New Play Conference Theatre Workshops
GPTC New Play Conference Theatre WorkShops are a vibrant series of hands-on writing and performance-related classes designed and led by national theatre professionals. WorkShops cover a variety of techniques and approaches and provide participants and an excellent opportunity to create and collaborate with one another while under the instruction of some of the top theatre artists in the country.
WorkShops are free of charge for all attendees and the general public. Priority for attendance is given to the current GPTC Playwrights and conference participants. Sessions are held throughout the Conference week. Registration for the workshops will be available soon. Please check back here for registration information.
To sign up for a workshop please send the name and day of the workshop (or workshops) in an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will place everyone that we can into each workshop until they are at full capacity. We will respond back to let you know the status of your request asap. Thank you!
2021 GPTC New Play Conference Workshops
SUNDAY, MAY 30
WORKSHOP SESSION 1
Snack and Hacks: Looking for ways to jostle and replenish your process?
Jaclyn looks to the alchemical, the excavational, the mathematical and the
extraterrestrial as she leads you through a series of small exercises and
freewrites with the intention to uncover, dust off, and open new portals in
Improv for Writers: Together we will explore chance, improv, and aleatory
techniques across disciplines to serve, surprise, and disrupt even the most
veteran of writers…
Kia Corthron THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL
Getting Unstuck: Do you feel stuck on the play you’re currently working on?
Or did you get stuck on a former piece and finally, in frustration, put it aside?
This workshop will help get you out of creative gridlock, allowing you to open
up your play via new, unexplored territory.
Michael John Garcés
Community-Engaged Theater: Cornerstone Theater Company’s Artistic
Director, Michael John Garcés, will share some of the strategies and exercises
the company uses to create unique and meaningful works of theater with a
wide range of communities and populations.
TUESDAY, JUNE 1
WORKSHOP SESSION 2
John J. Caswell Jr.
Getting Personal: Writing What you Know: Writing a play requires
vulnerability regardless of subject matter. But it can be especially
challenging when we more directly address private traumas, belief
systems, and relationships through our work. Using exercises based in
abstraction and controlled obfuscation, as well as anecdotal discussions
about making deeply personal work, we will explore ways to find a safe and
fruitful proximity to challenging and close-to-home subject matter.
Heaven & Hell: Sometimes you need a little bit of the sublime and the profane
to jumpstart a play. Have fun with extremes in this scene writing workshop.
Mashuq Mushtaq Deen
The Gaze and How It Affects Your Work: A workshop about deepening
your understanding of how your work is seen by an audience. Who is
your imagined audience, and who is your actual audience? How do you
understand the lens through which they look at your work? What is the
male gaze? What is the white gaze? What is the dominant gaze? What is
an American gaze? How does this affect how your work is encountered?
Conversation will be punctuated with writing exercises.
Storytelling is just good gossip: As much as we pride ourselves on our craft and
ingenuity, we also need to acknowledge that audiences love to clutch their
pearls—whether at our storytelling, characterization, or even just aesthetic
choices. I’m sure we all remember when we’ve been actually thrilled at the
theater, and what can we learn from and apply to our own work from these
moments? Art is always the goal, but we must admit we love it when things
get juicy onstage. How can we surprise and innovate and literally give folx
something to talk about? Please think about your own play as reference as we
diagnose where that good gossip might already permeate.
Jiehae Park THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL
Musical forms for playwrights: We’ll consider musical forms and figures as
possible jumping off points for the shape of a play, and experiment with
texts as scores. (No formal music training necessary).
SATURDAY, JUNE 5
WORKSHOP SESSION 3
A Play is a Pattern: When playwrights set about crafting plays, we think of
things like ‘action’ and ‘stakes’ as tools to generate dramatic interest. But
when we write with these explicitly in mind, our drafts can sometimes end
up a little too functional or deadened. By “looking awry” or thinking of
plays as aesthetic fields, we can tap into surprising fonts of emotional and
psychological depth in our writing. In this workshop, through exercises
and conversation, we will explore the notion of pattern—not as something
decorative or aesthetic—but as a generative force in dramatic composition.
What Do You Crave? In playwriting classes we are often asked “what does
your character want?” While certainly a valid question, it can keep us on the
surface, in the world of small desires. But what if we shift to the word crave?
Suddenly we are in the body, in the realm of appetite and deeper desires that
are beyond words. This workshop will allow you explore the cravings of the
current characters you are writing, and explore how they might relate to the
deeper craving of your play, and what you crave as an artist.
Show Me: Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken
glass. -Anton Chekov: The beauty of live theater is its immediacy and the
transaction that takes place between the playwright and the audience. The
playwright presents a set of events arranged in such a way that gives the
audience the thrill of connecting the dots for themselves. However, even with
this tacit agreement sometimes we can fall short of dramatic writing that
shows us something that is immediate and digress into narrative writing
that is stuck in the past. This lecture will examine how to identify the most
important aspects of your story and how to get it on stage utilizing a writer’s
most powerful tools: dialogue and characterization. These tips can help the
playwright avoid having their play take place off-stage and move it center
stage—where it belongs. Please bring a couple of scenes from your play that
we will utilize in this workshop.
Good Politics Bad Art and Vice Versa – grappling with the idioms of civic
language: In this workshop we will engage in a number of extremely small and
ineffective but actual (non partisan) political activities, while exploring the
idiomatic barriers we create between expressing ourselves in our plays and
expressing ourselves as actors upon the public stage.