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).



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