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with Richard Caliban - Sold Out

This class is Sold Out. If you would like to be added to the wait list, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

"[Taking a PlayPenn Class] you quickly realize how many talented playwrights and creative, generous artists are writing in Philly, and your own work benefits from the experience of working among them tremendously!" -Joe, 2015 Student 
"Classes at PlayPenn bring together experienced writers with complete newbies in an incredibly supportive environment. No matter what your background, you definitely learn and grow in these classes." -Tabitha D., 2016 Student

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Join National Theatre Conservatory Faculty Member and Playwrights Group Founder Richard Caliban for an afternoon workshop examining how to turn our passion for causes and ideas into theatrical life forces! Perfect for writers of all experience levels. 

Whether you're writing a romantic comedy or a social issue drama, it can be helpful to conceive of your play as a collision, a two-sided arguement. And if you can argue each side with equal passion, make it as hard as possible to win your own arguement - then your vision can amass crediblity and harness great theatrical power. 

We writers often seize upon an injustice or cause or an insight into a particular aspect of the human condition and then write a play about it to explore its causes or prove our premise. But in our eagerness to demonstrate the righteousness of our vision, it can be tempting to make our play a little too one sided - to fix the fight, so to speak.

In this workshop we will approach the initial formation of a play as an argument. It is a perspective that can help build complex, engaging conflicts into the foundation of a play and will sustain both short and full-length evenings of theater.

The writing exercises completed in this workshop can easily be taken into the next day's Short Play Workshop and turned into a complete short play. Read more about our Short Play Workshop here:

"At the heart of my overall approach to teaching playwriting is the idea of balance. And this workshop allows me the opportunity to specifically focus on that approach. The first play I wrote when to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I, of course, thought of it as a work of towering genius. But a critic wrote that my play was simplistic and that I set up easy obstacles for myself to knock down. I was outraged and felt the comment was laughably unfair. Years later, however, I understood the wisdom of what that critic wrote and I've never forgotten. He was right. [In my workshop,] Students have asked that if they are presenting a truly balanced arguement, how does their point of view ever come across. And to that I say that their point of view will have all the more potency if it has to fight tooth and nail and overcome the strongest obstacles possible." -Richard

MATERIALS: Bring a writing instrument and paper and/or a laptop computer (fully charged).

069 NTC Impanema10 08 KM

WHEN: Saturday, July 9, 3-7PM

WHERE: Wilma Theatre, Studio Space, Broad and Spruce Streets, Center City, Philadelphia


BIO: Richard Caliban is an award-winning writer, director and theater educator. His credits include The Public Theater, Vineyard, Victory Theatre, Naked Angels, National Theatre Conservatory, Columbia University, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. (MFA Yale School of Drama)

Questions? Email our Director of Education at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

In very extreme circumstances, we may need to cancel a class for reasons beyond our control and will offer full refunds. Otherwise, classes are non-refundable.

PICTURED: Caliban's Ipanema at the National Theatre Conservatory.