Playwright | Theater Director | Dramaturg | Screenwriter | Actor | Singer
With a career in the arts spanning from the ‘70s, award-winning writer Rody Vera has masterfully crafted dozens upon dozens of progressive, exciting, and colorful stories that have been transformed into well-received plays, scripts, films, and songs. In this first ever Filipino online playwriting course, Rody gives context to playwriting in the Philippines, where to start, and how to do it effectively along with writing exercises you can do alone or with a group. Discover Rody’s approach to finding a good topic and write that story you’ve been wanting to write! (Check out the “Mentor” tab to know more about your artist-mentor!)
Sneak Peek: Rody Vera On Choosing A Topic (excerpt from Lesson 2) 9 min
Get a glimpse of the Rody Vera Online Playwriting Course! Watch Now!
Lesson 1: Playwriting: Going beyond the "Insult" 30 min
"I was part of a generation that was influenced by foreign playwrights. But from that foundation, sinusubukan kong gumawa ng sarili, in my own terms. And that has also spurred my commitment to playwrights' development." Say hello to your artist-mentor, Rody Vera, a game changer in the world of Philippine contemporary theater, as he introduces the origins of playwriting vis-a-vis the roots of screenwriting, its basic unit and primary elements, how the term “playwright” was initially used as an insult, and how it has evolved since then.
Lesson 2: What to Write About: From Within or Without? 50 min
When looking for a topic, do you look inward or outward? Where do you start? Learn how to dig deep within yourself and find a topic that will compel you to finish your play.
Lesson 3: Types of Character: They Are Not Human! 35 min
How are characters different from humans? In building a character, which approach is more effective: 3-dimensional or directional? How do we break stereotypes? Plus: having written many historical works under his belt (Goyo, 2018; Ang Aking Juan Luna, 2017; Lakambini, 2014, etc.), Rody shares his insights about historical characters and how to go about creating them.
Lesson 4: Crafting the Character: Depth vs. Action 50 min
Box-office vs. Award. Action vs. Plot. Can they go together? Find strategies to face this challenge and craft characters that will help move your play to the direction you want.
Lesson 5: Genre: What fits? 55 min
In the decades Rody has been making plays, he has explored almost any imaginable genre you can think of -- from dance musicals to historical fiction to epics to political theater and so on. In this lesson, he talks about traditional theater, contemporary theater, various modern theater styles in the country, and factors that can affect your chosen genre. Plus: he shares his advice on how to overcome some writer’s challenges and how to “own” your work.
Lesson 6: Conflict: Status Negotiation and Other Approaches 20 min
Conflict is the root of drama. In this lesson, Rody details the different ways of approaching conflict and his emphasis on Status Negotiation as a major player in most interactions.
Lesson 7: Premise: It Isn’t the Be-All and the End-All 30 min
What is a “premise” and how does it help your play exactly? In this lesson, Rody takes his cue from the formula of Hungarian-American author Lajos Egri, but explores deeply why a premise is merely a guide.
Lesson 8: Structure: How You Tell The Story 45 min
A storyline alone isn’t enough. How you tell the story will make the difference. Will it be linear or in reverse chronological order? Learn how to make use of structure -- the right timing in plotting scenes, the difference between story and plot, and how to balance different elements of the play -- in order to make the most dramatic impact
Lesson 9: “Coming Out” 35 min
After getting bashed by well-known directors, Rody talks about his resurrection piece entitled “Kung Paano Ko Pinatay Si Diana Ross” and bares his soul as he walks through the playwriting process for his play. Learn how the play came together from his and his colleagues’ experiences of being othered and how he found his muse in structuring this play.
Lesson 10: The Magic of Dialogue 40 min
“Kapag nasabi mo ‘yung gusto mong sabihin ng hindi mo sinasabi outright, dun ka nagke-create ng magic.” As a playwright, the dialogue you create will be the most palpable thing you’ve created for your audience. Learn about the significance of language and the many styles you can play with that will not only help deepen the personality of your character, but the world of your play.
Lesson 11: Writing the First Draft: How to Look like a Pro 5 min
They say content is king. But how you package and deliver that content can make or break your success as well. Learn how to properly format your play by industry standards and improve your theater jargon with this step by step guide.
Lesson 12: “San Nicolas”: From Workshop to Award-Winning Play 45 min
Get a glimpse of how banker Migy Obina created his play “San Nicolas, Ang Sarsuwela” that won him his first writing award at the 2018 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Full-Length Play Category). Make the most out of this course with his script reading with mentor Rody Vera and the rest of the class. And learn about the significance of getting feedback for your work.
Lesson 13: Revising Your Play Into Production 10 min
Congratulations! At this point (we assume), you might’ve finished writing your play. But the playwriting process is not over just yet! In fact, it is said that “the work is never finished, only abandoned.” Learn all about revising your play into production and the steps you must consider before staging your play.
Bonus Feature: A Talk with Philippine Theater Directors, Actors, and Playwrights! 60 min
Rody invites major players in the theater industry for several insightful discussions that will help you better navigate the world of theater. Featuring: Chris Millado, Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); Maribel Legarda, Artistic Director of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA); JK Anicoche, Artistic Director of Sipat Lawin Ensemble; award-winning actress Angeli Bayani, and young actor Ross Pesigan.
Plays-on-Video 77 min
Watch our Plays-on-Video! Discover three one-act stage plays cinematically shot and translated to film.