Spring classes are here!

The Story Structure of Romantic Drama in "Portrait of A Lady On Fire"

Feb 12
Feb 12
6:00 - 8:00PM CT
Jennifer Rumberger
Online via Zoom
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The romantic drama is a genre that differs from romantic comedy in that the characters face overwhelming societal odds when it comes to being together. This genre examines love as an experience as opposed to a life path, something that enriches and changes the lives of its characters in a permanent way, even if they don’t end up together.  

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, the 2019 French romantic drama by Celine Sciamma, is such a film.  In this class, we will study and discuss moments from the film and talk about the story structure as a template for creating our own romantic dramas. We’ll use generative prompts in order to begin to explore the societal obstacles for our characters and the way this might affect their romantic journey.

This is a French film, and we will be analyzing the script from translated subtitles. The class is open to anyone regardless of knowledge of the French language. It's recommended, but not required, that students see the film before class. This class is ideal for screenwriters, playwrights, and prose writers looking to enhance their understanding of the story structure of romantic drama, and anyone looking for a deep dive into a remarkable and delicate film that celebrates women and queer romance. Writers will be able to apply our exercises and discussion to their current works in progress.

Jennifer Rumberger is a New York based playwright and essayist. Her recent productions include The Locusts with the Gift Theatre in Chicago, Night in Alachua County with Wildclaw Theatre and Open Blue Sky at Stella Adler/ Tisch School of the Arts.  Jennifer’s work has been developed or presented in New York, Chicago, Houston, Miami, and Florida. She was a recipient of the 2021 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award and a 2022 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University and performs her essays and nonfiction at live storytelling events.  She received her MFA from Northwestern University.

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