2nd Edition

New Playwriting Strategies
Language and Media in the 21st Century

ISBN 9780415491488
Published December 14, 2011 by Routledge
258 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

New Playwriting Strategies has become a canonical text in the study and teaching of playwriting, offering a fresh and dynamic insight into the subject. This thoroughly revised and expanded second edition explores and highlights the wide spread of new techniques that form contemporary theatre writing, as well as their influence on other dramatic forms.

Paul Castagno builds on the innovative plays of Len Jenkin, Mac Wellman, and the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin to investigate groundbreaking new techniques from a broad range of contemporary dramatists, including Sarah Ruhl, Suzan Lori-Parks and Young Jean Lee. New features in this edition include an in-depth study of the adaptation of classical texts in contemporary playwright and the utilizing new technologies, such as YouTube, Wikipedia and blogs to create alternative dramatic forms.

The author’s step-by-step approach offers the reader new models for:

  • narrative
  • dialogue
  • character
  • monologue
  • hybrid plays

This is a working text for playwrights, presenting a range of illuminating new exercises suitable for everyone from the workshop student to the established writer. New Playwriting Strategies is an essential resource for anyone studying and writing drama today.



Paul C. Castagno is Professor of Theater at UNC-Wilmington, where he served as founding chair of the Department of Theater. He formerly served as Director and Head of MA programs at the School of Theater at Ohio University, and headed the MFA Playwriting/Dramaturgy programs at the University of Alabama. He teaches playwriting and dramatic literature, directs, and has published books and articles on playwriting and commedia dell’arte.


'The exercises Paul Castagno provides are eminently usable. They're direct, clear, and I'm gonna steal them for any playwriting classroom I'm at the front of in the future. They can be the ax Kafka talked about to break the frozen sea within us, let the writer loose, and demand that he or she let the mind hit the page in some new and yet somehow familiar ways.'

-Len Jenkin, Professor of Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU