Coming Soon, New Book on Playwriting from a Christian Perspective, by Gil Elvgren

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Available Nov. 1, 2023

Title: Playwriting: A Christian Perspective

Author: Gillette Elvgren

ISBN paperback: 978-1-959685-03-6

ISBN ebook: 978-1-959685-04-3

LCCN: 2023943746

258 pages

Price: $27.00

URL to book on ccsn website:


The author has written and produced numerous plays for the Church, the Academy, and professional theatrical environments. In this book, he provides aesthetic keys for the faith-based writer and offers a close examination of ways to write the play from its inspirational calling in terms of structure, characterization, and theme. Readers will benefit from the author’s exploration of how subjects such as destiny, mystery, sin, incarnation, and redemption, to name several, can effectively work on the stage. In addition to theological and theoretical frameworks, the author offers practical writing advice to help Christian writers integrate belief systems into intense character arcs, powerful dialogue, imagery, and theme. The author also provides essays and chapters on how to discover and create production venues for writing efforts in one’s own immediate community, with exercises at the end of each chapter for personal writing development.


“Dr. Elvgren has distilled a lifetime of accrued knowledge, wisdom, and experience into a practical and accessible textbook that will benefit the budding playwright and more accomplished practitioner in equal measure. Elvgren dives into the ‘why’ behind the writing process for a richer, more purposeful approach. Perhaps more than anything, I am enamored with his organic integration of faith and art. It permeates this text because it is who he is as a theater maker. There is no segregation of the two. He is as much a playwright as he is a Christian and the two cannot simply be bifurcated. This benefits all of us who yearn for a seamless marriage between our faith and art.”

Bruce Long, Executive Director, Christians in the Theater Arts

“Dr. Elvgren reminds us that we are wired (created!) for the power of story as image bearing actors. The challenge for those of us who feel called to the theater industry is how to bring God’s unfolding story to our broken world without diluting it to dramatic pablum or condescending spin. The Chris­tian playwright, as Gil points out, can confidently tell the truth of God’s love with all the frail, sweaty, human vulnerability, and Divine mystery one can muster.”

Scott Nolte, Founder and Producing Artistic Director Emeritus, Taproot Theater Company

“This book has much to offer for playwrights in all stages of writing de­velopment. All aspects of crafting the play, from dialogue to character development, from structure to timing, are covered well. Elvgren’s vast knowledge of the theater is evident from the multiple examples he provides from classic and contemporary works. Elvgren’s book is much more than a ‘how to,’ it is a deep and challenging call to create works that will prod the heart and engage the mind. There is a vast and fun intellect behind this book and the reader is in for an adventure.”

Richard Young, playwright, producer, professor, and author of And the Word Became Flesh: Devotionals for Theater Artists

“Gillette Elvgren’s work on playwriting changed the direction of my writing life. The lectures and playwriting exercises he presented in the classroom are also available in this rich and formidable playwriting text. These are pages for the playwright, whatever the level of experience, to garnish in and grow by.”

Paul D. Patton, Professor Emeritus of Communication and Theater, Spring Arbor University


Gillette Elvgren received his MA and PhD in theater from Tulane University and Florida State University, respectively. He led the MFA programs in Directing at the University of Pittsburgh and Regent University. In Pittsburgh, he served as Staff Director for the professional Three Rivers Shakespeare festival. He co-founded Saltworks Theater Company, a professional faith-based theater group. Elvgren is a playwright with over 8,000 performances of his plays performed in the United States and abroad. He is presently Emeritus Professor of Communication and the Arts at Regent University.

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