Playwriting Lesson: Art As Inspiration- Two Character Dialogue Scene

Unit Title: Playwriting
Lesson: Art As Inspiration- Two Character Dialogue Scene
Grade Level: 6th-12th Grade

Overview: In this lesson, students will view a slide show with ten images of classic paintings representing a variety of styles and genres. The students are asked to keep a short list of adjectives or descriptions that come to mind when they view the paintings. After viewing the inspiration paintings, students are asked to use one of the paintings as a “jumping off” point for a two-character dialogue. The characters can be literally from the painting itself or can just be inspired by the mood or the location of the painting.

*This lesson assumes students have a general understanding of basic playwriting structure and terminology. If your students are brand-new to playwriting, please see the lesson: The Basics Of Playwriting.

Reference Material:
Art As Inspiration Slide Show
Download this Lesson

Lesson Steps:
View the slide show and follow the instructions within it.
Encourage students to think creatively with their characters/scenarios. The paintings are just an inspiration- they do not have to be limited to just the figures that are seen in the painting.
Each student should create a dialogue between two characters, 10 lines each. Remind the students that a “line” in this case can contain multiple sentences.
If time allows, ask the students to share their dialogues and let the class try to guess which painting inspired the piece.

-This lesson is a good stepping stone to other playwriting activities that lead to longer pieces and culminate with students creating their own 10-Minute Play Festival.

Created for Essential Theatre: Lesson Plans & Resources for Educators by Emily McClain © 2020