Find Your Play: Recovering What Was Never Lost with Wes Walker Saturdays 11AM-2PM Classes Will Be Held In-Person starting June 10th-July 25th (no class on July 1st)
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.
Challenges of Dialogue with Matthew Paul Olmos Classes Will be held Virtually June 6th-July 25th; no class on July 4th or 18th Mondays 7:30-10:30
For the playwright, dialogue is one of the key ways to express character, relationships, and the world of the play. Through a series of exercises led by Matthew Paul Olmos, you’ll hone your skills of dialogue writing in order to engage your audiences in a more meaningful way. In this class you will:
-Complete exercises exploring the tools of dialogue, specifically addressing characterization, exposition, over-writing, rhythm, and subtext. -Engage in discussion with fellow writers; making connections with your artistic peers.
By the end of this class you will:
-Have the tools to create engaging, fully-formed dialogue that will compel audiences to lean into your work. -A strong understanding of dialogue and be ready to apply it.
Crafting plays is full of many moving parts and dialogue often goes overlooked in coursework and classes; having this unique course dedicated wholly to dialogue is a wonderful opportunity to hone in on a precise tool for your writer’s toolbox. This course has been taught by Mr. Olmos at the Dramatists Guild Institute, The Kennedy Center’s Summer Intensive, and Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts.
For the playwright of any level looking to deepen your work and enhance your dialogue skills.
Matthew Paul Olmos is a Mexican-American playwright who focuses his work on the creation of space for marginalized and underrepresented communities. While always personal, his work is aimed at reaching across socio’political boundaries, showing the ridiculous of how separate our lives, and illuminating a potential hope for future generations.
He is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival Commissioned Playwright, New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Center Theatre Group LA Playwright Workshop Writer, Geffen Playhouse Writers Room Playwright, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab Playwright, inaugural Primary Stages Creative Development Grantee, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, Arizona Theatre Company’s National Latino Playwriting Awardee, Ojai Playwrights Conference playwright, Repertorio Español Miranda Family Nuestra Voces Playwriting Awardee, inaugural Yale Drama Series Short List playwright, Cherry Lane Mentor Project playwright as chosen by Taylor Mac, and La MaMa e.t.c.’s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard.
He spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by Ruth Maleczech and is a former New York Theatre Workshop’s Emerging Artist Fellow, Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist in Residence, Dramatists Guild Fellow, Humanitas Play LA Workshop Playwright, Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist, INTAR H.P.R.L Playwright, Rising Circle Collective Playwright, terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwright; he is also an Echo Theater Company Resident Playwright, a proud Kilroys nominator, and an Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member.
His work has been presented both nationally and internationally, taught in university, and is published by Samuel French and NoPassport Press. He is a proud three-time Kilroys nominator.
He is currently developing a play with music inspired by Samantha Power’s “The Education of An Idealist” for Geffen Playhouse’s Writers Room and Theatre For One’s Solo Collective; and a new play, for Primary Stages’ Creative Development Grant, inspired by Mendez v. Westminster, about the building of Mexican schools as part of segregation. His most recent play a home what howls (or the house what was ravine) was named to the inaugural Yale Rep Short List. He developed a feature with Andrew Lauren Productions and is developing a screenplay inspired by his play THAT DRIVE THRU MONTEREY. www.matthewpaulolmos.com.[/vc_column_text]
Stop Thinking, Start Writing! Corralling the Imagination and Creating a Play with Dominic Finocchiaro Classes will be held virtually starting February 20th-March 27th; Sundays 4PM-7PM
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.