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.
How do you take an idea and transform it into an actual play? How do you develop a bolt of inspiration into a fully realized work? This workshop will focus on completing a first draft of a full-length play. We will start by investigating our artistic obsessions in order to better understand just what we’re hoping to create, then begin exploring dramatic structure to use as a helpful skeleton of our work moving forward. From there, the focus will be on writing, writing, and writing! By removing our inner critics and putting words on the page at breakneck speed, we will discover the imaginative worlds too often left hidden inside our subconscious. At the end of the six weeks, students will hopefully end up with a rough sketch of a completed play that they can continue to sculpt and winnow after our class has completed!
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.