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Fall Classes

Developing a Solo Show with Che’Rae Adams

400 266 Play Penn

This hands-on class is designed to ready scripts for production by taking a close look at effective writing.

This 6-week remote class is for actors who want to develop a solo show script. This hands-on class is designed to ready scripts for production by taking a close look at effective writing. This class is centered around a workbook entitled “Writing is Hard…” which is based on lectures given by Che’Rae Adams at various universities across America. A series of exercises will be assigned on a weekly basis from the text which the instructor will review with the students. Original material will be generated by the students, and feedback on the work will be given by the instructor. Students are asked to generate at least 5-7 new pages a week to share with the instructor so that students can have a rough draft of a 45-60 minute show by the end of the 6 weeks.

Thursdays, October 27th – December 8th, 6:00-9:00pm EST

Online (via Zoom)

$360

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

Ethics and Fundamentals of Playwriting with Angeline Larimer

650 433 Play Penn

Learn foundational playwriting rules to go forward with confidence in reinventing them.

Ethics and Fundamentals of Playwriting provides an introduction or refresher for those serious about beginning or improving their scriptwriting skills, with added conversations built-in that help each playwright answer the questions, ‘Why am I doing this? What impact am I trying to make?’ Participants will learn playscript formatting, strengthen knowledge of structure of drama, participate in prompted writing exercises, complete a 10-minute play at the end of the 8 weeks course, and will learn and participate in the required rules of beneficial workshopping. Essentially, participants learn foundational playwriting rules so that they can go forward with confidence in reinventing them.

Wednesdays, October 26th – December 21st, 5:30-7:30pm EST

Online (via Zoom)

A strong creative writing background is preferred. Angeline will meet with each participant individually to create an individualized plan.

Angeline Larimer (she/her) is an MFA playwright, screenwriter, dramaturg, bioethicist for public health, & Medical Humanities and Applied Theatre playwriting professor for Indiana University-Indianapolis. She is a collaborator with Fonseca Theatre Company and American Lives Theatre. She is also a volunteer scriptwriting instructor for Indiana Veterans Affairs Outreach (Playwriting for Veterans) and Indiana Prison Writers Workshop. She is a member of the IU Conscience Project. Her recent specialty is collaborating on devised scripts addressing social justice and health inequity concerns. She was Lead Dramaturg for PlayPenn’s 2022 New Play Development Conference. dapibus leo.

$320

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

Director & Playwright Collaboration with Jackson Gay

150 150 Play Penn

Expand on all aspects of the director-playwright collaborative process

In this class, you will come together for joint exercises designed to expose you to all aspects of the director-playwright collaborative process, from the first coffee date, through all stages of therehearsal and production process, including design and casting. We will discuss practical ways you can, proactively and throughout the process, create a room where the playwright’s intentions and the director’s contributions work together to bring the production to life.

Tuesdays, October 25th – November 15th, 7:00-8:30pm EST

Online (via Zoom)

$120

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

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

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

640 433 Play Penn

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

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

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

Online via Zoom.

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

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

$150

Tuition

Register Here

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

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

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

-Tasha Maria T., 2019 Student

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

-Stacey, 2018 Student

Writing From The Deep with Lisa Kenner Grissom

640 433 Play Penn

Harness personal experience in your dramatic writing.

We all have significant personal experiences that define, change or transform us—some are joyful, others painful. People often say, write what you know. But how? In this workshop, we will explore techniques to tap into your personal history in a safe way in order to enrich your characters with deep emotional resonance and subtext. Both in-class and at-home writing exercises will help you ask meaningful questions of yourself and your characters, construct compelling pieces from your own source materials, and make your story come alive with an authentic voice. This four-week online workshop is for writers who want to draw upon their personal histories to use emotions, memories and experiences to deepen the themes, characters and stories in their dramatic work.

Tuesdays (online): October 29, November 5, November 12, November 19: 7 pm – 9 pm E.S.T. / 5 pm – 7 pm P.S.T.

Online.

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

Lisa Kenner Grissom is an LA-based playwright whose work explores complex social issues through intimate relationships, often through the lens of strong, complicated women. Her award-winning short film Tattoo You is based on her award-winning one-act of the same name (Winner, Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival), and has screened at festivals nationally and internationally. Full-length plays include: Four Chambers (Winner of the Jean Kennedy Smith Award, Kennedy Center ACTF; O’Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist), Motherland (Princess Grace Fellowship and Bridge Initiative Finalist), Building The Perfect Chair (TruVoices Finalist) and Shelter (PlayPenn Semi-Finalist). In addition, her work has been recognized as a finalist for The Ashland New Play Festival, The Lark, The Playwrights’ Center and Heideman Award, among others. Her short plays are published by Smith & Kraus. Lisa twice attended the O’Neill Playwrights Conference as a Kennedy Center Fellow. Her work has been presented and/or developed at The Kennedy Center, Antaeus Theater Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Chalk Rep, Clurman Theater, Inkwell Theater, Moving Arts, Manhattan Theatre Source, Road Theatre and more. Originally from Boston, Lisa is a proud member of the Playwrights Union, Dramatist Guild and Antaeus Playwrights Lab. www.lisakennergrissom.com

$150

Tuition

Register Here

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

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

“This was an unbelievable learning experience for both beginners and experienced playwrights. [My teacher] was inspiring and encouraging, smart and effective, wise and warm, informed and generous.”

Emma L., 2018 Student

“PlayPenn offers wonderful courses with insightful instructors. … What a treat to be able to study with the best in playwriting for a reasonable fee.”

-Pam P., 2019 Student

Honing Your Creative Voice with Amy E. Witting

640 433 Play Penn

Bridge the gap between the first spark of inspiration and crafting a strong story in your own voice.

Ideas come to us, but we are often left not knowing how to move forward. This workshop will help students dive deeper into the development process, trusting that our inspiration will provide us with the map to craft structure, story, and a better understanding of what our characters want.

October 5 and October 6: 1-5pm

The Wilma Theatre, 265 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

Please bring 1-5 pages of a playwriting project-in-progress that you’re currently working on.

Amy E. Witting (PlayPenn ’19, ARCHIPELAGO) resides in Queens, where she received a QAF New Work Grant for her documentary play, SUNNYSIDE IMPRESSIONS. Other work includes ANNE PAGE HATES FUN (American Shakespeare Center World Premiere), THE HOUSE ON THE HILL (CATF World Premiere, Atlantic Theater Commission, NNPN Showcase, The Kennedy Center ACTF/NNPN MFA Alumni Playwright Workshop), and A BAD NIGHT (NY Rep Workshop, MTC Creative Space). Her plays have been developed at Atlantic Theater, The Lark Play Development Center, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Tofte Lake Center, Roundabout Theatre, National New Play Network, Abingdon Theatre, and The Kennedy Center. She received her MFA in playwriting from Hunter College.

$170

Tuition

Register Here

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

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

“I feel lucky to have PlayPenn just around the corner from me; a hallowed place where writers are the focus, where audiences come not to judge but to witness. PlayPenn is essential to the theatre industry.”

-Paige, 2019 Student

“Getting involved with PlayPenn has been one of the best things I’ve done since moving back to the city.”

-2019 Student

Jump-Starting Your Playwriting Process with Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters

640 433 Play Penn

Helpful for writers of other disciplines, and serves artists at all experience levels.

Foundry member playwright and educator Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters knows a thing or two about how intimidating it is to begin writing a new play. That blank page, staring at you—she’s getting sweaty just thinking about it. Over the course of four sessions, she’ll guide you through actionable exercises to jump-start your new project and increase your comfort with the blank page.

Tuesdays, October 15 – 29, November 5: 7-9pm

TBD in Center City, Philadelphia

Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters is an emerging playwright and Barrymore nominated actor. She’s a member of The Foundry at PlayPenn and Lead Artist on the Philly Asian Performing Artists’ Playwrights Project. Esther Choi and the Fish that Drowned will receive a world premiere with Simpatico Theatre in spring 2020. Esther Choi… was recently presented at the PlayPenn Conference and the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival 2019. Keep Me Posted received a staged reading at the 2018 Philly Asian American Film Festival. Her play, Are You My Father or the dream ballet of north korea, received a workshop and reading with PlayPenn and HBMG Foundation’s National Writers Retreat, as well as a residency with Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists/Asian Arts Initiative. Are You My Father… was also a finalist for Unicorn Theatre’s 2019-2020 In-Progress New Play Reading Series. Additional plays have been produced and developed with Dragon’s Eye Theatre, Revamp Collective, Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival, and Philadelphia’s Future is Female Festival. She is a graduate of Bucknell University, the London Dramatic Academy, and CAP21.

$150

Tuition

Register Here

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

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

“My class at PlayPenn was not only insightful, but also reinvigorating. I left with a sense of excitement, increased confidence, and a vast amount of new ideas to be explored.”

-Mackenzie H., 2019 Student

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

-Stacey, 2018 Student
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