Mary Ruth Clarke- High Drama Scenes

  • January 13, 2022
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Remote



There are only three kinds of scenes: negotiations, seductions and fights.I’ve finished. That’s all. All scenes come in one of those three categories

Mike Nichols

The Graduate 

Remains of the Day

Working Girl

Fight: A test of strength or willpower. The winner of the scene is the one who can endure for the longest, or who can overpower their opponent.

Negotiation: A test of a person’s ability to craft compromise or display logical arguments. The winner is the person who is most capable of offering a logical solution in a way that makes their correctness obvious to everyone involved.

Seduction: Understanding and manipulating someone else’s desires. The winner in this kind of scene is the one who can best read someone else and understand their deepest desires.

Participants are invited to submit their scenes ahead of time to the instructor, who will select 5 or 6 to be read by professional actors at the workshop.  

If this is part of a larger work, participants should also send brief bullet points that will get us up to speed on what we need to know. 

We’ll then jump right into reading your scenes, followed by a Q&A with the instructor and the professional actors.  (Much can be gleaned from their perspective on how they approach scene work.)

If your scene doesn’t make the cut, you will still have a hard copy critique from the instructor and learn from the feedback given to your colleagues.

Submission criteria:       A fight, negotiation, or seduction scene

                                           Plays, Screenplays, Teleplays

                                          2-3 characters would be wonderful (but no worries if there are more)

                                           Maximum 6 pages

Anxious about how to format a play?  Here’s the formatting criteria for the Dramatists Guild:

Anxious about how to format a screenplay or teleplay?  Here’s a good guide:  (especially the link to John August’s site)


This workshop is for playwrights, screenwriters, teleplay writers, as well as novelists and memoirists. We offer free student memberships at a discounted rate of $5.00 per session. You must send verification of your student status. Please contact Claudia Katz at for details.

9-9:30 Socializing 

9:30-12 Program 

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620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093

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