Art of the One Act Play

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 06:30 PM until Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 08:30 PM

Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY 10708
United States

Instructor:  Franco D’Alessandro
Length: 5 sessions, $450
Wednesdays 6:30-8:30

Students coming into this class must have an intellectual curiosity to learn about the structure of the one-act play as well as the creative desire to write their own short play.  If you would like to be considered for or participate in the writing aspect of the workshop, please submit a paragraph expressing your desire and one or two examples (2-3 sentences) of ideas  for your play to

Students will read and study four to six different one-act plays (by such authors as O'Neill, Childress, Albee, Williams as well as one from the instructor's own collection) with an emphasis on analysis and mastery of craft.  At the same time, students will work on an original play of their own through the process of developing character, emphasizing significance of time and place, layering motifs and symbols, structuring plot and conflict, and creating thematic development.  By the end of the semester each student will have written a first/second draft of a one-act play as well as gained insight into the art of playwriting.

Franco D’Alessandro (BA, Fordham University; MAT, Fordham University) is an Irish-Italian- American playwright and native New Yorker who has had dozens of professional Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and regional and international productions of his work. His 2002 hit Roman Nights, which explores the artist/muse paradigm, vis-à-vis the tumultuous and dramatic life of stage and screen legend Anna Magnani and her inspirational friendship with the great playwright, Tennessee Williams, was published in the “Best Plays of 2002” and nominated for various awards.  This play was a critical and commercial success in both New York and in London in 2004 and opened in Prague in 2006 where it has been sold-out for nine years..  The play continues to be produced all over the world; it has been nominated for over 46 awards worldwide and may be made into a feature film. The Shattering has been work-shopped at The Cherry Lane Theatre with Olympia Dukakis and Christina Zorich, and a trilogy of plays entitled The Claddagh Ring Cycle deals with various facets of modern Irish-American life and should be completed by summer 2015.  Part One of this trilogy, the controversial Dancing Barefoot in the Dark, a 2015 Eugene O’Neill Semi-finalist, examines education and relationships as subtext for the British occupation of Ireland.  D’Alessandro is an adjunct at several American universities and often in Europe during the summers.   In 2011 a collection of his acclaimed one-act plays entitled Stranger Love was published, it has sold 1,500 copies and is available on-line and at NYC’s prestigious Drama Book Shop.  2001, 2002 & 2015 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist, a 1998 & 2000 Edward F. Albee Foundation Residency recipient and 2000-2001 Cherry Lane Theatre Alternative Finalist and 2001 Princess Grace Award Nominee.  A NEA/TCG Playwrights Nominee, a Dorset Theater Colony Residency recipient and a New Frontiers Playwright. Member Since 1997: The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.

Writing Institute Registration Process:

Step 1 - Registration Information: Complete this registration form in full.

Step 2 - Payment: Once you click submit on this form, a new page will appear in your browser with a payment link. Click on the payment link, complete the required information, and submit your payment. 

Payment is required for your registration to be confirmed. If we don’t receive your payment within 48 hours of submission of this form, your registration will automatically be cancelled. You will have to complete the form again if you wish to register for the class.

Step 3 - Confirmation: Once we receive your payment, your registration will be finalized and confirmed with an email. Please keep this email for your records.  Details about room assignment, parking, and any other information relevant to the course will be emailed to registered students the week before classes begin.

If you have questions about the registration process, please call us at 914-395-2205 or email

Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.