Spring 2004

Playwriting: A Workshop for Theater Writing

Rubinstein,Kim S

01/26/2004 - 05/08/2004
Thursday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Fisk Hall 413

How can we as playwrights write characters and conflicts that express the personal and global terror and grief of our current times? How can we write plays that not only mirror our daily and larger political realities, but that pierce through misunderstanding, fear and ever-increasing isolation to elevate, inspire, redeem, heal, uplift our audiences? This course will explore and reveal our personal playwriting voices in order to transform what we need to say into the structure of theatrical event, using traditional and nontraditional playwriting skills, methods and narratives.

Using the model of professional playwriting workshops in which writers create and develop new plays, this class will also focuse on developing new visions and modes for creating performance.

Readings may include plays by Samuel Beckett, Paula Vogel Jean Racine, Sarah Kane, Tony Kushner, Eugene O'Neill, Tennesee Williams, Maria Irene Fornes and Suzan-Lori Parkes. Readings from books on the art and structure of playwriting, on text analysis and on the theatre by David Mamet, Marc Robinson, Lajos Egri, David Ball, Peter Brook, Ann Bogart, Dah Teatar of Belgrade, Giorgio Strehler. Screenings may include ROCKABY AND KRAPP'S LAST TAPE by Beckett, STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE by Williams, and QUOTATIONS OF A RUINED CITY by Reza Abdoh.

Assignments will include class participation in discussion of course packet readings, writing exercises, some staging scenes from the writing, and writing weekly scene work or creative projects for inspiring writing. Required will be approximately three to seven pages of creative writing per week. We will also spend class time enhancing our skills of dramaturgy and text analysis of other published playwright's work. A midterm portfolio consisting of one draft of about half a new play and drafts of weekly scenes together with one half-page self-analysis at midterm; and a final portfolio consisting of one draft of a new play presented as a staged reading and a one-page self-analysis.

Kim Rubinstein (B.S. Northwestern University) is the artistic associate at the Long Wharf Theatre. She has directed more than 25 plays including the world premieres in Chicago of Pan and Boone (Carey) and Eloise and Ray (Fleishmann); seven Shakespeare works; and she was national tour director for Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millenium/Perestroika. She has taught acting, directing, and text analysis for more than 15 years at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. She continues to teach in the Steppenwolf Ensemble School for Professional Actors.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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