Skip links

In this Masterclass Professor Osofisan, one of the most highly acclaimed dramatists of his generation, takes us through his playwriting process and gives us his thoughts on the importance of language. He advises would be playwrights on the need for sensitivity. ‘Be sensitive to what is happening around you,’ he says, ‘and write in a way that is local to yourself. Write about the specifics of your world, do not write in the abstract. The more local you are in your writing the more international it will actually be.’

Professor Osofisan describes his own process of playwriting as experimental, preferring a collaborative approach with actors to test out what actually works on stage. He is very keen on having an impact on audiences, to spur debate and engagement with topical political and social issues.

After watching the video, consider the following questions:

Film 1 : Introductions
Film 2 : What mindset does one need to be a good writer?
Film 3 : Tell us about your writing process
Film 4 : What are your thoughts on adaptation, especially of western classics?
Film 5 : What is the purpose of drama?
Film 6 : What is the purpose of drama?
Film 7 : What are the rules of playwriting?
Film 8: How do you develop character?
Film 9 : Give us some tips on plot development
Film 10 : What is the secret to writing great dialogue?
Film 11 : What are your thoughts on writing plays in African languages?
Film 12 : Give us your views on collaboration in the theatre
Film 13 : You have been quoted as saying that play is written on stage. Explain.
Film 14: Do you consider the audience in your writing process?
Film 15 : What is the future of African theatre in the digital age?
Film 16 : What are your thoughts on theatre reviews?
Film 17: What is your advice to African playwrights?