Ōtepoti Theatre Lab – Schools’ Programme

Workshop one: Scripting the Storyworld -Developing Characters in a Dramatic Storyworld


A one-off writing workshop.

As writers, sometimes we can fall into the trap of letting our characters serve the story. They become mouth or chess pieces for a bigger setting or regime at the expense of their individual rich and dynamic stories. In this workshop, playwright/dramaturg and 2019 Burns Fellow Emily Duncan leads participants – and their characters – through an escape plan.  

Scripting the Storyworld is most suitable for senior students who already have an idea for a script or an early draft.

Following this workshop, three participants will be selected (on application with short script draft) for further mentoring and a rehearsed public reading during the Young Writers Festival in October.


2 hours


The New Athenaeum Theatre, 23 The Octagon


Wednesday 19th June, 1pm – 3pm.

Year Groups and Participants

Senior secondary school students (years 11-13)

Students to be nominated by teachers

Maximum number of participants = 20

Workshop Two: People at Places in TimeDevices for Devising Drama about Dunedin Stories


In this workshop drama students are guided in a process for devising a drama based around a local Dunedin/Otepoti site at a particular time. They do not need not have prior knowledge of the history or the sites in the workshop, as they will be applying what they already know to the exercise, their dramatic imaginations, and planning a research path forwards determined by the purpose of the drama they wish to create.

The method (heterotopic dramaturgical model) used in this workshop is based on that devised by Emily Duncan in her PhD thesis, which sounds very fancy and specialised, but can be applied in a very straightforward way and still achieve satisfying results. At its dramatic heart, the heterotopic dramaturgical model is about creating a detailed and truthful storyworld with strong characters.

The focus of the workshop is to give the students tools and a framework within which to use dramatic elements and conventions to create an original work based on an historical moment at a specific site in Otepoti/Dunedin.


Either your schools’ drama classroom or other learning space.


People at Places in Time is either one two-hour (or period) or two one-hour (or period) sessions split over two sessions.


Available Terms 2-4 2019. Contact h-j@prospectparknz.com to schedule time.

Year Group and Participants

Is suitable for years 10-13, especially for classes and students focusing on devising and/or writing.

Maximum number of participants = 25