Diving into the PlayPenn Conference with Michele Volansky

1024 681 Play Penn

In celebration of PlayPenn's 15th Anniversary New Play Development Conference, join Associate Artistic Director and Conference Dramaturg Michele Volansky in an exploration of the six extraordinary plays in our 2019 roster.

This course will meet to discuss each of the Conference plays during their second week of public readings, teasing out thematic links and talking through the Conference season as a whole. Students will also read the starting drafts of each script, examining how the projects grow and evolve over the course of the Conference.

Class: Tuesday, 7/16: 7-8pm (online)

Attend Reading: STRANGE MEN on 7/25 at 7pm

Class: Thursday, 7/25, 9-10p

Attend Reading: THE PIPER on 7/26 at 8pm

Class: Saturday, 7/27: 12:30-1:30pm

Attend Reading: INCENDIARY at 4pm and ARCHIPELAGO at 8pm on 7/27

Class: Sunday, 7/28: 11:30a-1:30pm

Attend Reading: CAVE CANEM at 2pm and WAYFINDING at 5pm on 7/28

Class: Monday, 7/29: 6-8pm (online)


A seat will be reserved for you at each of the Conference readings listed above.

The Drake Theater, Center City Philadelphia (locations TBD) and online

Each student will be required to read six scripts and attend the six Conference readings (final week) as part of the course, and will have a seat reserved as part of their registration.

Michele Volansky is Chair and Associate Professor of Drama at Washington College (MD), from which she earned a B.A. in English. She has worked on nearly 200 new and established plays in her professional career, developing new works by such writers as Sam Shepard, Daniel Stern, Warren Leight, Jeffrey Hatcher, Bruce Graham, Tina Landau, Charles L. Mee and Bruce Norris, along with many others. Her work on Shepard’s rewrite of Buried Child (directed by Gary Sinise) and Dale Wasserman’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (directed by Terry Kinney and starring Gary Sinise) earned her two Broadway credits and participation in the Tony Award for Best Revival of Cuckoo’s Nest. She has guest dramaturged at the Arden Theater Company, South Coast Rep, the Atlantic Theatre Company, Victory Gardens and Next Theatre, in addition to her staff time at Actors Theatre of Louisville (1992-95), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1995-2000) and Philadelphia Theatre Company (2000-2004). Her own play Whispering City was produced as part of the Steppenwolf Arts Exchange Program in the Fall of 1999. Since its inception, Dr. Volansky has served as Conference Dramaturg and Associate Artist for the Philadelphia-based new play development conference PlayPenn. She has served as an artistic consultant for the TCG playwright residency program, a reader for the Eugene O’Neill Center’s National Playwrights Conference and the New York Shakespeare Festival/The Joseph Papp Public Theatre’s Emerging Voices Program, as well as a grants review panelist for Philadelphia-area arts organizations. She is the 1999 inaugural co-recipient of the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy and was the President of LMDA, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (2002-2004). Volansky’s book on playwriting and collaboration with Bruce Graham entitled The Collaborative Playwright was published in March, 2007 by Heinemann Press. She holds 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.



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.

“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