Stories on Stage -desire, conflict, stakes, character, visual narratives, dialogue and instructor Andrew Torry (week 1&2)

Dear Young Writers,
Andrew Torry here. You may have seen me at Wordsworth in the last two years when I worked as a Creative Moose. (The Creative Muses and Mooses are amazing people.) I love Wordsworth. I love watching you guys create awesome music, stories, poetry, and sometimes a rockin’ play reading. This year I’ll be teaching one of your courses and I’m pretty excited and humbled by that.
What’s the class going to be? Glad you asked. But first, let me ask you: What makes a good story? Like, remember that book you read? You know the one, the one that most people read in two weeks that you breezed through in two days. What is it about that book that made it so engrossing, that kept you reading when you were supposed to be doing your homework, that drew you to hole yourself up in your room, antisocially avoiding your friends so you could get through a few more pages? Stories on Stage is going to look at the building blocks of good storytelling. I’m talking about desire, conflict, stakes, character, visual narratives, and dialogue.
But there’s a twist. We’re going to be approaching this material from the viewpoint of the stage. We’re going to work together to create a five-minute play. During every class, we’ll explore one more element of good storytelling, do a writing exercise, and then we’ll get to work on creating and refining our play. Yes, the emphasis of the class will be about stories as told onstage, but the building blocks of a good story can be applied to plays, novels, or films.
Who am I? I’m a writer living in Calgary. I’ve written a few plays, some of which have been performed at various theatres throughout Alberta. I’ve also published a lot of articles and a short story.
I also work as the Executive Director of Inside Out Theatre, a company that offers drama education and theatre production opportunities to people with disabilities. Here’s a link to our website: And here’s the company’s YouTube channel (where you can see brief glimpses of my face):
 I’ll see you this summer.
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