Drama for Social Change

Drama for Social Change

Drama for Social Change

Inspiring lasting behavioural and social change

For thousands of years, people have told stories - created drama to express opinions and garner public opinion. Drama is intrinsically woven into the fabric of our society, from the productions that we watch on stage, to the films and TV programmes that form our opinions. In the right context, this ultimately makes it a powerful tool for social change.

“Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke even to disturb, in a constant search for the truth” - Barbara Streisand

This course gives participants the theory and skills they need to craft great stories through drama. While the course focuses on video, the techniques can also be applied to radio, theatre, and literature.  The course includes advanced script-writing in which story arcs and character guides are developed. During the course, we plan the narrative from treatment to storyboard and finally shoot short-form dramas (e.g. a webisode or short film). You will understand how to tell stories and produce narratives that can change attitudes through target audience behaviour mapping techniques.

Alongside story theory, the course explores how drama can be used to teach people new knowledge, skills and attitudes. Stories can be incredibly powerful: casting minorities and under-represented members of society in a film or series can have a major impact on viewers, and ultimately change their attitudes and behaviours in the real world. Look at how many films now have strong female leads and portray stories about racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ communiyy. The world is changing, and it’s about time.

The course also introduces participants to hundreds of different formats, genres, and styles of drama, including cinema, series and web content. All this provides you with the creative techniques to tell great, persuasive stories in an original way.

Dramas conceptualized during our courses have gone on to screen at major film festivals, and have won significant awards and shown direct impact. During your three weeks at RNTC, you will develop a social change drama for a cause you are passionate about.

Drama for Social Change

Course details


This is a 3-week course in blended format; 2 weeks online and 1 week face-to-face.


This course takes place online for 2 weeks, starting 8 November 2021, with 1 week at the RNTC Media Training Centre in Hilversum in 2021, dates will be announced soon. 


Academic Year 2021
Course fee: € 6980,-


Upon graduation, you will be competent in all stages of drama production: scripting, recording, directing, editing and producing vibrant, powerful, original video drama. Outcomes include:

  • How to understand target audience needs and behaviours through mapping
  • How to conceptualize creative ideas for stories
  • A, B and C plots/storylines and how to use them
  • Using effective symbolism in storytelling
  • Translating ideas into industry-standard scripts
  • Developing character guides for episodic dramas
  • How to plan each stage of production
  • Storyboarding and visualization
  • Low budget drama production using mobile technology
  • Advanced drama production using professional equipment
  • Editing on industry-standard software
  • Understanding the distribution of drama programmes

For more information contact [email protected]

Drama for Social Change

Producers, writers, directors media professionals

This course is for drama producers, writers and directors, and media professionals who want to move into short-form online drama production for social change.

New media channels

New media channels

The course is specially tailored to media professionals who want to use drama to change attitudes via channels such as YouTube.

Drama production competences

Drama production competences

Upon graduation, you will be competent in all stages of drama production: scripting, recording, directing, editing, and producing vibrant, powerful, original video drama. You will be able to understand the theory of persuasive storylines and start putting them into practice through dramatic platforms.

A world of options

A world of options

You’ll have a world of options, in terms of genre and style, knowing which can be the most useful in tackling sensitive and taboo subjects. You will also be able to play creatively with story, idea, and format development to ensure originality in what you produce.

Seasoned international journalists

Seasoned international journalists

Among our expert trainers, you’ll find inspiring, seasoned international journalists with experience in many types of new media on different platforms. They have worked with renowned media organisations like the BBC, CBC, MTV, and RNW Media (formerly Radio Netherlands Worldwide).

This course gives you the theory and skills you need to craft great stories in short-form video drama. You will understand how to tell scripted stories that can change attitudes and lead to social change via channels such as YouTube, and on social and mobile media.

Alongside story theory, the course explores how drama stories mirror learning pathways, therefore offering alternatives. The course also introduces you to hundreds of different formats, genres, and styles of drama. All this provides you with the creative techniques to tell great, persuasive stories in an original way.

You will produce your own short drama for social change while at RNTC as well as develop three episode outlines for a series.

This course is geared around participants producing their own video drama production and includes all the theory and hands-on practical skills to lead towards that final production.


  • Mapping your target audience
  • Using social media for insights
  • Pitching target audiences
  • What is learning and why is it important in understanding audiences?
  • How do people learn? Information, skills, and behaviours
  • The ingredients of persuasive aims
  • Investigating examples – persuading target audiences
  • Applying persuasion to your own context
  • Facts versus story: what are the differences and when is each appropriate
  • The eight essential elements of story
  • Types of formats
  • Create characters to engage audiences, character guides and arcs.
  • A, B, C plots (storylines)
  • Moral premises to focus narrative.


In week two, we learn some of the more technical aspects of producing online multimedia content:

  • The production process
  • The Creative Business: the Treatment, the Logline, The Outline
  • Screenwriting 101: formatting your screenplay to industry standards.
  • Creativity and brainstorming
  • Working with actors
  • Shooting and editing video


In the third week, we unite the theory and the technical skills in creating an original, scripted drama of your very own, in a format of your choosing.

You will thoroughly plan, script and work with actors to produce a video that is aimed at creating social change. The final project will put all the theory into practice, enabling you to apply it to any topic you choose.

  • Preparation of the premise of your drama
  • Pitching, with feedback
  • Pre-production and planning of your project
  • You will receive mentorship and feedback at each stage of the practical phase
  • Hands-on production and editing of your project
  • Viewing, feedback, and final assessments
  • Graduation

You have a minimum of one year’s working experience in broadcast, print and/or online media as a  drama producer, writer or director. This is also an excellent choice for media professionals who want to move into short-form online drama production for social change.

You can provide the original proof (or a properly certified copy) of your most recent educational qualification in secondary or higher education.
You have sufficient skills in spoken and written English as this is the working language for our courses.

After you have completed all the course sessions and assignments you will receive an RNTC certificate and join the ranks of more than 6000 RNTC alumni worldwide.

You may qualify for a scholarship for an RNTC course. The most commonly awarded scholarships for our courses are the OKP and MSP (MENA) scholarships. OKP fellowships are available to 52 countries, while MSP scholarships are available to 10 countries. For more information, please visit our Scholarships page.


Everywhere you want

RNTC Media Training Centre trains journalists, social activists, programme-makers, media and communications professionals worldwide in achieving social change through media.


Next to our open courses, we also provide tailor-made trainings for individuals and organisations. RNTC prides itself on being innovative in both subject matter and method of delivery.

50+ years, 6000+ students

RNTC is the internationally renowned training centre of RNW Media. Over the past 50 years, RNTC has gained invaluable expertise in delivering courses to media professionals around the world.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level?