Interactive Pedagogical Dramas (IPD) are compelling interactive stories that have didactic purpose. Autonomous agents realize the characters in these dramas. Their roles may be to portray humans facing overwhelming, emotionally-charged difficulties. This challenges the agents to interact with a depth and subtlety that is consistent with human behavior in difficult, stressful situations. To address this challenge, we have adopted an approach that deconstructs a professionally written script in order to inform the design of the agents that realize the interactive drama. This deconstruction is based on psychological research on human emotion and personality. This approach is realized in Carmen’s Bright IDEAS, an interactive drama designed to improve the social problem solving skills of mothers of pediatric cancer patients.