Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Victoria Lucia

5 Drama Scripts to Learn From

And the Oscar goes to…

No genre conjures up thoughts of awards and prestige quite like drama! Drama allows us to delve into the intricacies and complexities of human emotions and life’s difficulties.

Crafting a powerful drama script requires a compelling story, believable character development, and the ability to evoke strong emotions from the audience.

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Are you wondering how to write a drama film that profoundly impacts viewers? Keep reading because today, I’m exploring five of the best drama scripts to learn from!

Top 5 Drama Scripts To Learn From

“Pariah” Screenplay

Written by Dee Rees

“Pariah” is a coming-of-age drama that follows a young Black lesbian as she learns to embrace her identity. Dee Rees skillfully crafts a poignant drama that fearlessly deals with the complexities of family dynamics, identity, and sexuality within a Black family.

The script showcases a multifaceted lead, Alike, whose experiences, struggles, and aspirations stretch far beyond stereotypes. Alike’s relatability is well crafted and able to resonate powerfully with audiences. “Pariah” showcases the importance of bringing marginalized voices and experiences to the forefront of filmmaking.

While the film tells a unique story, the themes and emotions the film evokes are universal and have allowed the film to reach a wide range of audiences. This script is a must-read for drama writers looking to write their own impactful coming-of-age stories!

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“Room” Screenplay

Written by Emma Donoghue

“Room” is an engaging drama that explores the power of human resilience and the relationship between a mother and her child. This emotional film follows a woman who has been held captive for years and her son (born in captivity) as they escape and embark on a new life.

This script is an example of how to write about themes like the indomitable human spirit and triumph over adversity in a way that is compelling to audiences. The film’s heart lies in the bond between the mother and the son, and the script does a great job of exploring that relationship and how it changes as circumstances change.

“Room” also does a lot with one set; the titular room in the film is both a prison for the characters and a shelter at times.

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“Whiplash” Screenplay

Written by Damien Chazelle

“Whiplash” follows an ambitious drummer as he is pushed past his limits by his abusive teacher. This gripping drama explores ideas like the cost of greatness and the sacrifices we are willing to make to pursue perfection.

The script does an excellent job of building and intertwining a toxic relationship between morally ambiguous characters.

Overall, “Whiplash” makes for a tense, emotionally charged, and thought-provoking film.

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“Hidden Figures” Screenplay

Written by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi

“Hidden Figures” is a biographical drama about the untold stories of three Black women mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race. For aspiring drama writers interested in history, this film does a great job of taking history and weaving it into a compelling and moving narrative.

“Hidden Figures” skillfully chronicles the women’s struggles with period-typical racism and gender discrimination and shows them still managing to make invaluable contributions to science.

This film highlights accomplished Black women many had not heard of and provides them a platform to be admired and appreciated.

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“Dead Poets Society” Screenplay

Written by Tom Schulman

“Dead Poets Society” is set in the late 1950s at an elite boy boarding school. The film follows a teacher who uses poetry to reach his students and enrich their lives. The unorthodox teacher, Mr. Keating (played by Robin Williams), encourages his students to embrace their individuality.

This script explores themes of courage, inspiration, and challenging societal norms. “Dead Poets Society” exemplifies how a well-crafted mentor character can reach beyond the screen and impact the audience.

Read the Script

In Conclusion

Dramatic scripts can explore a wide range of compelling narratives while tapping into the core of human emotions. By studying scripts like those mentioned in this blog, aspiring writers can better understand how to craft an emotionally resonant dramatic screenplay.

These scripts offer distinct insights into writing emotional storylines, from portraying resiliency to highlighting the value of authentic representation and questioning societal conventions. Audiences have long been enthralled by dramatic classics, which remind us that the most powerful stories often unite us via universal experiences and feelings.

Hopefully, these scripts can inspire you in your own dramatic writing. Happy writing!

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