Classes

Playwright/Designer Collaboration Happy Hour, Week Three: Maria Feuereisen and Alejandro Moreno Jashés

640 433 Play Penn

Join us for a free online Q+A session moderated by PlayPenn Education Director Julia Bumke.

At PlayPenn, we prioritize playwrights as the fundamental authority in the creation of new work. But what about the work that happens to take these projects from page to stage? In each of our three happy-hour sessions, we’ll speak with a pair of playwright-designer collaborators who have worked together to tell innovative new stories onstage. Drop in for a single session, or sign up for all three! Set and costume designers were recommended by Clint Ramos (TONY Award, Best Costume Design of a Play).

June 29, 5-7pm E.S.T.

Online (via Zoom)

Alejandro Moreno Jashés is a filmmaker, dramatist and director of Chilean theater, based in New York. Moreno received a Ph.D. in Literature at the New York University, where he is a professor of dramaturgy in the Master in Creative Writing Program. Moreno has won, on five occasions, the Chilean Prize for Drama for his plays “I Am the piece of Card that Stops the Table from Wobbling “, “The Fascist Lover”, “Representation Expenses”,” All Knows Who Was “,” Black Parrots”, among others as “North”, “Johnny Deep and The Laura Ingalls Vagina “,” Berlin Is Not Yours”.

 

 

Maria Feuereisen is a Scenic Designer for theater and film from Santiago Chile. She currently works in NYC, where she also creates as a visual artist and muralist. She received her M.F.A. from the Design Department for Stage and Film at Tisch NYU. She has devoted her career to exploring materials and sustainable solutions for creativity to be an agent for social development and human dignity. Recent projects included set design for “The Book of Lucy” by Ngozi Anyanwu (dir. Lou Moreno) and co-design with Kelvin Pater for “Broken April” (written and directed by Arthur Makaryan). Check out her work at www.mariamaria.cl.

Free!

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before June 25, 2020, you will be entered into a lottery to receive a session with one of PlayPenn’s hand-picked dramaturgs through Rent-a-Dramaturg (Package A). If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you.

The coursework was rigorous, rewarding, and truly collaborative.

-2019 Participant

I walked away with an arsenal of guidelines for what makes a high-concept play, but also with half a notebook full of fantastic off-the-cuff breakthroughs and exercises.

-Danielle B., 2019 Participant

2020 Conference Deep Dive with Michele Volansky

640 433 Play Penn

This course will meet to discuss each of the Conference plays, teasing out thematic links and talking through the Conference season as a whole.

Associate Artistic Director and Conference Dramaturg Michele Volansky will conduct a “deep dive” exploration of the six extraordinary plays in our 2020 Conference line-up. This course will meet three times to discuss each of the Conference plays, teasing out their thematic, structural,and character elements and discussing their progress during the Conference. Participants are invited to “attend” at least one of the six scheduled readings as a way of tracking the evolution of the play as a way of conducting their own deep dive.

Thursday July 9th 4:30-6:30
Discuss overall plan, BADLANDS and COVENANT

Thursday July 16th , 4:30-6:30
Update on BADLANDS and COVENANT and discuss MY MOTHER THE SUN and TAKE MY HAND AND WAVE GOODBYE

Thursday July 23rd, 4:30-6:30
Update on MY MOTHER THE SUN and TAKE MY HAND AND WAVE GOODBYE and discuss how it feels to fall from the sky and THIS MUCH IS TRUE

Online (via Zoom)

In addition to her work at PlayPenn, Michele Volansky is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University. She has worked on nearly two hundred new and established plays in her professional career and has served on the artistic staffs at Actors Theatre of Louisville (1992-95), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1995-2000) and Philadelphia Theatre Company (2000-2004).   Volansky has also served as dramaturg for new works at Azuka Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, 1812 Productions as well as at Merrimack Rep and South Coast Rep, among others.  She has served as an artistic consultant, a reader for a host of other conferences/awards/programs and is the 1999 inaugural co-recipient of the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy.  She is a past president of LMDA, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (2002-2004). Her book on playwriting and collaboration with Bruce Graham entitled The Collaborative Playwright was published in March, 2007 by Heinemann Press. She holds a B.A. in English from Washington College (where she served as Associate Professor of Theatre), an M.A. from Villanova University and a PhD from the University of Hull (England); her dissertation explores the politics and advocacy of the critics Kenneth Tynan and Frank Rich.

$115

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before June 25, 2020, you will be entered into a lottery to receive a session with one of PlayPenn’s hand-picked dramaturgs through Rent-a-Dramaturg (Package A). If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you.

PlayPenn classes always get me over the hump and to a completed work.

-2019 Student

I walked away with an arsenal of guidelines for what makes a high-concept play, but also with half a notebook full of fantastic off-the-cuff breakthroughs and exercises.

-Danielle B., 2019 Student

Some Words from Our Spring 2020 Students

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Maralyn P. says:

“PlayPenn is the best experience I’ve ever had learning about the inner workings of theatre in a creative and compelling way. Not only are the teachers plucked from the ranks of professionals, the other class members are usually brilliant as well.”

One day workshops, master classes, and more to be announced soon!

Check back at https://www.playpenn.org/classes/

“PlayPenn instructors genuinely care about helping students improve their writing, and have the practical experience to back up what they teach.”

-Mark C., 2018 Student

“I was nervous, but excited before I took this class. And I was very excited when it was finished. I can’t wait to write!”

-Michelle P., 2018 Student

Summer Classes 2020 Coming Soon!

640 433 Play Penn

One day workshops, master classes, and more to be announced soon!

Check back at https://www.playpenn.org/classes/

“PlayPenn instructors genuinely care about helping students improve their writing, and have the practical experience to back up what they teach.”

-Mark C., 2018 Student

“I was nervous, but excited before I took this class. And I was very excited when it was finished. I can’t wait to write!”

-Michelle P., 2018 Student

Dialogue and the Voice in Theatrical Writing with R. Eric Thomas

640 433 Play Penn

Dialogue builds the universe for our plays

From the rat-a-tat of witty banter to page-long dramatic monologues to moments of silence that hang in the air like fog, dialogue builds the universe for our plays. In this two-day intensive, we’ll pull clear takeaways from well-known examples, try our hands at various methods, and have a chance to revise dialogue from pieces of our own.

April 11 and 12: 1-5pm

Online (via Zoom)

R. Eric Thomas won the 2016 Barrymore Award for Best New Play and the 2018 Dramatist Guild Lanford Wilson Award and was a finalist for the 2017 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. He is the recipient of a 2017/2018 National New Play Network Commission and has also been commissioned or produced by the Arden, Simpatico, Azuka Theater, Single Carrot Theater, About Face Theater, City Theater Miami, Act II Playhouse and more.  He has two books coming in 2020: his debut memoir-in-essays, HERE FOR IT (Ballantine Books/February) and RECLAIMING HER TIME (Dey Street/Fall), a biography of Rep. Maxine Waters. Recent productions include SAFE SPACE, MRS HARRISON (Barrymore nomination – Best New Play), and TIME IS ON OUR SIDE. He is an alumnus of The Foundry, the Lambda Literary Fellowship, and the Ingram New Works Project.  Website: Rericthomas.com,  New Play Exchange profile here.

$185

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before March 1, 2020 you’ll be invited to submit your unproduced, full-length play for consideration for a professional staged reading. PlayPenn will produce one student’s play as a reading with a professional director, professional actors and a PlayPenn dramaturg in Philadelphia in summer 2020. Only plays that have not had a professional production or reading will be considered. If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you along with a submission form.

PlayPenn classes always get me over the hump and to a completed work.

-2019 Student

I walked away with an arsenal of guidelines for what makes a high-concept play, but also with half a notebook full of fantastic off-the-cuff breakthroughs and exercises.

-Danielle B., 2019 Student

Poetry and Poetic Language in Theater with Charly Evon Simpson (online)

640 433 Play Penn

Travel the line between poetry and theater, discovering when both forms can help us tell better stories.

Style and syntax of language can transform how a play sounds to its audience: how characters interact, how scenes move, how audiences understand text and subtext, and so much more. In this workshop, we will dive into using and investigating poetic language in theatrical writing. We’ll travel along the line between poetry and theater, reading, writing, and discovering the times when both forms can help us tell better stories.

Tuesdays, May 5, 12, 19, 26 (online): 7-9pm EST

Online via Zoom

Charly Evon Simpson’s plays include Behind the Sheet, Jump, form of a girl unknown, it’s not a trip it’s a journey, and more. Her work has been seen and/or developed with Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Lark, P73, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, and others. She is a recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the Lanford Wilson Award. Commissions she has received include ones from MTC/Sloan, Cleveland Playhouse, EST/Sloan, and one of the 2020 Elizabeth George Commissions through South Coast Repertory. Charly is currently a member of WP Theater’s 2018-2020 Lab and The New Georges Jam. She’s a former member of SPACE on Ryder Farm’s The Working Farm, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, and Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood. BA: Brown University. MSt: University of Oxford. New College. MFA: Hunter College. www.charlyevonsimpson.com

$170

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before March 1, 2020 you’ll be invited to submit your unproduced, full-length play for consideration for a professional staged reading. PlayPenn will produce one student’s play as a reading with a professional director, professional actors and a PlayPenn dramaturg in Philadelphia in summer 2020. Only plays that have not had a professional production or reading will be considered. If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you along with a submission form.

Each class I’ve taken at PlayPenn has proven valuable in my development as playwright. Having the opportunity to focus on and develop specific aspects of writing proves incredibly useful.

-Peter C., 2019 Student

This class was the most satisfying I’ve taken as an adult.

-Lauren L., 2019 Student

Finding Your True Subject with Anne Marie Cammarato and John Yearley

640 433 Play Penn

How to Write the Plays That Only You Can Write

As audiences, we have all sat though plays wondering why the playwright has chosen this particular subject to write about. As playwrights, we have all struggled to approach a subject that we want to write about but can’t find our way into. Finding Your True Subject provides the tools to unlock these subjects, striving to help each writer discover what you (and only you) can bring to a subject, whether that subject is autobiographical or not. This class will assist students in identifying their true subjects and celebrating what they can uniquely bring to a play.

Mondays, March 23 and 30, April 6 and 13, at 7-10pm

Online (via Zoom)

Anne Marie Cammarato is a playwright and director, whose plays include Hazel, Bobby James, Milk Pie, A Scar, 10 Months, and The Big Room. Her work has been developed at PlayPenn, Theatre Exile, Temple University, University of the Arts and the Resident Ensemble Players. She has worked throughout the country at theaters including Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Madison Repertory Theater, Theatre X, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks, and Delaware Theatre Company, where she served as Artistic Director for six seasons. She was a finalist for the Leah Ryan Fund prize (2015) and in 2012, she was the Established Literary Fellow in Playwriting for the State of Delaware. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She has taught at the University of Delaware and Temple University, and is currently Playwright in Residence at the University of Mississippi.

 

 

John Yearley is the author of The Unrepeatable Moment (“Thought provoking…exhilarating…painfully hilarious” – New York Times, “Yearley is a master” – Huffington Post), Leap (Mickey Kaplan New American Play Prize, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Ephemera (John Gassner Award), Another Girl (PlayPenn), and Bruno Hauptmann Kissed My Forehead (Abingdon Theatre). His latest play, Eight Minutes, Twenty Seconds, was workshopped by LABryinth Theatre Company and performed at Temple University. Work for young audiences include The Last Wish (Macy’s New Play Prize for Young Audiences) and an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone. Short plays All in Little Pieces and A Low-Lying Fog are available through Samuel French. He currently writes for the children’s TV program Treasure Trekkers and has worked previously on PBS Kids’ Arthur and as a “script doctor” for New Line Cinema. Teaches playwriting, TV Writing, and screenwriting at Temple University, Drexel University, and the Barrow Group in New York City, as well as being a lead artist of the Foundry, a playwriting group in Philadelphia. Member of the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild, and twice a MacDowell Fellow.

$275

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before March 1, 2020 you’ll be invited to submit your unproduced, full-length play for consideration for a professional staged reading. PlayPenn will produce one student’s play as a reading with a professional director, professional actors and a PlayPenn dramaturg in Philadelphia in summer 2020. Only plays that have not had a professional production or reading will be considered. If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you along with a submission form.

John Yearley is one of the best instructors I’ve encountered (like, ever. College included.)

-Danielle B., 2019 Student

Each class I’ve taken at PlayPenn has proven valuable in my development as playwright. Having the opportunity to focus on and develop specific aspects of writing proves incredibly useful.

-Peter C., 2019 Student

Reimagining Solo Performance: A Weekend Intensive with Nilaja Sun

640 433 Play Penn

Perfect for writers/performers working on one person shows or looking to begin a new one!

Obie Award-winning Nilaja Sun returns with a specialized intensive designed to facilitate students, who are working on their own solo pieces, in honing the craft of writing and performing a dynamic one person show. Students will discover how their body, voice and unique story telling abilities can set their solo pieces apart from rest. Be ready to move, create and get motivated to finally tell your story, inspire audiences and be the change you want to be!

March 21 and 22, 2020: 1-5pm

Online (via Zoom)

Please prepare 5-10 minutes of a solo piece you’d like to work on. This course is designed for all artists interested in taking their solo pieces to their next level.

Nilaja Sun is an actor, solo performer and teaching artist most known for her Obie award winning solo piece No Child… which was directed by Hal Brooks and originally commissioned and produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble. For her creation and performance of No Child… and its subsequent international tour, Nilaja garnered 21 awards including: an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for Outstanding New American Play, a Theatre World Award, the Helen Hayes Award, two NAACP Theatre Awards, and was awarded the soloNOVA Award for Artist of the Year by terraNOVA Collective.

Her latest solo piece Pike St., directed by Ron Russell and originally commissioned and produced by Epic, had its world premiere at the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side, which was followed by an international tour at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Pillsbury House, Detroit Public Theatre, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, as well as Melbourne, Australia, Dublin, Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland where she won the Edinburgh Award.

TV/FILM: Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, BrainDead, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Unforgettable, Louie, The International, Youth in Oregon and Rubicon.

A native of the Lower East Side, she is a Princess Grace Award recipient, and has taught drama, playwriting and solo performance in high schools and colleges in New York, New Jersey, Bridgeport, CT, Detroit, MI, Washington D.C, Oakland, CA, Tanzania, Africa for 20 years.

$250

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before March 1, 2020 you’ll be invited to submit your unproduced, full-length play for consideration for a professional staged reading. PlayPenn will produce one student’s play as a reading with a professional director, professional actors and a PlayPenn dramaturg in Philadelphia in summer 2020. Only plays that have not had a professional production or reading will be considered. If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you along with a submission form.

The coursework was rigorous, rewarding and truly collaborative. [The instructor] was generous in sharing her experiences, knowledge, and truth and gracious in receiving and responding to that of others.

-Lauren L., 2019 Student

PlayPenn classes always get me over the hump and to a completed work that I’m proud to attach my name to.

-2019 Student

Playwriting 101 with Quinn D. Eli

640 433 Play Penn

A perfect way to dive into playwriting head first!

Join playwright, educator, and Foundry co-founder Quinn D. Eli for an in-depth introduction to the art and craft of playwriting. Whether you’re a professional writer or haven’t written a word, this class is great both for polishing skills and picking up new ones. The course will incorporate short writing exercises while talking through theatrical structures, character development, establishing a sense of place, dialogue and monologue language, and more.

Thursdays, April 2, 9, 16, 23: 6-8pm

Online (via Zoom)

Quinn Eli

Quinn D. Eli grew up in the Bronx and lives now in Philadelphia. His short plays have appeared in Best American Ten-Minute Plays and been produced throughout the country. Longer works include the award-winning My Name is Bess, produced by Trustus Theatre; Hazardous, produced locally at Society Hill Playhouse; and Hot Black/Asian Action, a satire about sexual and racial stereotypes that premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival. The two-time recipient of Fellowships in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Eli has served as a Playwright-in-Residence at Plays & Players Theatre.

$170

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before March 1, 2020 you’ll be invited to submit your unproduced, full-length play for consideration for a professional staged reading. PlayPenn will produce one student’s play as a reading with a professional director, professional actors and a PlayPenn dramaturg in Philadelphia in summer 2020. Only plays that have not had a professional production or reading will be considered. If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you along with a submission form.

This class was the most satisfying I’ve taken as an adult. It was challenging, thought-provoking and illuminating.

-Lauren L., 2019 Student

PlayPenn is the best creativity incubator in town.

-2019 Student

Doin’ it for the Culture: The Playwright as Cultural Worker & (Post-) Apocalyptic Anthropologist with Erika Dickerson-Despenza

640 433 Play Penn

What do we do while standing at the edge of ongoing apocalypses? We make new futures possible by writing the world(s) to come.

In this workshop, participants use anthropological frameworks, exercise principles of cultural work and examine an array of speculative literary and visual texts in order to generate speculative dramatic scenes that will culminate in an original, interdisciplinary short work. Participants will also develop a community-centered initiative that would lead, accompany and/or follow the performance. By practicing the future together, participants will be empowered to “respect their rage and their power” as liberation workers in the collective struggle for justice.

Online: October 30, November 7, November 14, November 21: 7p – 9p E.S.T. / 5p – 7p P.S.T.

Online via Zoom.

Enrolled students will be contacted prior to the first session with required reading and preliminary assignments.

Erika Dickerson-Despenza is a Blk feminist poet-playwright, cultural worker, educator and grassroots organizer from Chicago, Illinois. She’s the recipient of the 2019 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting/Fellowship at New Dramatists and was a 2018 Relentless Award Semifinalist. Erika is a National Arts & Culture Delegate for the U.S. Water Alliance’s One Water Summit 2019. She’s the 2019-2020 Tow Playwright-in-Residence at the Public Theater, a 2019 Writers’ Gathering Jerusalem Writer-in-Residence, a 2019 New York Stage and Film Fellow-in-Residence, a 2019 New Harmony Project Writer-in-Residence, a 2018-2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and was The Lark’s 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellow. Erika is a 2019-2020 member of Ars Nova Play Group and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Obie-winning Youngblood collective. Her work has been developed at The Lark, Vineyard Arts Project, New York Stage and Film, Public Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Fault Line Theatre and Jackalope Theatre. Current plays in development include: ocean’s lip/ heavn’s shore, took/tied, hung/split, shadow/land, and cullud wattah (2019 Kilroys List; Public Theater, 2020). In addition to this water tetralogy, Erika is developing a 10-play Katrina Cycle, including [hieroglyph] (2019 Kilroys List), focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and its state-sanctioned man-made disaster.

$150

Tuition

Register Here

Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

When you register for a PlayPenn class before September 20, 2019 you’ll be invited to submit your unproduced, full-length play for consideration for a professional staged reading. PlayPenn will produce one student’s play as a reading with a professional director, professional actors and a PlayPenn dramaturg in Philadelphia in early 2020. Only plays that have not had a professional production or reading will be considered. PlayPenn will cover the cost of the reading, but the student is responsible for their own housing and transportation. If you register for a class by the deadline, additional details will be emailed to you along with a submission form.

If you like expanding theatre’s depth and breadth, you’ll love PlayPenn.

-Tasha Maria T., 2019 Student

“If you are thinking about taking a class from PlayPenn, do it.”

-Stacey, 2018 Student