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Classes

The Subconscious First Draft, with C. Julian Jiménez

640 433 Play Penn

This course is designed to free students from the expected into the unknown.

Using writing exercises, students will begin to understand how bucking traditional form can unlock their imagination and help them embrace the messiness of their first draft as something to cherish, instead of something to discard.

November 4th – 7th, 6-9pm EDT

Online (via Zoom)

C. Julian Jiménez Acting MFA (The Actors Studio Drama School at the New School). Awards: The 2009 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group Fellowship, 2015 Queens Arts Council Grant, and The 2014 Best New Work Motif Award. Plays include, Locusts Have No King (INTAR), Animals Commit Suicide (First Floor Theater), Nico was a Fashion Model (LAByrinth) and Man Boobs (The Public Theater). Julian received honors for Best Devised Work & Best Direction at the 49th Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2017 for his production of anOTHER. He is an Executive Producer and Writer of the hit web series, Bulk- The Series.

$225

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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

Playwriting Jumpstart, with Anne Marie Cammarato

640 433 Play Penn

Have you been stuck in a creative rut during the pandemic?

Has it been difficult to start or keep writing? Or maybe you’ve written a lot but haven’t had the energy to rewrite. This course is an opportunity to jumpstart your writing in this difficult time. We will work to create a safe space for experimenting, sharing work, and inspiring one another. We will use exercises designed to tap into your creativity, get you writing, and encourage you to make space for writing in your life, no matter the circumstances. If you’ve felt out of touch with your creative side during the pandemic, this is a chance to find it again.

September 30th, October 7th, 14th, and 21st, 7-9pm EDT

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, the University of the Arts and the Resident Ensemble Players, and has been produced at Delaware Theatre Company, Theatre X, and Temple University. She has worked throughout the country at theatres including Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Madison Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks, and Delaware Theatre Company, where she served as Artistic Director for six seasons. Anne Marie studied at North Carolina School of the Arts and New York University, and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Temple University. She was a finalist for the Leah Ryan Fund prize (2015) and has been nominated for/awarded multiple Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. In 2012, she was the Established Literary Fellow in Playwriting for the State of Delaware. She teaches playwriting at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, and has taught at Drexel University, the University of Delaware, PlayPenn and The Barrow Group in New York. Anne Marie was recently Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

$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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

A Musical How-To, with Daniel and Patrick Lazour

640 433 Play Penn

In this masterclass, we will be taking students through the creation of a musical.

What makes a good idea for an original musical? What makes a good adaptation? Then, once you have your idea: what are the steps to make that musical in your head a reality. Daniel and I will focus on the practicals of musical theater creation — music & lyrics, the book, collaborations — while also giving some insight into the world of development and production, as well as smart and responsible independent theater making. We are all writing a musical to make a musical… and that means produce a musical! Hopefully, our masterclass will give some insight to take your show to the next level.

October 4th, 6th, 11th, and 13th, 7-9pm EDT

Online (via Zoom)

A serious interest in musical theater, and a desire to write a musical

Daniel and Patrick Lazour are Lebanese-American brothers and music theatre writers. In May 2019, they premiered their musical We Live in Cairo at the American Repertory Theatre directed by Obie Award-winner Taibi Magar. Their album Flap My Wings (Songs from We Live in Cairo) was recorded remotely during the pandemic and features major activist-songwriters from across the Arab world. They are developing a new musical with Ritesh Batra based on his movie The Lunchbox, commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater, and their musical community project about cancer treatment, patients and caretakers is being developed with Harvard University and the American Repertory Theater. They have developed their work during residencies at O’Neill, Yaddo, UCross and SPACE at Ryder Farm. Patrick and Daniel are MacDowell Fellows and New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspects. Most recently, they were artists-in-residence at the American University in Cairo. They perform their songs live weekly at the Boiler Room, a gay dive bar in New York City. @frereslazour

$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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

Finding Your True Subject: How to Write the Plays That Only You Can Write, with Anne Marie Cammarato and John Yearley

640 433 Play Penn

This class will assist students in identifying their true subjects and celebrating what they can uniquely bring to a play.

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.

June 7, June 10, June 14, and June 17, 6-9pm E.S.T.

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 theatres 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, 8 Minutes, 20 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 previously being a lead artist of the Foundry, a playwriting group in Philadelphia. Member of the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild, and twice a MacDowell Fellow.

$225

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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

Creative Ways into Building a Character, with R. Eric Thomas

640 433 Play Penn

What makes a character memorable? How do we mold a three-dimensional person out of our ideas?

Join playwright, screenwriter, and PlayPenn Alum R. Eric Thomas on an exploration of masterfully created, specific characters, using examples from great works for stage, Eric’s own experience, in-class exercises, and more. Students will come away with more tools for fleshing out their ideas into fully realized people and activating their plays with dynamic personalities. Perfect for new or experienced playwrights!

July 17, July 18, 1-5pm E.S.T.

Online (via Zoom)

R. Eric Thomas, a national bestselling author and playwright, won the 2016 Barrymore Award for Best New Play and the 2018 Dramatist Guild Lanford Wilson Award, was a finalist for the 2017 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and is a finalist for two 2021 Lambda Literary Awards. He was a staff writer for the Peabody Award-winning series Dickinson (AppleTV+) and Better Things (FX) and has been commissioned or produced on stage by Arden Theatre Company, Baltimore Center Stage, Theatre Exile, Simpatico Theatre, Azuka Theatre, Single Carrot Theatre, About Face Theatre, City Theatre Miami, Act II Playhouse and more. He is an alumnus of The Foundry, the Lambda Literary Fellowship, and the Ingram New Works Project. Website: Rericthomas.com New Play Exchange: https://newplayexchange.org/users/892/r-eric-thomas

$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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

Words & Bodies, with L M Feldman

640 433 Play Penn

Playwright, dramaturg, circus artist, and PlayPenn alum L M Feldman returns with a new workshop!

This class will offer new and experienced playwrights a chance to explore some wildly different ways of writing movement, scripting the nonverbal, and dramatizing the body. Together we’ll discuss some excerpts of physically exciting work pulled from plays, dance, physical theater, and contemporary circus, and then we’ll do some generative playwriting inspired by the examples. So if you want to experiment with new ways of revealing character, theatricalizing conflict, braiding movement techniques into your writing, or blurring the boundaries between theater, dance, and circus, this class is for you. (Don’t worry: no movement experience needed. No athleticism needed either. Just an open, curious mind.)

May 17, May 20, May 24, May 27, 6-8pm E.S.T.

Online (via Zoom)

L M Feldman is a queer, feminist playwright who writes theatrically adventurous, physically kinetic, ensemble-driven plays – usually about outsiders, often about searchers, always about the human connection. Her plays include THRIVE OR WHAT YOU WILL (New Georges & Page 73 Residencies); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (FEWW Prize Honorable Mention, Magic Theatre New Play Festival, PlayPenn & Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, Playwrights Realm Fellowship); AMANUENSIS, OR THE MILTONS (Georgetown University, Ramah Theatre commission); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, New Georges/Barnard College commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Barrymore & ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nominations); and A PEOPLE (Orbiter 3, Jewish Plays Project); as well as several ensemble-devised works, including GUMSHOE (New Paradise Labs + the Free Library of Philadelphia + the Rosenbach Museum), WAR OF THE WORLDS: PHILADELPHIA (Swim Pony + Drexel University), AND IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, OR A FOOD ODYSSEY (The Invisible Dog), LADY M (Philadelphia Live Arts Festival), and others. She has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, the New York Innovative Theatre Award, and the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. She’s an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the New England Center for Circus Arts, L is also a performer & dramaturg of contemporary circus. She has performed circus-theater at festivals around the world, and she’s a dramaturg for circus artists around the country. She loves theater that moves, and circus that tells stories. L has lived in seven cities and is now based in Philadelphia, where she teaches and where she’s writing two new plays: commissions from EST/Sloan and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.

$175

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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

Contemporary Theatre Script Club with L M Feldman

640 433 Play Penn

In this destabilizing global moment, it can be hard to find artistic motivation as a playwright: what should you write, and where do you begin?

In this destabilizing global moment, it can be hard to find artistic motivation as a playwright: how to find the drive again to revise or to generate new work? Some are finding this a fabulous moment for artistic productivity, but others are finding creative output all but impossible right now. For those of us who are struggling to write, this can be a good time to turn our attention towards input, towards creative nourishment, towards a kind of sabbatical when we can pause and restock our artistic shelves. In this four-week class, PlayPenn fan favorite instructor L M Feldman will guide students through craft-based discussions of four stylistically diverse (and hopefully not-yet-known-to-you) new plays, to be announced prior to the start date. Each week will focus on one script (to be read at home in advance of each class), and will be paired with an in-class writing prompt to help gently spark some creativity again. Part book club and part writing workshop, this course invites its participants to take comfort in and inspiration from the rich world of contemporary plays; to embrace this time as a chance to replenish our own soil.

Wednesdays, June 24 thru July 15 from  5-7pm E.S.T.

Online (via Zoom)

Students will purchase and read four scripts as part of their participation in this class; we’re eager to support playwrights and their work during this precarious time. Please contact us at classes@playpenn.org if this presents a financial challenge: we can help!

Lauren Feldman

L M Feldman is a queer, feminist playwright who writes theatrically adventurous, physically kinetic, ensemble-driven plays – usually about outsiders, often about searchers, always about the human connection. Her plays include THRIVE OR WHAT YOU WILL (New Georges & Page 73 Residencies); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (FEWW Prize Honorable Mention, Magic Theatre New Play Festival, PlayPenn & Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, Playwrights Realm Fellowship); AMANUENSIS, OR THE MILTONS (Georgetown University, Ramah Theatre commission); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, New Georges/Barnard College commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Barrymore & ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nominations); and A PEOPLE (Orbiter 3, Jewish Plays Project); as well as several ensemble-devised works, including GUMSHOE (New Paradise Labs + the Free Library of Philadelphia + the Rosenbach Museum), WAR OF THE WORLDS: PHILADELPHIA (Swim Pony + Drexel University), AND IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, OR A FOOD ODYSSEY (The Invisible Dog), LADY M (Philadelphia Live Arts Festival), and others. She has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, the New York Innovative Theatre Award, and the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. She’s an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the New England Center for Circus Arts, L is also a performer & dramaturg of contemporary circus. She has performed circus-theater at festivals around the world, and she’s a dramaturg for circus artists around the country. She loves theater that moves, and circus that tells stories. L has lived in seven cities and is now based in Philadelphia, where she teaches and where she’s writing two new plays: commissions from EST/Sloan and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.

$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 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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

Writing the “Dramedy,” with Quinn D. Eli

640 433 Play Penn

Humor is one of the best ways to engage audiences, deepen characterization, and convey theme.

In this class, we will explore ways in which the delicate, consistent use of humor can allow a writer to sharpen the arc, dialogue, and accessibility of a script, no matter its overall theme or tone. By examining excerpts from plays such Burn This, and Becky Shaw, and TV shows such as Fleabag and Mad Men, we will identify the strategic use of humor, adapting these strategies for our own work. Students will then write a short script that brings a comic approach to a serious topic in order to find the sweet spot where comedy and drama co-exist.

June 17, June 24, July 1, July 8; 6-8 PM E.S.T.

Online (via Zoom)

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.

$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 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.

“Writing can be a lonely road. I’m thankful that Philadelphia offers the supportive, talented PlayPenn community.”

-Joe G., 2020 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

TV Writing for Playwrights: An Introduction with John Yearley

640 433 Play Penn

TV writing is just like every other kind of dramatic writing...until it isn't.

So many playwrights get paid a lot of money to produce wonderful work for television. How did they adapt their skills to do that? This class discusses which playwriting skills will help you in TV writing (dialogue, character voice, scene structure) and which you have to develop (stories that go on into perpetuity, construction of a world, beats, story engines). “TV Writing for Playwrights: An Introduction” strives to wipe away the mystery of TV writing for playwrights and set them towards working in this thrilling and lucrative medium.

July 29, August 5, Aug 12, and Aug 19; 7-9 PM E.S.T.

Online (via Zoom)

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.

$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 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 Participant

“PlayPenn is the best creativity incubator in town.”

-Fall 2019 Participant

Magical Realism in Theatrical Writing, with J. Julian Christopher

640 433 Play Penn

Let the magic commence!

Through a series of exploratory exercises and writing assignments, writers will learn to expand their work by incorporating fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic stories. Magical Realism combines the best of all worlds, including science fiction, fable, fantasy, horror, realism, and fairytale. This workshop hopes to break break open a world of fantasy inside all artists.

June 16, 23, and 30; 7-9 PM E.S.T.

Online (via Zoom)

J. Julian Christopher is a Queer, Puerto Rican and Dominican playwright. He holds an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. Playwriting awards include: New Dramatist Residency (Class of 2025), 2019/2020 Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at The Lark, 2017 & 2018 Pipeline Theatre Company PlayLab, 2018 LaGuardia Community College’s LGBTQ History Project Grant, 2015 Queens Arts Council Grant, 2009 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, and 2014 Best New Work Motif Award. Productions include: Man Boobs (Pride Films & Plays, 2011), Nico was a Fashion Model (Counter-Productions Theatre Company, 2013), Animals Commit Suicide (First Floor Theater, 2015), Locusts Have No King (INTAR, 2016), and Bundle of Sticks (INTAR, 2020). He wrote the book for LatinXoxo at Joe’s Pub in 2019. Other plays include, Alligator Mouth, anOTHER, ¡OSO FABULOSO! & The Bear Backs, Julio Down by the Schoolyard, and Bruise & Thorn (2018 PlayPenn Conference). He is a co-producer and co-writer of the hit web series, Bulk and an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Queensborough Community College.

$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.

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

-Lauren L., 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