This class will be taught online using a mixture of MS Teams and Zoom – you can take part from the comfort of your own home from anywhere in the world!
This 10-week online evening class for people age 16+ will guide you through the crucial elements of how to write a play. You will explore the balance between dialogue and plot, character and action, resolution and ambiguity. Each session will give you the tools to be able to build an idea into a full length piece of work, including understanding how to write a scene, how long they should be and when to end them, the importance of opening scenes and satisfying endings, the difficult middle, different story genres on stage, adaptations, how careful selection of core characters can aid plot-building and move on story, ethical issues around playwriting (whose story is this? Should I be telling it? Is truth always the best thing to show?) and what to do if you get stuck.
In the weekly classes, you will investigate the building blocks of a story and how to build narrative writing. Through an interactive and practical approach you will learn about the methods of developing three-dimensional characters, considering how to create depth and dimension to your work.
During the course you will receive feedback throughout and get the chance to workshop a character from your play with a professional actor.
By the end of the course, you will have:
- Developed skills in creative writing for visual story-telling
- Learned about script formatting and language
- Discovered methods of creating believable and realistic characters
- Explored the principles of creating thinking and critical thought
- Developed artistic confidence and an ability to communicate your ideas to others
This course would be suitable for anyone interested in stories on stage who wants to work on their first play or theatre-makers looking to expand their skills into playwriting.
Please see our FAQs for more information about all aspects of choosing, booking and attending your course. When booking the course you will be asked to agree that you have read and understood our Pre-HE Online Teaching Policy.
We offer multiple course discounts on our short courses – find out more.
You may also be interested in Introduction to Screenwriting (online courses). For information about further courses please register for the mailing list.
If you have any questions in advance of booking, please contact us at email@example.com
You will need access to a device such as a desktop computer, laptop or tablet which allows you to access the internet with a screen large enough to see the group members during online sessions. You will need internet connection which is fast enough to take part in video sessions on MS Teams/Zoom and to watch film footage.
You may also want to consider whether you have a space you can use where you can work without interruption. Please keep in mind that the other students taking part in the course will be able to see what’s behind you when you are online.
Choosing a course
Q) Which course is right for me?
Most of our courses are open access meaning that anyone can attend. We ask that bookers check the age range for the class. Our Adult classes are for ages 16+, our Children and Young People courses are generally split by age/school group.
If your child or young person is not based in Scotland please see the general age equivalents below.
School Group /Age Range in Scotland
Primary 1 – 4/5 years old
Primary 2 – 5/6 years old
Primary 3 – 6/7 years old
Primary 4 – 7/8 years old
Primary 5 – 8/9 years old
Primary 6 – 9/10 years old
Primary 7 – 10/11 years old
Secondary 1 – 11/12 years old
Secondary 2 – 12/13 years old
Secondary 3 – 13/14 years old
Secondary 4 – 14/15 years old
Secondary 5 – 15/16 years old
Secondary 6 – 16/17 years old
Q) I have no previous experience, can I take this course?
Most of our courses are open access – meaning that anyone can take part. If there is an entry requirement or specific previous experience is recommended for the course, there will be a tab on the course webpage to specify this.
Generally, if you have no experience, or have been away from your study for a number of years – we would encourage you to look at courses with Beginner or Introduction in the title.
Q) I’m an adult learner – am I too old for this course?
Never! Our adult classes are for anyone 16+. We often have a range of people aged from their late teens/early twenties to their late sixties and above. Our tutors are adept at creating a comfortable learning atmosphere for all the people in the group. We can’t predict the ages of the people on the course – but we can assure you that now is the right time to learn something new!
Q) Are the courses accredited?
In general, our courses are unaccredited however we can provide a certificate of attendance on completion if required. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request this 2 weeks prior to the end of your course.
Introduction to Actor Training is an auditioned and accredited course. Please see the course page for further details.
Q) English isn’t my first language, can I still take the course?
Yes! Our courses welcome students from across the world. You do not need a certificate in English in order to take Short Courses at the RCS. However, as all classes are delivered in English we do ask that you are comfortable following instructions, discussing ideas and sight-reading English aloud within the class.
Bookings/Booking a course?
Q) What is Schooble? Why do I need it?
The first time you book a short course you will need to set up a Schooble account – this is your customer account for our online booking system, Experios. You need a Schooble account to book your course, change or update your personal information, and check when payments are due/make a payment. Details of all the courses you have attended or are attending can be found on your account.
Q) I’ve not been sent a verification code?
If you are trying to set up a Schooble account or change your password, you might see that you have been sent a verification code. This code will be sent to the email associated with the account and often goes to your junk mail. Please check there first, and then email us if you cannot locate it.
Q) I haven’t received my course confirmation?
You will receive an automated email from our booking operator, Experios, to confirm that you have been successful in booking your course. This may get filtered to your junk mail – so please remember to check. If you are in any doubt – you can email us for further confirmation.
You will receive your course welcome information from us 1 to 2 weeks ahead of the course start date. This includes all the information you will need to attend the course including details of advance preparation is this is required.
Q) How do I update my email/password/address?
Log into your Schooble account by going to rcs.paritor.com. From there click the Clock icon on the left-hand side, and then click My Details. You can click Change Sign-in or Change Password as required. If you are changing your address, click Update.
Q) I’ve forgotten my password?
Go to rcs.paritor.com and click the Forgotten Password button. Enter the email address you used when you set up your account to receive a verification code. Once you have verified your email address you will be able to follow the steps to change your password.
If you are struggling with this, please email email@example.com for assistance.
Q) Why do I need to put an emergency contact down?
We offer classes to people ages 1-100, and during our courses our student’s safety is our priority. By giving us emergency contact information, you can ensure that should anything happen to you/your child during our courses – we will be able to contact someone to make them aware.
Q) Why are you asking for my age and school?
Our booking form accommodates a wide range of classes, and is the same for children, young people, and adults. As an adult you can click, I’m an Adult to avoid some of these questions.
As a young person, we ask for your age and school to ensure that you are in the correct age group for your class.
Q) Why do you ask for my medical information?
We take our student’s safety and wellbeing seriously and want to support everyone to learn in a way that suits them. If you have listed a medical condition or disability, we will contact to you to ask if there is any specific support we can put in place for you.
Q) What email address should I use for Microsoft Teams?
During your application you will be asked to select an email address to use when we add you to the course Teams group. Microsoft Teams is an online classroom where materials will be posted for your class and you will access the Zoom codes for each session.
Microsoft Teams gets upset by switching emails on a device – so if you already have an account registered for Teams, you should enter that email to avoid confusion.
If you are booking the course for someone else, you should ask them what email they use to access Teams, as only the participant will have access to the Team.
Teams is used by many schools across the UK – so if your child has been accessing Teams for school work, they should use the email already associated with that account – usually their school email address.
Some schools or workplaces do not allow accounts to be used for outside activities, please check, and email us if you wish to change the email address for Teams.
Q) It says the course is full – what do I do?
Courses have a limited number of places available. You can book onto the waiting list by clicking the Book Now button on the webpage. This will take you to the booking form to register your interest but without taking you to the payment page – it does not cost anything to book onto the waiting list.
We encourage all bookers to register for the waiting list if you wish to take the course. We try to respond to demand, and if we have enough people on the waiting list to run another course – we will! So it is worth booking on to register your interest.
Q) How will I be contacted if a space becomes available?
You will be contacted on the email associated with your account. We ask that you respond to your invitation as soon as possible as it allows us to process your application and get you set up for the course. If you no longer wish to take the place, please email us to confirm.
Q) I’ve been invited from the waiting list – do I need to do anything?
Yes! If you have received an automated email saying you have been invited from the waiting list, please log onto rcs.paritor.com and click Accept. This will take you to the payment stage of the booking form to confirm your space. After completing this you should email us so we can confirm your booking and send you over the relevant welcome information.
If you no longer want your place – please email us! We would love to offer the space to someone else and the more notice we are able to give people the better.
Q) Can I pay by instalment?
Yes, you can. When you reach the payment part of your booking form there are different payment options.
Full – paying the course in full at the time of booking.
By Term – paying the course in three instalments, one for each term (only available for full year courses)
Monthly – this will split the course cost over the remaining months until your course completion date.
Please note these options will depend on how much time there is between the booking date and end of the course.
Q) I’m paying by instalments. Can I change my payment date?
You can log onto your Schooble account by visiting rcs.paritor.com. On your home page you will find your Current Fees. By clicking Amend Schedule you will be able to see your current payment schedule and below you are given the option to change your payment day. Please note the options are from the 1st to the 28th of each month and if you change it to a date beyond the course end date your payments might increase. This is because payment for courses must be complete by the last class.
e.g. – your course finished on the 18th April. You currently pay your fees on the 10th of each month, so you are due to complete your payment for the course on the 10th April. You change it until the 28th of each month. Your instalments will increase to ensure you have paid for the course by 28th March, as the course will already be complete by the 28th April.
Q) How do I change my card details?
You can log onto your Schooble account by visiting rcs.paritor.com. On your home page you should find your Current Fees. By clicking Amend Schedule you will be able to Make a Payment and have the option to amend your card details at that stage.
Q) Is there any financial support?
Yes! We have bursary and scholarship programmes which all students can apply for. Please see the Financial Support page on the website for more details. Please check your eligibility for each prior to applying.
Q) How do I withdraw from the course?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with to confirm in writing that you wish to withdraw. You can read our Cancellation and Refunds policy online to see if you will be eligible for a refund.
You are entitled to a 14-day cooling off period from the date of booking the course in which you will be entitled to a refund (unless the course has been complete in this period).
You should be aware at the time of booking that, out with the statutory 14 day cooling off period, there is no automatic right to cancel, and there will be no refund of fees.
How do I access my course?
Q) How do I access my course?
Our online courses are delivered through Microsoft Teams and Zoom. You can read about each of these platforms on their webpages. We advised that all bookers download the desktop versions of the applications for easy access.
Q) What is Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a virtual classroom. Your Team is your RCS course and will be comprised of the other students on the course, your tutor, and Short Courses staff.
Q) Do I need Teams account?
Yes! Our online class are delivered through Teams and Zoom, and we require bookers to have access to both these platforms to participate.
On Teams you will be able to view materials the tutor has posted, ask questions, upload any tasks the tutor has set, and access the Zoom codes for each class.
Your Teams account is linked to the email address you supplied in that section of the booking form. To read more about setting up your Teams, please see below.
Q) How do I set up Teams?
Before the course, you will be sent an invite to your Team to the email address you supplied in your booking form.
If you have never used Teams before:
- Click the purple Open in Microsoft Teams box in the email.
- Your internet browser will take you to a Microsoft page that offer to Create account – with the email listed below. Click Next.
- Create a password – and click Next.
- Fill out the remaining account information (date of birth).
- Follow the information to verify your email. Enter the code into the box.
- Fill out the captcha and click Next.
- You will then be taken to an RCS page. Read the permissions and click Accept.
- Once you have clicked Accept, you will be redirected to a page. On the page there will be two options: Download the Windows/Mac app or Use the web app instead. We advise all users to download the app. Follow the steps to do so.
If you have already downloaded the app, a pop up will appear on the screen and you can click Open Microsoft Teams.
- Once you have done this you will either be directed to the online version or the desktop version as selected. You will then be asked to enter your email to sign in. This is the email you received your Teams invitation to, and the account you have just created.
- Enter the password you just created for this account.
- You may have a ‘Welcome to Teams!’ page. Please select Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Guest) if not already shown. Click Continue.
- At this point – you are in Teams. You should be automatically taken to the RCS Course Team. You will see a General tab, and a Zoom Codes tab. These are channels where the tutors will post the relevant information.
Q) Where is my RCS email account?
As a Short Courses student you are not a matriculated student of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (other than Introduction to Actor Training). You therefore do not have an RCS email account. If you are asked to select the type of Teams you will be using, please click Personal.
Q) Where do I find the Zoom codes for my class?
You will find the codes in the Zoom Codes channel of Teams. You will see it on the left-hand side of your screen, and by clicking on that Channel you’ll see where the Tutor has posted the Zoom code and password for the session.
Please note that the Zoom codes are different for each week. In order to keep all our customers safe online, we require bookers to log into Teams to access the codes. This limits the amount of people who will see the codes and stops them getting forwarded via email. For this reason, we cannot send you the Zoom codes via email.
Q) When will I have access to my course Team?
Once you have been sent the Welcome Information, you will be added to the Teams group. You will receive an automated message from Microsoft Teams notifying you of this. We will aim to send this information out 1 to 2 weeks ahead of the course start date.
Q) Where is my Teams invite?
If you have received your Welcome Information, you should have received your Teams invite. Please check your Junk Mail before emailing us. Remember that the Teams invite will go to the email address you entered for Teams – this may be different to the email address you have listed for communication from us.
If you have not received an email, it may be due to an error in the email provided to us.
Q) I can’t see my RCS Team?
Sometimes Microsoft Teams can get confused. Please sign out and sign back in by clicking your initials at the top right-hand corner. Try clicking the Open Microsoft Teams in the invitation email again. Try logging in via the Microsoft Teams website. If you are unsuccessful, please email email@example.com with screenshots and we will endeavour to help you
Q) How long will I have access to the Team?
You will have access to the Team for up to a week after the course ends. On the day of the final class, we ask that you download any materials and save any links you wish to keep from the Team. One week after the course, we will remove all members from the Team and delete it.
Q) How do I upload something to the Team?
You can either upload a file by posting a message in the General Channel, or you can upload it to the Files section, by clicking the Files button at the top.
You need to wait until the full file is uploaded. For video files this can take a number of minutes. You need to keep the Teams page up while your file uploads. You will see a green line crossing the bottom of the File – only once that has completed is the file fully uploaded – and then you are ready to hit post. Remember to check your file works once it has been uploaded.
Please note that anything you upload to Teams can be seen by your classmates – this is great as it offers the opportunity for peer review as you would in a usual classroom setting. If you would rather send something directly to the tutor, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass it along.
Q) Is Teams private?
Your RCS Course Team is an invite-only group. The only people who have access to the Team are the participants, the tutors, and the Short Courses staff.
Please be aware that anything you put on Teams – much like the rest of the internet – can be accessed by other members of the Team. If you are uploading a video for feedback from the group, this can be downloaded by other members. We kindly ask students to only download RCS materials and not those uploaded by classmates.
Your classmates will only see your username on Teams. Many of our classes choose to set up Whatsapp groups or share emails to stay connected outside class times – however this is up to the booker if they choose to share that information.
Q) The password isn’t working on Zoom?
If you are copy and pasting the password, please remember not to include spaces either side. It is best to type the password in manually if you are in doubt.
Remember to check that you are entering the password for the correct date. Each week there is a new Zoom code and password.
Q) The Zoom link won’t open?
If you are using the Zoom link the URL should be hyperlinked. This means that the Zoom link will be underlined and in a different colour. For example: https://zoom.us/. If it is in the same colour as the general text, and isn’t underlined – https://zoom.us/ – it has not been hyperlinked. You need to copy and paste it into your internet browser.
To do this highlight the text – and right click, click copy. Open your browser, go to the search bar, right click, hit paste.
Q) Is it a new code each week?
Yes! This helps ensure the privacy of the code and makes the link more secure. Please check that you have the most up to date code. If you are struggling, please ask for help by posting a message on your Teams page or emailing email@example.com.
Q) Can I do my course on a phone or tablet?
We have found that our online courses work best when you have a screen big enough to see the whole class at once, and the ability to see any shared screens clearly. This generally means that a phone is too small, some tablets might be suitable, but for best participant experience you should use a laptop or desktop computer.
Q) Can I download stuff from the Team?
Please ask your tutor before you download any materials. Any materials downloaded should not be shared without the permission of the tutor. We kindly ask that you do not download the work of other students without their permission.
Q) The tutor shared a class performance – can I put it on social media?
No – as part of our Online Teaching Policy which you agreed to in your booking form, we specify that all performances are for the eyes of the class and their families/friends only. Much like a live ticketed, performance – only those on the day are able to see the work.
This is to respect participants who do not want their image, work, and name shared without their permission.
Q) Are the classes live?
Yes! All our classes are live, and you must participate in real time. We do not record classes, and although there may be tasks to complete off screen/between classes – all our teaching is live.
Q) Can I participate in a different time zone?
Yes, although all our classes are live and in the GMT zone. Please check when the course takes place in your time zone before completing your booking.
Q) Are the classes recorded?
No. Due to GDPR we do not record our classes. If you are going to miss a class, you can ask classmates to recap the class on the Teams page for you. You should also read through the Teams page to see any tasks that have been set, and/or materials from that lesson.
Q) How much space do I need?
If you are attending a Drama course, you will need enough space to lie flat on the floor uninterrupted. This space allows for any breathing exercises or movement work you might participate in. Dance courses will require more space. Film and Production courses are generally desk based. Music courses will require a suitable space for playing your instrument/singing.
We ask students to be aware of their surroundings – make sure there are no trip hazards, and that you are able to take part in any physical activity safely. Additionally, be aware that your background can be seen by the rest of the class – so be sure to hide any personal items you don’t want other to see.
Q) How much noise am I going to make?
This depends on your course. As our classes are live, you are encouraged to participate in conversations much like in person classes. This shouldn’t be louder than an everyday phone conversation.
If your course involves any acting, singing or playing musical instruments, then you will be making more noise.
Q) Do I need any specialist equipment?
Generally, no. All our classes require you to have a device with a working webcam and microphone, and with internet speeds high enough that you can participate in class.
Beyond that, you should have a device capable of recording videos (with audio) and taking pictures. A smart phone is usually sufficient for these tasks.
Q) Is there anything I should be preparing for a course?
Please check the Course Preparation tab of your course webpage. If there is no course preparation tab, then there is generally nothing to prepare. We will also include any course preparation in our Welcome Information email – so make sure to read it thoroughly.
Q) Is my course online or in-person?
If you go to your course web page you will see the course name states ‘online’ or ‘in-person’. Additionally, if your course is in-person it will have the Renfrew Street address listed as the venue.
Q) What COVID-19 protocols are in place for in-person classes?
RCS continues to carefully assess developments in Covid guidance in managing the pandemic. This is a positive new chapter for all of us but will not mean a full return to our pre-Covid operations just yet.
Currently all students aged 12+ are required to show a negative lateral flow confirmation at the entrance of the building.
You can order lateral flow tests (or collect them from a chemist or pharmacy) and register your results by following this link: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Please note we will not accept a negative test cassette at the door, you must show your negative lateral flow confirmation email or text to gain entry.
- Students should arrive just before their class is due to begin as there are currently no waiting areas in the building.
- Parents and carers will not be able to enter the building. Primary age students will be collected/dropped off by a member of staff at the front door of the building. Secondary age students are to make their own way to their classroom.
- Adult students should attend their class alone as we are only able to admit people to the building who are signed up to a course.
- All students will be required to wear a face mask when travelling from the front door to their classroom (unless medically exempt).
- Secondary age students and adults will be required to wear a face mask during their class when undertaking any activity which is considered to be higher risk. This will be managed by class tutors.
- Students are asked to sanitise their hands before entering the building.
- Students are asked to try and keep 1m apart from others in the corridors and classrooms.
Students must not attend their class if they:
- Have been contacted by Test and Protect and asked to self-isolate. They are able to return to classes once the period of isolation has finished.
- Are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19.
If a student is contacted by Test and Protect or receives a positive test result within 48 hours of attending a Short Courses class, they should contact us as soon as possible on firstname.lastname@example.org
Q) I am an international student booking travelling to Scotland for the course – what happens if it gets cancelled or I am no longer able to attend due to COVID-19?
We encourage all students intending to fly to Scotland to attend a course to book travel insurance and ensure that their insurance covers cancellations relating to COVID-19. You should also make sure your travel insurance covers the cost of course fees.
We are unable to offer a refund to students who have to cancel due to any complications as a result of COVID-19, so booking is at the students own risk. You can view our Cancellation and Refunds policy to see the Terms and Conditions regards refunds due to COVID-19.
Q) I am flying to Scotland to attend a course, is there accommodation available?
We do not currently have accommodation on offer to Short Courses or Summer Schools students. Our campus is located in Glasgow city centre with lots of hotels, hostels and Air BnBs nearby.
Q) Can I bring my child in to class? Is there somewhere I can wait?
There are currently no waiting areas available to use in the building. You should bring your child to the front of the building to be collected by their course tutor or member of Short Courses staff. Secondary school age young people will make their own way to their classroom from the front door – there will be staff on hand to ensure they get to their space safely.
The RCS campus is operating with a limited capacity so the building is closed for public access.
Q) Who can enter the building?
Only students participating in classes can enter the building.
Primary aged students will be collected by their course tutor/member of Short Courses staff from the front of the building.
Secondary aged and adult students will be able to enter the building five minutes before their class is due to start and make their own way to their classroom.
Q) What do I do if I am late?
If you are an adult or secondary school student, please report to the Short Courses office (to the right of the Client Services desk at the ground floor entrance) to be in contact with a member of staff before going to class.
If you are dropping your child off late, please wait outside the ground level doors and a member of the Short Courses team will come to collect your child and take them to class. If you are over 10 minutes late and there is not a member of Short Courses at the front door, please call the office on 0141 270 8213.
Q) Do I need to wear a face mask?
Yes, all students aged 12 and above are required to wear a face mask when moving around the building, taking short breaks, and for some activities in the room. Your tutor will advise when masks should be worn in class.
Primary school age students are encouraged to wear a face mask when traveling to their room but will not need to do so within their class.
Q) What do I do if I have symptoms?
If you or a member of your household have symptoms of Covid-19, we ask you to follow Scottish Government guidelines and do not come to class. You can contact email@example.com to let us know that you will be absent.
Q) I’ve been contacted by Test and Protect / tested positive for COVID-19 – what do I do?
If you have been contacted by Test and Protect or receive a positive test result, please do not attend your class until the relevant isolation period has finished. You can find further guidance about this on the NHS Inform website.
If you are contacted or receive a positive result within 48 hours of attending a Short Courses class, please contact us as soon as possible by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q) What happens if restrictions are introduced again, or we go into another lockdown?
If we must cancel or suspend teaching due to the reintroduction of restrictions or a lockdown, where possible we will move our ‘in-person’ classes online for the remainder of the term.
Students will have the option to:
- Continue participating in their course online.
- Transfer the course fees for classes which have not yet taken place to a future course.
- Withdraw from the course and receive a refund for classes which have not yet taken place.
If this situation occurs, we will contact you by email to outline the plans for your particular course and discuss your options.
Q) Why do you ask for my medical information?
We care for our students and want to make sure we have all the information needed to assist you should you require medical attention in class. Once you list your medical information in the booking form, a member of our team will be in contact to check if we can put any additional support in place for you during class.
Q) I did online classes last year and they were booked termly – why can’t I do that this year?
Most of our weekly classes are designed as year-long programmes that run from September until June. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we opted to offer bookings term by term to offer more flexibility. Due to the easing of restrictions, we feel confident that we can return to our usual programming which is why we are returning to year-long bookings for in-person classes. You can find our Cancellation and Refund Policy within our full Terms and Conditions.
Attending the course
Q) I am going to be absent/late – who do I tell?
Please email email@example.com to notify us of an absence. You should do this as early as possible so we can assure our administrative staff have updated the registers and made the tutor aware so they can adjust their lesson plans, as necessary.
Please do not private message your tutor or other Short Courses staff on Teams (or email) to notify them of the absence. Most of our staff work varying hours and we cannot guarantee that the person you are messaging will be available to pick up the message in time.
Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org assures that your message will be picked up by staff who are working.
Q) Why do I need to tell you if I’ll be off?
We want our classes to run as smoothly as possible. By telling our staff if you are going to be absent or late, you are ensuring the class can start promptly. It stops tutors wondering if you are late, or not coming, and means that Short Courses staff won’t tag you on Teams or email you.
Q) Why am I being asked to turn my screen on?
Our classes are designed to be participated in live. It is important that our stud