Imagine a woodcarver. She’s working on a rough piece of wild oak. She hopes her finished product will be beautiful, alive, singular, but she can’t picture its eventual shape. Where should she make her first cut? How might she proceed from there? Now, imagine a playwright. He’s written a scene, perhaps, maybe nothing at all. He has hopes for a play he’ll eventually complete, but he doesn’t know where to go next. How might he, like a woodcarver, uncover the burls, knots and tendencies of grain in his play? How might he determine the shape his play wants to take? In this six-week course, we will explore methods to uncover the emerging shape, sound and intrinsic structure of your play. It will be fun and, at times, rigorous. If you come to class hoping to start a play, we can help you write a short one by end of the course. If you come with a play in progress, we will help you to find surprising new facets and ways to move forward. In-class work will include listening exercises, writing prompts and the use of drawings and photographs to trigger unexpected ideas. Come join us and find out where your play wants to go!
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.
A 6-week playwriting workshop led by Boni B. Alvarez. Sessions incorporate writing exercises to unearth the stories, characters, and drama that already exist in a playwright’s life. Participants will mine their lives and ‘what they already know’ in the writing of new pages, with the goal of completing the first draft of a new play by workshop’s end.
BONI B. ALVAREZ’s plays include DRIVEN, FIXED, NICKY, BLOODLETTING, DALLAS NON-STOP, DUSTY DE LOS SANTOS, and RUBY, TRAGICALLY ROTUND. His plays have been produced/developed at Playwrights’ Arena, Echo Theater Company, Coeurage Theatre Company, Center Theatre Group, Chalk Rep, Skylight Theatre Company, Moving Arts, Artists At Play, The Vagrancy, Los Angeles Theatre Center, EST/LA, The Blank, Second Generation (2g, NYC), InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia), and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has been a Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and Clubbed Thumb’s Biennial Commission. He is a resident playwright with New Dramatists. Recent acting credits include Fixed at Echo Theater Company, Untitled Communion with Critical Mass Performance Group at REDCAT, and Bloodletting with Playwrights’ Arena. He has performed with American Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Golden Thread, Ma-Yi Theater Company, National Asian American Theatre Company, The Milagro Theater, La Mama, and PS 122. He holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA (Acting) from A.R.T./MXAT Institute at Harvard University, and an MFA (Dramatic Writing) from USC.