Introduction to Screenwriting: Adaptation

This course will introduce students to Screenwriting Adaptation techniques, focusing primarily on the challenges of adapting “true stories” pulled from various non-fiction sources. The class will address the ethics of adaptation, questions and techniques surrounding the need to fictionalize truth for dramatic purposes, as well as touching on the differences between fictional and nonfictional original materials. Students will be exposed to various contemporary non-fiction adaptations, and will write a short film (under 15 pages) and one longer project (30 pages).

Sample reading list:
Andy Bienan and Kimberly PierceBoys Don’t Cry (Script)
Truman CapoteIn Cold Blood
Joshua MorrisonMaria Full of Grace (Script)
Lynn BarberAn Education
Linda HutcheonA Theory of Adaptation
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Weekly participation in table-top readings and critiques of peer materials. Active participation in film clip and screenplay text analyses. Completion of first screenplay. Completion and revision of final short screenplay (20-30 minutes). 60 pages of reading per week.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Interested students complete a creative writing application by attaching a statement about why they want to take the course and, optionally, a 3-4 page creative writing sample in any genre.

Other information:
This course is open to both advanced and beginning students of screenwriting. All students should purchase or have access to Final Draft or equivalent screenwriting software.



C01 - Christina Lazaridi

Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 p.m.


Christina Lazaridi