How does the dramatist bring alive an historical epoch to enliven a work for stage, film or television? What elements are essential to create a compelling narrative? Should the characters be actual people or fictionalized composites? And what ethical issues are raised in such decision making? In this arts workshop students will embark on a journey to bring alive and shape stories that hold personal significance. Whether the tales are connected to family, culture, gender or ‘race’ memory, there are certain steps that may enhance the creation and development of dramatic work based on historical information. The goal, based on the student’ work, is the fully develop the outline of the story. Readings may include such texts as Aristotle’s Poetics , Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing , Robert McKee's Story Jeffrey Sweet’s The Dramatist’s Toolkit , and plays by Universes, Robert Schenkkan, Clifford Odets and Anna Deveare Smith, among others.