one-of-a-kind playwriting book will help both novices and working writers discover and improve their playwriting skills and get their plays produced.

William Missouri Downs is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced at the Kennedy Center and around the world. Two of his most recent plays, Cockeyed and Kosher Lutherans are published by Samuel French. He is also an award-winning film and television writer and the co-author of the book Screenplay: Writing the Picture.

Robin U. Russin
is a playwright, award-winning screenwriter, producer, University of California, Riverside, screenwriting teacher and the co-author of the book Screenplay: Writing the Picture. Among his film-writing credits is the feature On Deadly Ground.

“These two know what they're talking about and love what they are doing. Their book is fun to read and full of everything I wish I'd known when I got started. Naked is a good way to write.”
—Gary Leon Hill, Playwright, Food from Trash, Say Grace, and Inna Beginning

"I've never read a more thorough or more thoroughly entertaining book on ‘how to’ write (and produce and market) a play! Downs and Russin are clear, confident, and absolutely right in this funny, down-to-earth, deceptively simple guide to the craft. It doesn't get better than this. I’m recommending it to students and colleagues, and then I'm taking some of its good advice for myself.”
—Kate Snodgrass, Artistic Director, Boston Playwrights' Theatre

“I’ve read many how-to books about playwriting but none have been as comprehensive as this one. Naked Playwriting provides the clear and concise tools anyone would need to translate their thoughts and ideas into a play. It then goes one step further by providing very solid and helpful guidelines on submission, development, and production. If you want to know anything about the process of contemporary playwriting in America, this is the book for you.”
—Charles Smith, Head, Professional Playwriting Program, Ohio University
Playwright in Residence at the Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago

“What separates Naked Playwriting from other similar texts is how thoroughly the authors set their precepts in the larger contexts of dramatic theory. They tell you not just "what works"—and they do that very well—but "why" it has worked since the beginning, so that a student is learning . . . to assimilate the ideas and ultimately think for herself. . . . What you have is really three books in one: dramatic theory, playwriting principles, and "now what do I do?" advice. If this is the first playwriting text the student reaches for, he won't have to reach for any other.”
—David Rush, Head of playwriting at Southern Illinois

“Downs and Russin have accomplished what I didn’t think was possible—to cover all aspects of the field in one volume. Naked Playwriting devotes its first half to the building blocks of the art, and the latter half of the book covers practical business information every writer must know, whether a neophyte or an established author.”
—Mead Hunter, Literary Manager of the Portland Center Stage and Former Director of Literary Programs for A.S.K. Theater Projects, Los Angeles

At last, a complete playwriting textbook! Naked Playwriting takes us through the steps—Beginning, Building, Rewriting, and Marketing—with practical guidelines and without attitude. . . .  A perfect classroom textbook.
—Dr. Gary Gardner, UCLA Playwriting Professor

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