The playwright is an archeologist. She digs for things hidden. And she can’t always use direct means to bring them to light. Just as using a bulldozer to unearth fragile ancient pottery is inadvisable, so too is using a set, overly-planned method to evoke character and story. It often stifles the writer’s best impulses. Your play is already there waiting for you, but it’s concealed. Uncovering it requires rigor, patience, and an open approach to discovering its shape. Through this six-week workshop we will use methods both direct and indirect to uncover the form, sound, and quality of your play. If you arrive in search of a play, you will finish a new short play at the end of the six weeks. If you come with a play in progress, we will help you discover its essential hidden facets. In-class work will include listening exercises, writing prompts and the use of drawings and photographs to trigger unexpected ideas. The journey will be surprising and wildly fruitful: come join us!
Wesley Walker is a veteran of LA’s underground theater. His plays include General Sherman’s Hollow Body, Freak Storm, Wilfredo, and The Conception. His work has been produced by Padua Playwrights, Echo, N.O.T.E, Bootleg, Pharmacy, Sharon’s Farm and others. His plays have been published by TCG, Padua Press, and Doublewide Press. He received an LA Weekly Award for directing The Conception and a nomination for writing it. The LA Times has called his work “hauntingly beautiful” and that it “lurks in a realm between Fellini and myth”, Backstage called it “hysterically devastating” and “all some of us might need to die happy.” He’s taught playwriting to homeless kids, college students, and professionals. He facilitates an ongoing writer’s workshop featuring some of LA’s most celebrated playwrights. He has studied with brilliant writing teachers including John Steppling, Murray Mednick, John O’Keefe, and Maria Irene Fornes, and he loves to pass on what he’s learned.
You have a wealth of ideas in your head and so much you want to say, but how on Earth to begin?! There is nothing more daunting than the empty page. In this six-week workshop, we will focus on generating material, on getting out of our own ways and trusting in our imaginations and in ourselves. We will approach writing from a number of different avenues: we will explore formalistic exercises and the ways in which rules and structures can actually unlock our creative processes; we will mine the self and our interior worlds for the feelings that we hold most dear and the themes that we cannot escape; and we will look at existing works in order to interrogate how the great writers of past and present build their worlds. As the workshop progresses, our time will become more tailored to the specific needs and desires of the writers present and the work that they are currently invested in. By the end of our time together, the goal is to have the bare-bones architecture of a full-length play, all of the ingredients that are most dear to you ready to be turned into the creative meal of your dreams!
Dominic Finocchiaro’s full-length plays include angel’s share, brother brother, brut, complex, The Found Dog Ribbon Dance, Gold Person, how it feels to fall from the sky, The Lucky Ladies, mother’s son, and Trees in their youth. His writing has been produced and developed around the country, including with Roundabout Theatre, the New Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Echo Theater, the Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, the Lark Play Development Center, the National New Play Network, Portland Center Stage, the Flea Theater, the Kennedy Center, PlayPenn, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Dixon Place, and the Amoralists. MacDowell and UCross Fellow. BA Reed College, MFA Columbia University, and currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at the Juilliard School.