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Friday, September 6, 2019

NEW CLASSES ADDED BY POPULAR DEMAND: The First Draft and Strengthening Your Process Workshop at Primary Stages ESPA

Primary Stages ESPA has added some new classes for the Fall semester! Whether you’re working on a new play or just need a weekend dedicated to your craft, we’ve got the new class for you. See below for details about our added section of The First Draft with Tasha Gordon-Solmon, and our new workshop, Strengthening Your Process while Keeping Your Voice with Crystal Skillman. Or if you’d like to get to know us better, come to our FREE Mixer and Workshops next week!

Instructor: Tasha Gordon-Solmon (Writer and Director; Faculty, NYU Graduate Playwriting Program)

Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:30pm
September 17, October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3, 10

Tasha aims to create a fun, safe, and productive space where you can get the feedback you need to create the best version of the play you want to write. The class is structured as a workshop, where the majority of time will be spent reading work aloud and discussing it. Tasha will guide the discussion and tailor her notes to your style and goals. She'll also use those feedback sessions as a jumping off point to discuss larger playwriting concepts that can be applied to everyone's work.

In the first class, Tasha will lead you through a comprehensive series of exercises to help you begin a play or clarify your vision for a play you have already begun. For the first half of the semester, you will bring pages every week (about 5-10), and for the second half of the semester, you'll be able to bring in longer sections (about 15-20 pages) every other week. She will also give exercises intermittently based on the work happening in class. There is flexibility depending on where you are at, and you'll check in with Tasha about your individual goals throughout the semester. By the end of the class you'll have most—if not all—of a new play, along with a toolbox of writing techniques and exercises to apply to your work in the future.

Tasha writes plays that are theatrical, language-driven, and darkly comedic. She is obsessed with form, and a lot of the class exercises will focus on exploring different theatrical tools and styles. All voices and writing styles are welcome and encouraged!


Instructor: Crystal Skillman (Writer, Open, Geek, Pulp Vérité, Mary and Max)

Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27
12:00 – 5:00pm both days

In writing any work, you’re at your best and most clear when you can drive your own process to strengthen your craft and deepen your story. In this 2-day workshop, playwright Crystal Skillman will share her personal writing process for structure and drama, helping you figure out how to strengthen the nuts and bolts of your writing while keeping true to your own voice. 

This workshop might be for you if you are:
  • An emerging or established playwright who wants to better guide their own writing process and be able to analyze their craft regardless of content.
  • A new writer looking to better understand playwriting as a craft and how to harness your own voice in your writing.
In this workshop you will:
  • Through a series of in-class exercises and discussions, deepen how you guide your own journey while writing and how to better dissect feedback.
  • Mindfully explore how the elements of drama work in your writing and how to use and incorporate that in every story.
  • Discover dynamic theatrical ways to strengthen the message of any story you write, why you’re telling it, and how to relate it to the world today. Your story has a function – writing the story isn’t enough.
  • Do probing exercises on day 1 to generate new ideas. You’ll then pick one of these ideas to explore in depth the next day.
  • On day 2, apply your new idea to exercises including cause and effect, the relationship between language and action, two-person scenes, and strengthening your dramatic question.
By the end of this workshop you will have: 
  • An understanding of how to lead your own process to best discover and serve your story.
  • The ability to strengthen your beats, analyze scenes for their strengths, harness dramatic action, and discover why you are writing – for this and any play you work on.

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