Naked Playwriting includes all the critical elements needed to write a play: concept, character, dialogue, and story. It also includes chapters on Zoom plays, devised theater, copyright, agents, how to get produced, how to direct your own play, and playwrights working in Hollywood. This book has everything you need to master your craft and put your unique voice out into the world.
William Missouri Downs has had hundreds of productions, from the Kennedy Center to San Diego Rep and all over the world. More than a dozen of his plays have been published. He has also written for several NBC sitcoms.
Robin Uriel Russin is a professor of screenwriting and playwriting at the University of California, Riverside. A Rhodes Scholar and WGA member, he has written, produced, and directed film, TV, and theater. His plays and films have been widely produced and distributed and have won awards at festivals around the world.
Naked Playwriting’s exploration of dramatic craft is comprehensive and up to the minute (devised theater, Zoom plays), filled with insights, examples, and insider tips. Best are its stripped-down “naked truths”—the essential elements that are found in good plays. It’s a necessary book for anyone thinking about writing a first play, and a terrific refresher for those of us playwrights who think we know it all.
Jeffrey Hatcher | Playwright, Compleat Female Stage Beauty
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 | Playwright in Residence, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago
I’ve never read a 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 taking some of its good advice for myself.
Kate Snodgrass | Artistic Director, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Naked Playwriting will inspire the courage to bare the truth and core emotion of your soul. . . . It conjures your voice onto the page and the stage. This edition not only guides your craft but also instills the relevancy and urgency of playwriting in today’s world. This book’s earlier edition has been my essential compass in the navigation of storytelling as a playwright and also as a screenwriter. This new, revised edition is even more essential.
Weiko Lin | Associate Professor, MFA Writing and Producing for Television, Loyola Marymount University