PlayPenn

with Ken Urban

Perfect for playwrights and theater creators of all experience levels!

ken urban headshot

Join Playwrights Center Core Playwright and popular PlayPenn returning teaching artist, Ken Urban to explore how to create work based on preexisting material. Adaptation is the theatrical equivalent of sampling. So much of contemporary popular music takes a pre-existing sound and makes it new by changing the pitch and speed, or placing that sound in a new and unexpected context. Our workshop will be a chance to discuss and practice the art of adapting for the stage. We will look at an Ibsen play. Through a series of exercises, we will re-imagine these classics as contemporary plays. We will discuss topics such as borrowing story and structure, and finding common ground between the past and the present. You will leave the workshop with new scenes and a working model for how to adapt a classic text into a new work.

Here is what PlayPenn students say about Ken's teaching: 

A great class that was exactly what I needed! -Jane

Valuable class packed with useful information. I left with new insights into the playwright's process as well as practical knowledge about the business of playwriting. It was definitely worth my time. -Paula H.

Urban was thoroughly knowledgeable and generous in sharing information and insights. He welcomed questions. His exercises illustratated his teaching points. I highly recommend any class taught by him. -Joanne S.

Please bring to class: A laptop that can connect online when given internet access

PREPARATION: A month prior to class, Ken will send out a PDF of the Ibsen play to read before attending the class.

TUITION: 1454787358403$275

DATES/TIMES: Friday, April 7 from 5-8pm; Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9 from 11am-5pm

LOCATION: Adrienne Theatre (Classroom, 20th and Sansom, Philadelphia, PA) on Friday; Wilma Theater (Rehearsal Room, 265 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA) on Saturday and Sunday

BIO: Ken Urban is a playwright and screenwriter based in New York. His plays have been produced around the country and in London including Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 59E59 Theatres, SPF at the Public, and Studio 42. Awards include the Weissberger Award, Huntington Theater Playwriting Fellowship, Headlands Artist Residency, Djerassi Artist Residency, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and MacDowell Colony Fellowships. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and Methuen Drama. 

(Pictured: Ken's Sense of an Ending at Theatre503)

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.

Class 8
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