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    Classes

    One-Person Show Intensive

    150 150 Play Penn

    With Nilaja Sun. Popular Returning Class! Open to students who have worked with Sun on their show and wish to continue, or students who are working with her for the first time

    Obie award winning Nilaja Sun returns to Classes at PlayPenn with her specialized intensive designed to facilitate returning students, who are working on their own solo pieces. Students will continue to craft their pieces while finding dynamic ways to perform their stories, unique to each student’s strengths. Students will also continue to work on discovering how their bodies, voices and life experiences can set their solo pieces apart from others. Be ready to move, laugh, cry, feel and inspire. The world needs your story!

    July 14 and July 15, 1pm-5pm

    Philadelphia Young Playwrights Learning Lab

    1219 Vine Street, Floor 2

    Philadelphia, PA 19107

    Bring up to 12 minutes of your solo show with you.

    Nilaja Sun is the solo performer and writer of the Off-Broadway smashes No Child… and her new show, Pike Street. For her creation and performance of No Child… and its subsequent national tour, Nilaja garnered 21 awards including: an Obie Award, a Helen Hayes Award a Lucille Lortel Award, and two Outer Critics Circle Awards including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for Outstanding New American Play. Theatre credits also include The Commons of Pensacola, Einstein’s Gift, Time and The Conways, Huck and Holden, and The Cook. Tv/Film credits include Madam Secretary, Louie, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Unforgettable, The International, and Rubicon. As a solo performer, her projects include the critically acclaimed Blues for a Gray Sun (INTAR), La Nubia Latina, Black and Blue, Insufficient Fare, Due to the Tragic Events of…, and Mixtures. Nilaja was awarded the soloNOVA Award for Artist of the Year by terraNOVA Collective and was recently awarded a NYSCHA grant. A native of the Lower East Side, she is a Princess Grace Award winner and has worked as a teaching artist in New York City for over 15 years.

    $250

    Tuition

    Register Here

    As class begins shortly, please email classes@playpenn.org

    “I have travelled from the Harrisburg area for several PlayPenn workshops. Well worth my travel time and the cost of a train ticket!”

    -Cindy D, 2018 Student

    “PlayPenn classes inspire me to write more, and help build my confidence in my writing ability.”

    -Mark, 2017 Student

    Writing Lyrics for Musical Theatre with Michael Hollinger

    640 433 Play Penn

    Playwrights and songwriters of all experience levels welcome!

    Musical theatre is one of the most challenging – and rewarding – types of dramatic writing, with more moving parts and collaborators than any other form. In this hands-on workshop, playwrights and songwriters will develop their skills as lyricists, from the macro (song plots, types, and structures) to the micro (prosody, meter, rhyme). Students will explore how sung text relates to spoken dialogue, how character is revealed through words and music, and how songs can advance, rather than stop, the narrative. Assignments and in-class exercises complement a shared inquiry into the many jobs theatre songs must accomplish – among them, simply delighting the ear.

    July 11, July 17, & July 24 from 6pm-9pm

    The Bluver Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

    Reading: Craig Lucas’ Reckless. If you do not have a copy of this play please email PlayPenn Education (classes@playpenn.org) and we can help you find one.

    Michael Hollinger is a playwright, lyricist and composer, the author of hundreds of songs and over a dozen plays and musicals, including TouchTones (with composer Robert Maggio), Opus, Incorruptible, Red Herring, An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf, Cyrano (co-adapted with Aaron Posner), and A Wonderful Noise (with Vance Lehmkuhl), among others. These works have been produced around the country, in New York City, and abroad. Michael is the recipient of four Barrymore Awards, an ATCA/Steinberg New Play Citation, an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner awards, and multiple fellowships from the Independence Foundation and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.  He is a Professor of Theatre at Villanova University, a proud alumnus of New Dramatists and PlayPenn, and (with Jacqueline Goldfinger and Quinn Eli) co-founder of The Foundry, a core program of PlayPenn.

    $250

    Tuition

    Register Here

    Online registration has been closed. If you would like to sign up, please email classes@playpenn.org.

    “PlayPenn is a wonderful organization that works on providing resources and knowledge for playwrights and dramatists in the Philadelphia area. It really is a great organization that focuses on bringing like-minded people together to ironically think differently in order to bring out creativity and individualism. It’s a wonderful organization that I’ve just gotten into in the past half year, and plan to stick with for the unforeseeable future.”

    -Devin, 2018 Student

    “Gave me an instant cohort of writers to provide feedback, encouragement and inspiration – I was hearing my own voice, and it was great.”

    – Ross, 2017 Student

    Writing from Inside and Outside of Your Play with Winter Miller

    1024 730 Play Penn

    Perfect for writers of all experience levels!

    Writing strong characters with authentic dialogue is a craft, but it begins with being able to listen and observe, repeat and hone. Generally, we are our own biggest obstacles—fear of not knowing, fear of being wrong, fear of committing to something. It’s important to write as intimately and specifically as you can, just as it is useful to write as epically and universally as you desire. It’s a tightrope. It’s an inside job. You can come at it from the outside in or the inside out. But the secret is, you need both paths. We will do a mix of writing prompts and reading aloud. You will leave this workshop with a firm grasp of what and whom you’re writing about and what your next steps are.

    July 7, 9am-Noon EST

    July 8, 3-6pm EST

    July 9, 6-9pm EST

    July 10, 6-9pm EST

    Online. We will use www.zoom.us and a link will be emailed to you prior to class. You must have a working internet connection.

    Come in with a photograph of someone you don’t know but something about them compels you and you want to write about them. Could be a photograph with two people in it; come in with a line from a poem that speaks to you; come in with an obituary you read that made you wonder, what was that person like? If you have it, come with the story you want to tell, and if you don’t, let’s find it and you’ll begin it.

    Winter Miller is an award-winning playwright and founding member of the Obie-recognized collective 13 Playwrights. She is best known for her drama IN DARFUR which premiered at The Public Theater. IN DARFUR won the “Two-Headed Challenge” commission from the Guthrie Theatre and the Playwrights Center. Winter traveled with her former boss, New York Times Pulitzer-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof to the Sudan border to research on the ground. IN DARFUR has been produced in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Florida, Massachusetts and Canada. Her plays include NO ONE IS FORGOTTEN (Kilroys Hon Mention, 2016, The Magic Theatre’s Playwrights Week 2016, Salt Lake Acting Company Playlab 2017), SPARE RIB (Relentless Awards Hon Mention 2016, Kilroys Hon Mention 2015, Civilians R&D), LOOK AT US (The Cherry Lane), and IN DARFUR (The Public Theater and regional prods at TimeLine, WAM, Theatre J, Horizon, The Landing, THE PENETRATION PLAY (Dir. Josh Hecht, 13P, NYC). Her work has been supported by NYFA Artist 2016, The Civilians R&D Lab 2015, The Lark 2014, Playwrights Center Core Writer Residency 2011-2014, and fellowships from Sundance Institute, Hedgebrook, The Cherry Lane, the Lark, Orchard Project, Space on Ryder Farm, New York Theatre Workshop Monday @3 and Blue Mountain Center. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist. A playwriting instructor and mentor, Ms. Miller leads Weekend Warrior Intensives and Series Six workshops. Adjunct Professor at The New School MFA, SUNY Purchase B.A., Primary Stages ESPA, Visiting Lecturer Princeton, New York Theatre Workshop’s Mind the Gap, Girl Be Heard, Sundance Institute, Stella Adler Outreach, Arts Connection TRaC (2x finalist President’s Coming Up Taller Award) and worked with youth in refugee camps in Northern Uganda and Palestine. She has made plays with marginalized youth, HOME/AWAY (Theatre Askew) and CONSPICUOUS (Keen Company).

    $200

    Tuition

    Register Here

    To register, please email us ASAP as the class begins shortly. Email: classes@playpenn.org

    “An unbelievable environment of support and encouragement. Continuously encouraged growth of any idea that was presented in the class.”

    -Tom, 2018 Student

    “I was impressed with the diversity of age, race, and professional backgrounds of the people in my class. It made for a rich experience.”

    -Aisha, 2017 Student

    Finding the Path in the Forest of Facts: Writing Research-Driven Plays with Tira Palmquist

    640 480 Play Penn

    Perfect for writers with some experience writing either short or full length plays!

    Writing about “hot-button” sociological, political, or scientific issues can provide a lot of fodder for a dramatic piece – but how do you avoid having your research overwhelm your play or avoid having your play sound like a lecture? This class will cover how to use research well so that the research becomes dramatically necessary, or better yet, so that the research becomes the dramatic engine of the play. We’ll discuss how to do research, when to stop researching, and how to find that exciting point where aesthetics and information collide. In addition to discussing the general principles of finding the poetry and promise of more scientific subjects, we’ll also look at samples of plays that do this well. Finally, you’ll have an opportunity to workshop some scenes rooted in your own research, and then to develop a plan for a longer process.

    August 2 and August 9, 6-8pm EST

    Online. We will use www.zoom.us and a link will be emailed to you prior to class. You must have a working internet connection.

    Ideally, students will have a topic and some research done before the first session.

    TIRA PALMQUIST’s plays include The Way North, Overburden, Two Degrees (Denver Center), And Then They Fell (MadLab Theater, Brimmer Street), Ten Mile Lake (Serenbe Playhouse), Age of Bees (MadLab Theater, Tesseract) and This Floating World. Two Degrees premiered in the Denver Center’s 2016/17 Season and was listed in the 2016 Kilroys Honorable Mention List. Ten Mile Lake was a finalist for the 2015 Primus Prize. She has been a director, dramaturg and playwright at Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and the New Territories Playwriting Residency, a program she developed with Brian Clowdus at Serenbe Playhouse. More info at www.tirapalmquist.com.

    $85

    Tuition

    Register Here

    Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all our course offerings and register for a slot in this class.

    For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

    “When you leave a PlayPenn class, your brain is so full of ideas and new tools, and your heart is full from this new network of collaborators you have just met. Old ideas are revived by the teachers, the tools, and the people in the room. I always leave the class ready to work.”

    -Jamie, 2017 Student

    “An unbelievable environment of support and encouragement. Continuously encouraged growth of any idea that was presented in the class.”

    -Tom, 2018 Student
    John Yearley

    Playwriting for Playgoers with John Yearley

    1024 1024 Play Penn

    Perfect for theater lovers and artists of all experience levels!

    Any theatregoer can tell you about a play they saw that they’ll never forget. But how much do even lifelong theatregoers know about the art of playwriting itself? Playwriting for Playgoers will mix the educational and the experiential so that students will really understand the practice and experience of playwriting. First, we will read and discuss a great play, breaking down how and why it works so well. Then we will do exercises to explore how you write for plays, how you write in the voice of other characters and create conflicts that reveal their deepest truths. After taking Playwriting for Playgoers, you will never look at a play the same way again.

    July 16 and July 25, 6:30pm-9:30pm

    The Bluver Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

    Reading: Please read The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams in advance of class.

    John Yearley

    John Yearley is the author of The Unrepeatable Moment (Barrow Group), Leap (Kaplan New American Play Prize, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Antigone (adaptation, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Ephemera (Gassner Award, Summer Play Festival), and Another Girl (PlayPenn, Naked Angels). His plays All in Little Pieces and A Low-Lying Fog are published by Samuel French. He is currently writing for the PBS Kids show Arthur and worked as a script doctor for New Line Cinema. He’s a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, the Dramatists Guild, and twice a MacDowell Fellow. He holds a MFA in Playwriting from Temple University.

    $125

    Tuition

    Register Here

    This course begins shortly. Please email classes@playpenn.org to register.

    “PlayPenn is a wonderful organization that works on providing resources and knowledge for playwrights and dramatists in the Philadelphia area. It really is a great organization that focuses on bringing like-minded people together to ironically think differently in order to bring out creativity and individualism. It’s a wonderful organization that I’ve just gotten into in the past half year, and plan to stick with for the unforeseeable future.”

    -Devin, 2018 Student

    “PlayPenn classes inspire me to write more, and help build my confidence in my writing ability.”

    -Mark, 2017 Student

    Agents, Agency, and Ack! How Do I Get My Plays Produced?

    640 480 Play Penn

    Cocktails and Real Talk with NYC Agent Beth Blickers

    Beth Blickers has over 20 years experience as an agent for playwrights, composers, directors and choreographers in New York City. She is currently an agent at APA (formerly of William Morris Agency and Abrams Artists Agency) and a national advocate for playwrights. She will sit down with Jacqueline Goldfinger to talk a little bit about agenting, how you know it’s the right time to approach an agent, and what to say when you do. Then we will have a moderated 45-minute Q&A following by an hour networking mixer where participants have a chance to chat with Beth and also with each other to meet collaborators who will help forward your work.

    July 12, 2018 from 6pm-8pm

    The private room at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. The downstairs bar will be open beforehand, during and after. You are welcome to bring your food and drink upstairs with you for the event.

    Beth Blickers is currently an agent at APA, where she represents writers, composers, directors and choreographers for theatre, television and film. She began her career at the William Morris Agency, where she began work after graduating from New York University. She has served on the jury panel for the Weissberger Award, the Ed Kleban Award, the Lark’s PONY Fellowship, participated in the Non-Traditional Casting Project, Inc.’s roundtable on inclusion and diversity in the theatre, and has presented workshops and sessions on agenting, playwriting, directors and choreographers and related topics for organizations such as the Society of Directors and Choreographers Foundation, the Dramatists Guild, Musical Theatre Works, the Lark, New York University, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and the Texas Education Theatre Association. She is a Past President and Board member of LMDA, and is proud to be the board chair emeritus of Theatre Breaking Through Barriers, a New York company that works with artists with disabilities.

    $50

    Tuition

    Register Here

    Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all our course offerings and register for a slot in this class.

    For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email classes@playpenn.org.

    “I have travelled from the Harrisburg area for several PlayPenn workshops. Well worth my travel time and the cost of a train ticket!”

    -Cindy D, 2018 Student

    “PlayPenn classes inspire me to write more, and help build my confidence in my writing ability.”

    -Mark, 2017 Student

    Art for All: A Practical Guide for Leading a Creative Life with Jacqueline Goldfinger and R. Eric Thomas

    150 150 Play Penn

    Join PlayPenn Education Director Jacqueline Goldfinger and Award-winning Playwright R. Eric Thomas for this fun and informative 90-minute session.

    Jacqueline and Eric will share some of their favorite (and effective) playwriting exercises, plus will provide expert advice and insider tips for building confidence while composing plays. They will also discuss different paths to building lives as playwrights and theater makers. Perfect for writers or anyone who has ever been curious about leading a writing-infused creative life. All participants will receive 15% off any upcoming PlayPenn Education course throughout 2018. PRE-REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS REQUIRED.

    February 18, 2018

    4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

    Philadelphia Young Playwrights Learning Lab, 1219 Vine Street, Floor 2, Philadelphia, PA 19107

    R. Eric Thomas is a Barrymore Award-winning playwright and humorist. He is the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. He is a Senior Staff Writer for Elle.com where he writes “Eric Reads the News,” a daily current events and culture column. His writing has also appeared in The New York TimesPhiladelphia InquirerMan RepellerFusionPhiladelphia MagazineNewsworksThinkingDance, and others. His play, TIME IS ON OUR SIDE, was commissioned by Simpatico Theater Project and developed with PlayPenn and PlayPenn Education. It was the recipient of two 2016 Barrymore Awards, including Best New Play, and was a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theater Critics Association New Play Award. Forthcoming: MRS. HARRISON (Azuka Theatre, 2018), the Midwest premiere of TIME IS ON OUR SIDE (About Face Theatre, 2018), INFINITY JONES NEEDS SOME SPACE! (development: Act II Theatre), SAFE SPACE (development: Cohesion Theater Company Playwright’s Fellowship). With over a million social media shares, Eric’s ELLE.com column “Eric Reads the News” has quickly become an online humor staple. Covering pop culture, politics and current events, the column is a sardonic and sassy take on our world. Since its inception, it has been praised by such disparate personalities as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mariah Carey, Maxine Waters, Tamron Hall, and Tituss Burgess. Eric gave a talk at the 2011 TEDxPhilly conference. Since 2014 he has also worked with TED to coach TEDx speakers. He is a alumnus of The Foundry, a Philadelphia playwrights lab, a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow, and a member of InterAct Theatre Company’s CORE Playwrights program, Baltimore Center Stage’s Playwright’s Collective and the Cohesion Theater Company 2017 Playwright’s Fellowship.

     

    Jacqueline Goldfinger is the Director of Education for PlayPenn and teaches playwriting at the University of Pennsylvania. She won the Yale-Horn Drama Prize for Emerging Playwright, Smith Prize for Political Theater, a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play and Philadelphia Critics Award for Best New Play, was nominated for the Weissberger Award and the Blackburn Prize, and received a Commendation from the Terrence McNally Award. Her plays include Babel (NNPN/Florida Studio Theatre Residency),  Bottle Fly (The National Theatre New Work Studio/London, Wilma Theatre‘s HotHouse, PlayPenn New Play Conference), The Arsonists (Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage, La MaMa, National New Play Showcase, Sewanee Writers Conference, Disquiet/Lisbon, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, Perseverance Theatre, Azuka Theatre, Capital Stage, Know Theatre, BenchmarkTheatre, Thrown Stone Theatre), Click (Theatre Exile’s X-hibition Series, Emerson Stage Residency, Drama League Residency), Skin & Bone (Azuka Theatre, Bloomsberg Theatre Ensemble, Orlando Shakespeare PlayFest, Arden Theatre Writer’s Room), Slip/Shot (Seattle Public, FlashpointTheatre, PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark’s Playwrights Week), The Oath (Manhattan Theatre Works, Acadiana Rep, Last Frontier Writers Conference), and The Terrible Girls (Azuka Theatre, NYC International Fringe Festival, San Diego Playwrights Collective). Her work is published by Yale Press, Samuel French, Playscripts, and Smith & Kraus. Her work has been supported by New Georges, Yaddo Residency, National Endowment for the Arts, Independence Foundation, The Mitten Lab, People’s Light and Theatre Company’s Harmony Lab, The Producer’s Fund, Passage TheatrePlayLab, National New Play Network, Azuka Theatre Playwright-in-Residence Program, InterAct Playwrights Circle, among others. Read more about her work online: www.jacquelinegoldfinger.com

    $15

    Tuition

    Register Here

    This class is being presented as part of Philly Theatre Week. Click the button below to access our sign up page through Theatre Philadelphia and be sure to check out what else is on offer around the city!

    For questions, please email classes@playpenn.org.

    “When you leave a PlayPenn class, your brain is so full of ideas and new tools, and your heart is full from this new network of collaborators you have just met. Old ideas are revived by the teachers, the tools, and the people in the room. I always leave the class ready to work.”

    -Jamie, 2017 Student

    Text & Subtext: Building Layers of Conflict and Meaning Within Your Scenes

    1024 704 Play Penn

    Popular theater artist and legendary Fringe writer/director Bruce Walsh returns to Philadelphia for one weekend only!

    This workshop grapples with the relationship between surface conversations and the deeper needs of characters — how interesting characters use the topic at hand to cajole, tempt, distract, insult, manipulate, gaslight, obfuscate, and otherwise create complexity and layered conflicts.

    Perfect for writers of all experience levels!

    Free Reading of YOUR New Play

    If you register for a PlayPenn class by January 14, 2018, then you can apply for the opportunity to have your unproduced full-length plays given a public, 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, PA in the spring/summer of 2018. The play many not have had a professional production. PlayPenn will cover the costs of the reading, but the student is responsible for their own housing and transportation. If you register for a class by the deadline then additional details will be emailed to you after January 14, along with a submission form.

    June 9, 2018

    Noon to 4 p.m.

    Philadelphia Young Playwrights Learning Lab, 1219 Vine Street, Floor 2, Philadelphia, PA 19107

    Bruce Walsh recently earned a MFA in Playwriting from Indiana University and is now a traveling writer and teaching artist. His full-length play, Berserker, was recently presented at the Kennedy Center. He’s best known in Philadelphia for his hit collaborations with FringeArts. His fascination with sacredness infuses all of his writing. But not in the ways people sometimes expect. He has no interest in prescribing moral codes. His characters are bold, queer, angry, ridiculous, joyous, deeply sexual beings. Bruce writes most often about people he encountered in many day jobs, working for companies like UPS, Trader Joe’s, a porn video warehouse (seriously), and a slew of downsizing newspapers. He is endlessly enthralled by those that seek the “courage to be” – a sacred meaning or purpose – even amidst a culture and economy with very little capacity to foster those needs. Recent honors include: The Gary Garrison National Ten Minute Play Award, Seven Devils Playwrights’ Conference (finalist), Heideman Award (finalist), and the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission (semi-finalist).

    $100

    Tuition

    Register Here

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

     

    *Students must register for a class by January 14, 2018 in order to be eligible to submit for the free spring Education reading.

    “When you leave a PlayPenn class, your brain is so full of ideas and new tools, and your heart is full from this new network of collaborators you have just met. Old ideas are revived by the teachers, the tools, and the people in the room. I always leave the class ready to work.”

    -Jamie, 2017 Student

    “PlayPenn classes inspire me to write more, and help build my confidence in my writing ability.”

    -Mark, 2017 Student

    New Play Dramaturgy

    1024 681 Play Penn

    with Michele Volansky

    PlayPenn Conference Lead Dramaturg Michele Volansky offers a class with a focus on the unique needs of new play dramaturgy.

    Join PlayPenn Conference Lead Dramaturg Michele Volansky for a class with a focus on the unique needs of new play dramaturgy. What kinds of questions to ask, how to think about structure and ways your point of view might impact the script’s development will all be covered, along with an opportunity to work on excerpts of a few new plays, and receive feedback on your approach.

    Perfect for dramaturgs, directors and actors, as well as other theater artists who want to learn to use dramaturgical tools in their exploration and creation of new work.

    Public Reading of YOUR New Play!

    If you register for a PlayPenn class by January 14, 2018, then you can apply for the opportunity to have your unproduced full-length plays given a public, 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, PA in the spring/summer of 2018. The play many not have had a professional production. PlayPenn will cover the costs of the reading, but the student is responsible for their own housing and transportation. If you register for a class by the deadline then additional details will be emailed to you after January 14, along with a submission form.

    June 3, 2018  2pm-6pm (EST)

    and

    June 4, 2018 6-10pm (EST)

    Online. We will use Zoom.us. It is a very simple system. You will receive a link prior to class. You click the link and are taken to a site that has multiple boxes (like The Brady Bunch opening credits) where you can see and chat with everyone in the class. You must have a working internet connection and a computer that has both speakers (so you can hear the teaching artist) and a microphone (so they can hear you; be advised, some computer systems require you purchase a headset to use the microphone). If you would like to investigate the system before registering for the class, check out: www.zoom.us. PlayPenn covers the cost of using the system but you are expected to participate independently. We will not be recording these sessions.

    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 OverThe 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.

    $200

    Tuition

    Register Here

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

     

    *Students must register for a class by January 14, 2018 in order to be eligible to submit for the free spring Education reading.

    “The PlayPenn faculty members were well-organized, focused and extraordinarily helpful in their critiques. I am looking forward to learning even more in future PlayPenn classes.”

    -Jane D.

    “I take PlayPenn classes because I’m eager for inspiration and creative challenges, which the classes provide in a positive, nurturing environment.” 

    -Mark C.

    Turn Your Play Into A Screenplay

    960 748 Play Penn

    with Chris Canaan

    Join this Emmy Award-winning writer to find out how to take your work from the stage to the screen!

    Join Emmy Award-winning writer Chris Canaan to learn how to turn your stage play script into a screenplay! Perfect for writers of any experience level with at least one play (of any length) that they wish to adapt into a screenplay.

    Public Reading of YOUR New Play!

    If you register for a PlayPenn class by January 14, 2018, then you can apply for the opportunity to have your unproduced full-length plays given a public, 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, PA in the spring/summer of 2018. The play many not have had a professional production. PlayPenn will cover the costs of the reading, but the student is responsible for their own housing and transportation. If you register for a class by the deadline then additional details will be emailed to you after January 14, along with a submission form.

    May 5 and May 6, 2018 10am-2pm

    Philadelphia Young Playwrights Learning Lab, 1219 Vine Street, Floor 2, Philadelphia, PA 19107

    Bring a hard copy of the play that you want to adapt into a screenplay, if you have it.

    Christopher Canaan (playwright/screenwriter/performer) won an Emmy with Michael Mann for the mini-series, “Camerena: Drug Wars.” He has written and produced movies and mini-series for CBS, NBC, ABC, The Family Channel, Fox, USA, Showtime, Hallmark and Starz Encore, including “Cries Unheard,” with Hillary Swank, “Robinson Crusoe,” starring Pierce Brosnan, and Dashiell Hammett’s “The House On Turk Street,” starring Samuel L. Jackson. Additionally he was co-creator of the CBS series, “Walker Texas Ranger.” He developed a contemporary version of “The Prince and he Pauper” for Prince Edward of England, and “Project Millennium” for George Lucas. His screen adaptations include novels by Elmore Leonard, Ann Rice and Robert Ludlum. Canaan holds an MFA in Theater from the University of California, San Diego. He also studied theater history and criticism at NYU and was a student at the Stella Adler Studio. Canaan has performed in regional theater at the Old Globe Theater, the Los Angeles Music Center where he performed with Charlton Heston in “Crucifer of Blood.” He also performed he professional repertory companies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Dartmouth College, and Tufts University. For the last several years, Canaan has taught screenwriting for the Writers Program at UCLA Extension and has lectured at various universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, USC, and California Lutheran University. Canaan is a member of the faculty at the Academy of Cinema in Athens, Greece, where he taught the Michael Chekhov Technique and creative writing.

    $300

    Tuition

    Register Here

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

     

    *Students must register for a class by January 14, 2018 in order to be eligible to submit for the free spring Education reading.

    “Chris Canaan is a phenomenal instructor who possesses unmatched passion for teaching and sharing his love for movies, screenwriting, and life. He taught me to dig deep into myself and into the story I want to tell. His class is educational and his charm and wit make it entertaining as well. My writing has improved considerably since taking his class.”

    -Jason Ancona, UCLA

    “Everything I know about screenwriting, I know because of Chris Canaan. He broke down the barriers and demystified the myths of screenwriting by applying his “real world” knowledge and years of experience in the business in his teaching. He makes screenplay structure understandable, and taught me how to apply structure to the story I want to tell. He has taught me to probe the depths of character, making me see and create characters that are unique and compelling. My characters now have a beating heart, all because of Chris. Also, Chris has given me the tools to change my destiny. I am now a student at the American Film Institute, getting my Masters in Screenwriting. I attribute my success at the AFI because of what Chris has taught me. His knowledge was a foundation that has made me competitively light years ahead of my classmates. I thank him so much for everything I have achieved.”

    -Melissa Nowak, UCLA

    “Chris Canaan, while reminding us of the classical elements of drama, insisted that a screenplay, no matter how well-structured, must come from the writer’s heart. By sharing his own experience of writing successful scripts, Chris created a safe environment in which screenplays grew from vague ideas to vivid, credible scripts. I can’t wait to take his class again.”

    -Wesley Harris, UCLA