James Elden's Playwright's Spotlight

Handling Exposition, Arming Your Characters, and the Tension of Opposites - Playwright's Spotlight with Jonathan Dorf

May 30, 2023 James Elden/Jonathan Dorf Season 2 Episode 16
James Elden's Playwright's Spotlight
Handling Exposition, Arming Your Characters, and the Tension of Opposites - Playwright's Spotlight with Jonathan Dorf
Show Notes

Playwright and publisher Jonathan Dorf sits in the Playwright's Spotlight and shines a light on the publishing aspect of playwriting with his experience as co-founder of YouthPLAYS touching on some of the criteria they look for as publishers of plays for younger audiences. We also touch on what makes powerful writing, in-depth characters through the tension of opposites, and the difference between internal and external conflict. Jonathan shares his insight into handling exposition, emotional summarizing,  the purpose and timing of monologues, how best to support playwrights, his opinion on submission fees, high context relationships, the worst sins in playwriting, and the importance of promoting your own work. There are a lot of interviews I say could have gone on for even longer, but I really feel my conversation with Jonathan could've gone on for three hours if not longer. It definitely deserves a follow up conversation and has motivated me to break out some past work. I hope you feel the same. Enjoy!

Jonathan Dorf is author of more than 40 published plays with over 2000 productions worldwide, including such titles as 4 A.M., Harry's Hotter at Twilight, Thank You for Flushing My Head in the Toilet, Dear Chuck and The Locker Next 2 Mine. He co-founded publisher YouthPLAYS and chairs the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. He created the content for Playwriting101.com and taught playwriting through Screenwriters University for more than a decade. He has served as Visiting Associate Professor in the MFA Playwriting and Children's Lit programs at Hollins University, as United States Cultural Envoy to Barbados and has been a guest speaker at dozens of schools and festivals ranging from ITF and the EdTA annual conference to Singapore's Asian Festival of Children's Content. He holds a BA in Dramatic Writing and Literature from Harvard University, and an MFA in Playwriting from UCLA.

To view the video format of this episode, visit the link below -

Links to sites and resources mentioned in this episode -

YouthPLAYS -

The Blank -

New Play Exchange -

Playwriting101.com -

Website and Socials for Jonathan Dorf -


Twitter - @jonplaywright
IG - @jonplaywright
FB - https://www.facebook.com/jonplaywright

Websites and socials for James Elden, Punk Monkey Productions and Playwright's Spotlight

Punk Monkey Productions -

PLAY Noir -

PLAY Noir Anthology –

James Elden -
Twitter - @jameseldensauer
IG - @alakardrake
FB - fb.com/jameseldensauer

Punk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir - 
Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods
                  - @playnoirla 
IG - @punkmonkeyprods
       - @playnoir_la 

FB - fb.com/playnoir
        - fb.com/punkmonkeyproductions

Playwright's Spotlight -
Twitter - @wrightlightpod 
IG - @playwrights_spotlight

Playwriting services through Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festival

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