Can you teach creativity? For decades the debate has raged with enough heat to melt friendships. Can we in fact use books and studies to generate a stunning piece of art, or should we throw our books in the garbage altogether? The scientist in me finds great value in analyzing structure, parsing out elements to their reducible parts. But the artist in me challenges how you create something with soul from studying what has come before. As an educator, I believe that this is a false dichotomy, that becoming a good artist cannot be done with books alone, nor without books.
Before we can learn to write creatively, we must learn to listen and play.
CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS OFFERED
Intro to Playwriting:
The Art of Listening
An accessible approach to writing your first play. Students learn the foundational skills of listening and playing, which they apply as they learn about the basics of traditional plot and character to produce a short play in a hands on way. No experience required!
Think fast! This course orients students to the fundamentals of improvisational performance, including principles of “yes, and…,” listening, world building, generation, character, and embracing impulses. Through fun, active games, you’ll discover your inner performer and develop skills that can be applied to any aspect of your life! Offered as a workshop, six-week class, or full semester course.
Writing Through Improv
Like the writer, the improviser generates compelling worlds and fascinating characters from nothing. Learn the tenants of improvisation and begin to apply them to write more creative, vivid, and compelling plays. Through playing games and practicing improv skills, you can become a more flexible and creative writer. Offered as a semester long class, six-week masterclass, or seminar crash course.
Playwri(gh)ting Masterclass: Demystifying the Process
As the shipwright must understand the mechanics of how a boat is constructed before crafting a fine ship, the playwright must understand the mechanics below the surface before creating a fine piece of theatre. This masterclass explores advanced techniques in playwri(gh)ting including creating rich characters, advancing what is theatrically engaging about your story, using non-traditional structures to your advantage, and how to make revision an exciting, active process. Offered as a six-week masterclass workshop or single session seminar.
SAMPLE LESSON PLAN: Characters
SAMPLE LESSON PLAN: Story, Plot, Structure
Science on the American Stage
A deep dive into the world of science as it has appeared historically on the American stage. This dramatic literature course relates innovations of the science to their corresponding theatrical responses in the context of American Theatre. Recommended for upperclass undergraduate or graduate level students. Can be conducted cross-disciplinary with other fields
Starting Your Theatre Collective
This workshop provides insights on starting your own small theatre company from the ground up, drawing on my experiences as founder of Focal Theatre Lab and resident playwright at 2140 Productions. Topics covered will include community building, finding space, financial support, grant writing, artistic collaborations, and more! Offered as a workshop or six week class.