Skip links

Professor Olu Obafemi is an academic and prolific playwright and director. In this Masterclass he shares with us his ideas of what it takes to be a playwright. For him, this starts with being a writer. As a writer Professor Obafemi advises that writers need to be interested in the world, in their environment, they need to have ‘compassion and concern for society’. Writers need to believe that they are capable of ‘impacting society in a positive way’. Specifically, for anyone interested in writing stage plays ‘they need to want to write for theatre’, understanding that ‘theatre is the most public, most social and interactional’ of all the kinds of writing available. Playwrights need to understand the rules and conventions of how a play works and Obafemi provides an outline of the key devices used in writing plays.

Professor Obafemi discusses writing adaptations and gives us a preview of his own latest work, itself an adaptation of a legend. He also shares with us, most generously, how we might start to write a play, beginning with an issue or concern that we are interested in investigating.

Film 1 : Introductions
Film 2: What kind of mindset does a playwright need to succeed?
Film 3 : What inspires you to write a play how do you go it?
Film 4: Tell us how you go about creating plot in your writing
Film 5 : What is your process for writing good dialogue?
Film 6 : Tell us how you breakdown scenes in your writing
Film 7: What challenges have you faced as a writer and how have you dealt with them?
Film 8: Do you consider the audience in the writing process?
Film 9: Adaptation of original work is common today. What are your thoughts on it?
Film 10: What is the importance of documentation in African theatre?