Playwright

"I design the blueprints to theatrical productions. I write the script used by the actors, and create the characters they will embody and the settings they’ll populate. I sculpt the story and design the cues and at the end of the day it is my ideas that come to life on the stage. I will usually work with actors, set designers, sound managers, stage directors, costume designers and everyone else who takes part in the production of the play to make sure that things work to my intention and to make sure that what I plan is feasible. My work is literature given life."

Salary Range:

Will depend on numerous factors

The Tip

The power of networking and mentoring is critical. Embed yourself in the live theatre community and find yourself senior playwrights, actors or directors who will mentor you. They’ve all been there before.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media

 

Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources

 

Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

 

Additional Skills
  • Excel at core communication, interpersonal and organizational skills

  • Excel at intentional curiosity and thoughtful creativity

  • Fundamental business acumen

  • Contextual knowledge of live theatre

  • Marketing expertise

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:

 

"I’ve always enjoyed theatrical productions. To make sure I learned about concise storytelling, I blended an English degree with my passion for theatre through a minor to better leverage my scriptwriting capabilities."

Employment Experiences:
  • Hired in high school as a production assistant for a local children’s theatre company

  • Wrote and produced five plays for my high school drama society, achieving a scholarship

  • Worked retail at local theatre prop store to help fund my passion for scriptwriting

  • Worked as an usher at my university conservatory, where I got my first look at professional production methods

  • Teach scriptwriting and playwriting at Brown University

 

"I had a passion for live theatre since my first summer camp. Getting my first job at the local children’s theatre. This opened up doors and let me immerse myself into the field and made many friends and mentors."

Community Experiences:
  • I volunteered at Alberta Theatre Projects to gain some experience and make connections

  • I joined a drama club at university and ended up writing scripts at a more professional level

  • To quickly embed myself in the local arts and theatre scene in my new environment, I was very active in the theatre community at Brown

 

"Volunteering not only allows me to contribute my skills to my community, it broadens my network and relationships. When I arrived at Brown University, I was on my own in a much greater way than ever before. I decided that, if I was going to have to meet new people, I might as well make sure we had something in common, and found the closest drama society available."

Contextual Experiences:
  • To experience life for myself, I decided to move to Brown in Providence, Rhode Island, to complete my MFA

 

"I knew that I wasn’t going to get very far if I didn’t have any experiences to provide context to my writing. My move to Brown was a huge step, and tossed me far out of my comfort zone, but it made me the person I am today."

Relationships:
  • I had a supportive drama teacher in high school

  • Thesis supervisor

 

"My high school drama teacher recognized my talent and passion, and helped my get my scholarship, which I would never have been able to achieve on my own. In university, I did the same degree as my thesis supervisor, which we connected over, and it was he who got me into the MFA program at Brown."