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    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

    Playwright/Designer Collaboration Happy Hour, Week One: Charly Evon Simpson and Rodrigo Muñoz

    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 15, 5-7pm E.S.T.

    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

    Rodrigo Muñoz is a New York-based costume designer from Mexico City. Recent credits in United States include “Jazz Singer”- Abrons Arts Center Directed by Joshua William Gelb, “Jump”- Astoria Performing Arts Directed by Arpita Mukherjee, Harlem 100 ft. Mwenso & the Shakes – IMG Artists & JMG Live, “Tobias” Directed by Arpita Mukherjee as part of the 2020 WP Pipeline Festival. ”Hamlet” (NYU Grad Acting) and “Animal Farm” (NYU Grad Acting). ”Film Credits: “Cracked” Directed by Lin Que Ayoung. “Lucia” Directed by: Victoria Rivera, “A Mutual Understanding” Directed by: Abigail Prade, “A for Alpha”Directed by Kelley Kali.”La Tercera Llamada” Directed by Laila Nuñez. Muñoz graduated from The National School of Theatre and Arts (Mexico) with a BA degree in Theatre Set Design; M.F.A. NYU Tisch School of the Arts Design for Stage and Film.

    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.

    Each class I’ve taken at PlayPenn has proven valuable in my development as a playwright.

    -Peter C., Fall 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

    Playwright/Designer Collaboration Happy Hour, Week Two: Cat Miller and Zoë Hurwitz

    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 22, 5-7pm E.S.T.

    Online (via Zoom)

    Cat Miller is a playwright and director. Her play The Hope Hypothesis was a 2019 semifinalist for Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Premiere Play Festival (Premiere Stages, Kean University), and PlayPenn, and received its premiere under her direction with Voyage Theater Company in Fall 2019 to critical acclaim. Other full-length plays include: Standard of Care, You Will Never Read This (with Caroline Prugh), and her adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Northwestern University mainstage). She has directed and developed work at the Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, Steppenwolf, Ma-Yi Theater, HERE, The Lark, Keen Company, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. As assistant director to Anna D. Shapiro, her credits on and off Broadway include Fish in the Dark, Of Mice and Men, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, Domesticated, The Pain and the Itch. She is the recipient of a Drama League fall fellowship and first stage residency and a finalist for the Edes Foundation Prize for emerging artists. Directing resident at Playwright Horizons and member Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. MFA, Northwestern University. Associate Member of SDC; Member, Dramatists Guild.

    Zoë Hurwitz is a Set Designer for stage and film based in London and New York. Originally from the UK, she has a training in Fine Art from Chelsea School of Art (University of the Arts London) and has since worked in Theatre, Film and TV. Selected design credits include Marie Antoinette at Brown/Trinity, A Peregrine Falls at The Wild Project, The Hope Hypothesis for Voyage Theater Company at the Sheen Center, Assisted Living (web series), Sing, Goddess at Here Arts, Of The Sea at Access Theatre, Tomorrow Will Take Care Of Itself at NYU/Tisch, The Xander Xyst Experience at Ars Nova/ Antfest, We Anchor in Hope at the Bunker (London), The 5 Plays Project at the Young Vic (London), Lovesong of the Electric Bear at the Hope Theatre (London) and Peckham The Soap Opera at the Royal Court (London). Zoë is a winner of The Linbury Prize for Stage Design UK 2019. MFA-NYU

    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.

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

    -2019 Participant

    “Hands down the best class I’ve taken in years.”

    -Danielle B., 2019 Participant

    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

    640 433 Play Penn

    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