Joem Antonio talks about his Master Class for Short+Sweet Manila 2015

PTV 4 interviews Dr. Joem Antonio on Short+Sweet Manila 2015
PTV 4 interviews Dr. Joem Antonio on Short+Sweet Manila 2015
Dr. Joem Antonio, Storywriting School founder and course creator, will conduct a master class during the Short+Sweet Manila Festival 2015. Short+Sweet is a festival of ten-minute plays. Dr. Antonio's play, "Death in Ten Minutes," garnered awards in last year's festival. This year, he's giving back to the theatre community by holding this master class on storywriting. It will be on September 6, 2015, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura. The fee is P500. To enroll, you may email

We interviewed him to find out what he'll be teaching.

What will the topic of your writing master class be?
My topic will be Compact Scriptwriting. It’s the art of being able to optimize story, theme and impact in a stage play that has a ten-minute limit.

Why did you choose this as a topic?
I think that Compact Scriptwriting is a very timely topic for a festival such as Short+Sweet. Aside from the fact that Short+Sweet promotes ten-minute performances, I believe that the ten-minute play format is the perfect answer to those who want to participate in theatre but have neither the time nor the resources. Compact Scriptwriting is about ensuring that the script will be both fun and challenging for everyone involved without compromising content, finances, and time.

Is it possible? If poetry can be profound in a few lines, then a ten-minute play can also be such. If a thirty-second commercial can emotionally move audiences, then so can a ten-minute play do the same.

What areas of this topic will you cover?
I will be reviewing everyone in terms of coming up with the basics of a story and a script. A story will have the elements we are all familiar with since elementary; the difference is, we will be looking at these elements from the perspectives of a playwright, of performers, and of an audience.

We will also review the different instructions a script gives to its potential performer. One has to see that a script is “imperative literature” or “a piece of literature whose art is to give instructions.” The participants will then have to learn how to write their instructions clearly so as the play becomes performable on stage. Part of this is that the participants will have to learn how to imagine the performance and to translate it into words.

After reviewing the participants on these two basics, the next area is to apply these basics to something more advanced: how to tell a well-layered story onstage by means of theatrical instructions.

What will participants leave with after attending your master class?
At least, that they leave with a clearer understanding of how the elements of story and a script work from a playwright’s perspective, as well as learning how to allocate within a ten-minute limit. At most, become more aware of how the different combinations of these elements can make for a rich experience without breaking the ten-minute limit.


We hope to see you at Samsung Hall for this master class. If you're a beginning playwright, you might also be interested in his crash course, "How to Write Plays for Theatre." You'll find his other course schedules here: Storywriting School writing workshops and courses.

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