WTP offers master classes, writing workshops and panels to promote playwright education and community engagement, led by national and local theatre artists.
Past teaching artists have included Nicole B. Adkins, Justin Anderson, Carlyn Aquiline, Freddie Ashley, Amber Bradshaw, Tearrance Chisholm, Elizabeth Dinkova, Reginald Edmund, Erik Ehn, Lauren Gunderson, Edith Freni, Patricia Henritze, Dr. Barbara Hort, Jamil Jude, Celise Kalke, Hank Kimmel, Vynnie Meli, Carlton Molette, Addae Moon, Carlos Murillo, Topher Payne, Dr. Angela Farr Schiller, Kimberly Senior, Lucy Smith, Rebekah Suellau, Pamela Turner, Mark Valdez and Edwin Wong.
To sign up for master classes, please contact Amber Bradshaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming 2021 Master Classes:
Date TBA: All About the New Play Exchange (NPX) through the National New Play Network with Gwydion Suilebhan
The New play Exchange is the world’s largest digital library of scripts by living writers. 41,474 scripts by 9,852 writers. 12, 374 readers and 950 organizations.
GWYDION SUILEBHAN is a writer, innovator, and arts advocate who serves as both the chief architect and evangelist of the New Play Exchange for the National New Play Network and the Executive Director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. A founding member of The Welders—a Helen Hayes Award-winning playwrights collective in Washington, DC—Suilebhan was elected to the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America in 2017. As a writer, Suilebhan’s work has been noted for its “dexterous theatricality and unexpected pleasure” (Washington Post). He is the author of several plays, including The Butcher, Inner Harbor, Reals, Abstract Nude, Let X, The Faithkiller, and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated Transmission. Two of his plays—Abstract Nude and Cracked—have been published by Original Works. Suilebhan’s work has been commissioned, developed, and produced by Centerstage, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Gulfshore Playhouse, Theater J, and Theater Alliance, among many others. He is also the author of Anthem, a short film directed by Hal Hartley, and a forthcoming (2020) web series called All Souls. Earlier in his career, Suilebhan primarily wrote poetry, serving as the poetry editor of Barrelhouse from 2004 to 2006. He speaks widely on various aspects of the intersection between the arts and technology in the 21st century; notable appearances have included South by Southwest, TEDxWDC and TEDxMichigan Avenue, and Americans for the Arts. Suilebhan earned a Master of Arts in poetry from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Northwestern University. http://www.suilebhan.com/
PAST 2021 Master Classes:
JUNE – Yoga for Playwrights with Lucy Smith
WHEN: June 5 & 6, 1-3PM
Playwrights write with more than our minds, we write with our bodies. Your brain is in your body!
Explore your multitudes in this writing workshop taught by Lucy Smith. This four week course will explore writing through the chakra system. The chakras are in our energetic architecture. Movement followed by writing prompts can aid in meaning-making in our creative work and our lives. This workshop is designed to help playwrights explore character, storytelling and self. Through yoga, meditation and writing prompts; participants are invited to UNLOCK their own inner mysteries, personal power and unique and essential voice.
FEBRUARY – Risk Theatre with Edwin Wong
WHEN: February 13/20, 1-4PM
IF THE WORLD GIVES YOU RISK, MAKE RISK THEATRE. Do you want to find out what happens when you make risk the dramatic fulcrum of the action? Then this is your workshop! Everyone, especially right now, wants to explore the impact of the highly improbable. This workshop will help you engage audiences with risk, chance, and the unexpected. You will never look at risk—or theatre—the same way again.
JANUARY – Psychodramaturgy: Bridging Theatre Arts and Human Reality with Dr. Barbara Hort
WHEN: January 16/17/23/24, 1-3pm
Psychodramaturgy is a new dramaturgical form developed over the past decade in rehearsal halls and performance stages by Dr. Barbara Hort in collaboration with Chris Coleman, Artistic Director of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Founder of Atlanta’s Actor’s Express. In this course, consisting of four 2-hour sessions, you will learn in the first session the basic principles of what Psychodramaturgy is (and what it is not), and in the following three sessions, you will have the opportunity to have your own work read and then discussed from the perspective of Psychodramaturgy.
If any of your work touches upon issues of trauma, obsession, grief, addiction, depression, anxiety, healing, inspiration, or courage, and if you want to know more about how real people wrestle with these human challenges, this virtual workshop would be a valuable resource for you.
The NEW Biz of Playwriting: Nimble Responses to a Rapidly Evolving Landscape with Celise Kalke
All the rules of making theatre changed March 13, 2020. Playwrights have two options. Use this virtual space to write something ambitious for the return to live theatre (the King Lear approach). Or be in dialogue with producers about theatrical content in a virtual environment. Celise Kalke, dramaturg and new work producer as well as current Synchronicity Theatre Managing Director, will explore tactics around each approach. This will be a highly interactive virtual class.
Radical collaborations: Co-Creation and Devised Theatre with Elizabeth Dinkova
Whether it’s within a standard new play development process, or the collaborative creation of a new devised piece, tapping into an ensemble’s potential to serve as generative artists in the room is key to producing deep and daring work. This class will explore the utility of devising theatre strategies in a variety of contexts: from developing existing texts by asking collaborators to participate in a process of targeted creation of new material, to non-hierarchical collective creation of original new work. Ultimately, by participating in hands-on explorations, participants will practice using collaborative creation techniques to model and inspire communal transformation: by learning how to create collectively, we learn how to live collectively.
Two-Minute Moments of Dramatic Action Virtual Writing Workshop with Celise Kalke
June 13 & 14, 1-4 PM
Location: Zoom and your home
Class Description: This class will examine turning points. How to write the scenes where things happen! Using five minute scenes from each attendee, Celise will elaborate on dramatic action and how to bring it to the stage. It’s about editing, precision, and style. This writing workshop will focus on that brief two minutes where “the event happens onstage”.
Please submit scenes ahead of time.
Generating Story: Strategies To Jump Start Into Your New Play with Addae Moon
August 15 & 16, 1-4PM
WTP playwright member and dramaturg Addae Moon will lead this writing workshop designed to generate new ideas and new plays. Using techniques he has cultivated in his years of experience as a teacher, dramaturg and playwright, Addae will lead the class to ways in which to activate your next play into life.
Playwriting 101 with Nicole Adkins
September 19 & 20, 1-4PM
Take Playwriting 101 from a teacher who teaches playwriting at Hollins University in the masters program, as well as at Kennesaw State University. Nicole is a playwright and dramaturg with a long history of teaching and living the craft.
WTP Dramaturgy Intensive: Ways of Reading with Amber Bradshaw
October 2020-October 2021, one session per month
This will be a dialogue and personal-response driven course designed to investigate ways of reading, communicating and listening. We will cover best practices to support playwrights at all levels of experience; analyze new and published plays, short stories and critical writing. Many sessions will have a guest dramaturg who will co-facilitate with Amber and/or a guest playwright to speak about their work. This class will best serve playwrights, directors and dramaturgs who seek to grow and expand their knowledge and practice in professional new development dramaturgy. Because this class is a long-term commitment and very limited in size, applications will be required.
Articulating Your point of view with NYC Special guest Kimberly Senior
Much of being an artist depends breathing life into a play by imbuing it with your unique perspective, and the ability to convey the story you’re attempting to tell. In this class you will explore the myriad of ways directors and dramaturgs can work together in bringing new work to the stage. You will be sent a short story ahead of time which we will use for a number of exercises aimed towards adaptation. The class will be made up of hands-on, up-on-your-feet, in-class exercises to dissect the source material and tell the story.
OCT 5 & 6, 2019: A Grain Of Salt: Making Workshops Work For You with Rebekah Suellau
Class Description: Feedback is crucial for any writer, but it’s especially important in the deeply collaborative medium of playwriting. No matter how well we know this, we can still get overwhelmed, confused, distracted and disheartened in the process of receiving criticism. In this workshop, we will explore and practice a range of strategies to empower you in any feedback setting, ensuring that you get the most out of your development opportunities with Working Title and beyond.
September 7 & 8, 2019: Monologues That Fuel Dramatic Action with Celise Kalke
Class Description: In this class students will be given the opportunity to work directly with two contrasting performers, Courtney Collins and Geoffrey D. Williams, to create a new monologue specifically for the actor they choose. The actors will perform the monologues and Celise and the class will provide feedback to the playwright to continue developing the piece. This class will also explore the process of creating a driven monologue with actors.
July 20 & 21, 2019: New Development Dramaturgy and Directing Practices with Jamil Jude
Class description: Philosophy, script analysis and dramaturgy with the new Artistic Director of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company. Day One will cover philosophy and theory and Day Two will incorporate process and action with two professional playwrights in attendance: Josh Wilder and Gabrielle Fulton.
APRIL 27 & 28, 2019: How To Break The Rules Of Playwriting with Tearrance Chisholm
Class Description: Limited to 15 students. Determine what the rules are. Then break them.
JAN 26 & 27, 2019: 7 to 12 Minutes; Play Beginnings with Celise Kalke
Class description: This class will explore the beginning of a play and how it charts the course for the entire length of the journey. Students will bring in 7-12 minutes of the beginning of a personal play of their choosing and Celise and the class with edit it together.
Afrocentric Theatre with renowned scholar Carlton W. Molette, Ph.D. Carlton has over 50 years of teaching experience and a roster of well-known former students like Pearl Cleage and Samuel L. Jackson. Learn more about the world of Afrocentric Theatre, expand your world view, evaluate and improve your work, and learn the tools to appropriately dramaturg other’s work.
Community & Collaboration with nationally renowned devising artist Mark Valdez.
In this single session class, Mark Valdez will discuss his work in and with communities in Atlanta and across the country. The session will cover examples of past projects as well as offer tools and practical strategies for community engaged work. Attendees are encouraged to bring in ideas and questions you might have on community engagement that you’d like to discuss or develop.
with Freddie Ashley; Artistic Director of Actors Express and past Alliance Theatre Literary Manager and Dr. Angela Farr Schiller; KSU professor, director and resident dramaturg with a doctorate in Theater and Performance Studies.
Explore the ways culture can influence dramatic structure. We will examine different plays by authors of various backgrounds and cultural groups, unpacking the shifting expectations of what makes sound dramatic storytelling in a more inclusive world.
The Path of the Playwright
with special guest Edith Freni. Freni has a BFA and MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing and a long resume of fellowships, residencies, awards and development experiences she has been awarded by prestigious theaters such as Steppenwolf, Ensemble Studio Theater and Actor’s Express, to name a few.
Contemporary Dramaturgy and the Playwright-Dramaturg Relationship
with special guest Carlyn Aquiline from Pittsburgh, PA; a national new play dramaturg, Carnegie Mellon University Professor and the recipient of the 2015 Frankel Award, honoring outstanding commitment to new play creation.
Session 1: Contemporary Dramaturgy – the Role and the Outlook
Session 2: Creative Allies: The Playwright-Dramaturg Relationship
Playwriting as Activism
with Special Guest Chicago Dramatist resident playwright and Managing Curating Producer of Black Lives, Black Words International Project, Reginald Edmund
•the history and relevance of playwriting as activism
•the role of playwright in community activism as preacher, politician and prophet
•examples of contemporary playwriting as activism
•the five types of people needed for revolution
From Writing to Developing Your Play
with Alliance Theatre Director of New Projects, Celise Kalke.
April 13th, 7-9:30pm. This class is one session.
This class will explore development – the process of taking a finished or almost finished draft of a play to the next level (ideally headed for production). The class will cover development on your own, in a workshop setting funded by someone else, applying for development help, listening to notes, learning to listen for cuts and professionalism. We will focus on these subjects but please feel free to bring in concrete questions for the class to discuss as a group.
Pictured in banner: Celise Kalke teaching “Accessing the National Marketplace”.