What you will learn
- Specialised knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for performance and entertainment as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within performance and entertainment.
- A detailed understanding of key performance/entertainment components within the discipline, to include: ideational sources, body, space, image, sound, text, movement, environment
- How to create effective structure within a scene, how to edit your scene, and think like a dramaturg/script editor; how to create effective character
- Advanced awareness of the relevant market and distribution demands of entertainment industries
- Developed advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty and unfamiliarity
Writing for stage, screen, you-tube and digital platforms, video games, performance poetry, stand-up comedy, installation and performance art, has never been more popular. The golden age of television has diversified to become the golden age of streaming, with Netflix and Amazon creating exceptional opportunities for new writers to enter the industry.
The MicroMasters® in Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries offers both an experimental and industry-relevant opportunity to hone your skills as a dramatist or performance artist across many genres, as well as preparing you practically for engaging successfully with the film/TV /theatre/digital media and industries.
You will receive world-class teaching from academics from the University of Cambridge as well as expert advice from writers and directors who have navigated highly successful careers. We will delve into themes across all performance genres, including: dialogue, narrative structure/story-telling, and character psychology. You will learn how to write outlines and story-bibles, how to pitch an idea to a producer, and how to present your work to the industry of your choice.
We want to build innovative writers who disrupt traditional performance practices and are professionally resilient in the market-place. This creative writing program will help you build your entrepreneurial confidence by our engagement with audience theory, performance theory, and anti-fragility theory. This course would suit those already working as professional dramatists/writers who wish to broaden their portfolio, as well as those involved in associated creative industries. Literary agents, editors, you- tubers, stand-up comics, performance artists and poets, and those involved in managing writers in the entertainment and media industries would all benefit from insights gained in this course.
The courses within the MicroMasters can be studied independently, but to gain the most from the course, we recommend following them in sequence. In particular Writing successfully for the stage: structure, plot and dialogue follows on from Finding your voice as a playwright: scenes, themes and characters.
For those interested in continuing onto a full Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, this graduate level MicroMasters® offers the chance to experience the expertise of our dynamic world-class tutors, led by published playwrights Abigail Docherty and Fraser Grace, at a time and place to suit you. If accepted to the full program, following our normal application procedures, those who have studied the MicroMasters® in Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries will have completed 30 credits (15 ECTS) of the full 180 credit program.
The University of Cambridge has long produced famous performers such as Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson. Our recent alumni includes Sara Collins and her award-winning novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton.
Courses in this program
UniversityofCambridge's Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries MicroMasters® Program
- Started Oct 19, 20208–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Learn to deepen your creative practice as a playwright, as well as develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise. This course will broaden your understanding of how to start a career successfully as a professional dramatist, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
- Starts Nov 16, 20208–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Learn to structure your dramatic writing to a professional standard, as well as develop professionally transferable communication skills. This course will broaden your understanding of how to write engaging and interesting stories in order to attract producers and directors to your work. You will understand how to write effective dialogue, and how to edit your work.
- Starts Jan 4, 20218–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Learn to strengthen you skills as a screenwriter, while diversifying your knowledge and understanding of the demands of global film and TV production. Find out how to become a powerful visual story-teller; understand how to build effective structure within your screenplay; develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise.
This course will broaden your understanding of how to start a career successfully as a professional screenwriter, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
- Starts Feb 1, 20218–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Learn how to network in the creative industries, how pitch your film to a producer, and how to hold your own in a TV writers’ room. Acquire the basic skills for setting up your own production company and learn how to transform creative ideas into work of commercial value.
This course will broaden your understanding of how to maintain a career successfully as a professional screenwriter, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
- Starts Mar 1, 20218–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Advance your digital story-telling prowess and learn how to create interactive gameplay scripts for video games, radio drama scripts for radio and/or podcasting, as well as content for your YouTube channel. Learn to transfer your skill as a dramatist into these innovative mediums.
This course will broaden your understanding of how to start a career successfully as a digital storyteller, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
- Starts Apr 6, 20218–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Learn to deepen your dramaturgical practice in the experimental world of installation and performance art, as well as continue to develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise. This course will broaden your understanding of how to engage in creating innovative art work with a performative basis.
- Starts May 3, 20218–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Prepare to perform your comic writing and/or poetry to a live audience, as well as develop transferable writing skills and communication expertise that will be relevant in any profession. This course will broaden your understanding how to structure a stand-up comedy set, as well as allow you to understand how to use narrative form in your performance poetry texts. You will also reflect on the ways in which you might enhance the quality of your writing practice by being a performer yourself.
- Starts May 31, 20218–10 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Having completed the seven other courses in the MicroMasters in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries, this course gives you the opportunity to put it all together. Refine your favourite piece of work and, for those on the verified track, receive feedback from tutors.
Passing this course is a pre-requisite for those wishing use credit from MicroMasters in Writing for Performance and Entertainment industries as part of their application to the MSt in Writing for Performance at the University of Cambridge.
What is a MicroMasters Program?
MicroMasters programs are a series of graduate level courses from top universities designed to advance your career. MicroMasters program certificates showcase deep learning and in-demand skills to employers and can help you get started on a path toward completing an advanced degree.
How to Earn a MicroMasters Program Certificate
To earn the program certificate, learners must successfully earn a verified certificate in all three project management courses, and pass the final comprehensive capstone exam.
From Program Certificate to a Master’s Degree
MicroMasters programs are designed to offer learners a pathway to an advanced degree and can count as credit toward completing a Master’s degree program. Learners who successfully earn this MicroMasters program certificate may apply for admission to a Master’s program, and if accepted, the MicroMasters program certificate will count towards the degree.
Learners who successfully earn this MicroMasters® program certificate may apply for admission to the Masters of Studies in Writing for Performance at the University of Cambridge and, if accepted, the MicroMasters program certificate will count as a maximum of 30 credits towards the 180 credit degree.
- Creativity is most in demand soft skill for 2020 (LinkedIn Learning Report, 2020)
- Diversification of skills base offers multiple jobholding possibilities, which increases income for individuals and spurs labour market (IZA, World of Labour, 2020)
- Creative industries have had exceptionally high growth and high impact in the last 10 years, developing jobs for artists, musicians, film-makers, whose output, in turn, has increased tourism to the UK (NESTA, Feb 2018)
- One in eight industries in the UK are within the creative industries, inc. architecture, film and TV, advertising, video games and software, heritage, design, music and publishing. (Creative Industries Federation)
Meet your instructor
Experts from UniversityofCambridge committed to teaching online learning
- No. If on completing this course you choose to apply to the Master of Studies (MSt) in Writing for Performance – based in Cambridge UK – and are accepted as a suitable candidate, then this MicroMasters® will be considered as 30 credits of the 180 credit award.
- No. This course is open to all, although we believe that you will get more from it if you are already involved, or hoping to be involved in writing and associated literary professions. The entry requirements for the full Master of Studies in Writing for Performance at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge are available on our website (https://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/mst-writing-performance).
- This course teaches the skills involved in becoming a successful writer for different performance mediums. Honing these skills is ultimately up to you, but the guidance offered will enlighten you and provide you with a solid grounding to enter the entertainment industries as a writer.
- We are not able to give feedback to any students auditing this course on their individual pieces of writing. For those on the verified track, the final assignment will be assessed and feedback sent. In addition, throughout the course, advice and training will be given on how to give and receive feedback to others. Ideas will be explored through discussion forums.
- The instructor-led course runs for 7-8 months. There will be further iterations of the course, and therefore opportunities to work at a slightly slower or faster pace as preferred.
- As writers we would always encourage you to broaden your horizons as it can only assist the creative process. In addition, today’s documentary series could be tomorrow’s hit musical. If you are not interested in other genres there is also the option of studying modules on an individual basis.
- As a writer you should be prepared to have work rejected as well as accepted. The editing process alone may involve removing treasured words and phrases. In addition, world events can have an impact on the entertainment industries. This course will give you an understanding of how to cope and respond creatively to setbacks.