After reading one-act plays or scenes from plays, my students compose a short, one-act play which involves two characters
who are having a conversation that is important to one or both of them. The students may create all the details of the characters,
including their relationship and the nature of the problem being explored.
Students may work by themselves, or may work with a partner. The writing is taken through the entire writing process, and students perform their one-acts for classmates.
Each class elects a representative play of high quality, and the play is sent to professional actors who come to the school to act the play out professionally for the students. The winning playwrites
act as hosts and "directors" for the professionals. For actors, I contact the local college or university in town, and there are always folks happy to help out with the project.
It has been a delight watching the kids' work performed professionally, and it gives the writing project luster and meaning. I have seen kids fight back tears watching each others' work acted out by pros.