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‘This is what I say to young people, including my own daughter – Listen to yourself, believe in yourself’. This interview with the prolific and profound playwright and director, Biyi Bandele advice would be for theatre practitioners to ‘learn the rules of your craft so that when you do break those rules you understand why you are breaking them’. Over and over again Bandele emphasizes the importance of reading and seeing plays. ‘Reading plays and seeing as many plays as you can is a part of developing your craft as a playwright. It is important to find your own voice he says, but to do that you must learn from what is out there.’

Influenced by Wole Soyinka and other African playwrights, Bandele has been produced by The Royal Court numerous times. He has guidance on how to understand how he as a director makes casting decisions, how old news articles might trigger an idea for a play and how to know if a dramaturg can help you to find your own voice. Watch this intriguing Masterclass and consider the following questions:

Film 1: What is the type of mindset you need to be a good playwright?
Film 2: What is the purpose of drama?
Film 3: What are the rules of telling a story?
Film 4: What continues to inspire you to write?
Film 5: What is the role of artists in society?
Film 6: What are your thoughts on stage play reviewers in the West who review African plays?
Film 7: Looking at Plot and Structure and anything else you wish to share?
Film 8: How much do you consider the audience's experience in your writing process?
Film 9: What are your thoughts on audience participation?
Film 10: What makes a great actor - How to cast the right ones for your play?
Film 11: What has been the impact of the Internet on theatre?
Film 12: Who inspires you and your work?
Film 13: Do you think it's important for a critic to know about an artist?
Film 14: What are your thoughts on dramaturgy and non-western traditional storytelling structures?
Film 15: Do you think live theatre will be replaced with online work?
Film 16: Why is authenticity in African Theatre important?
Film 17: What are your thoughts on the Preserving Legacy project?
Film 18: Parting Words