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FOUNDATION COURSES | CORE WRITING WORKSHOPS | SPECIALTY WORKSHOPS & MASTER CLASSES

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FOUNDATION COURSES

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Please note: each writer in the Institute will need to take at least one foundation course before advancing to the more accelerated writing workshops. These courses can be taken simultaneously, and in the same semester as your first writing workshop in the Institute.


The Architecture of Plays

New for Spring 2017: In Person or Online
Closed

This is a course designed to acquaint dramatists at all levels of writing with a variety of dramatic structures that playwrights use in their narrative storytelling that enliven the world of their stories. The primary goal of this course is two fold: to understand how writers structure their stories to enhance all the elements of compelling storytelling and to build a critical vocabulary that will be useful when a writer discusses their own creative work in a workshop or production environment. We’ll look at different styles of storytelling, genres, techniques and alternative approaches to writing dramatic texts that will be helpful in discussion with future collaborators. And finally, the course will explore alternatives to traditional basic dramatic structure (i.e., the well made play), in such a way as to reinforce the strengths and weaknesses of what some consider the primary form.

IN PERSON AT THE GUILD

Instructor: Gary Garrison
Meeting time:  Tuesdays, 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $225 (DG members) $425 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 14, 2017
Limit: 25 Students

ONLINE

Instructor: Gary Garrison
Meeting time:  Wednesdays, 8:00pm - 10:00pm EST
Location: Online
Fee: $225 (DG members) $425 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 15, 2017
Limit: 15 Students
Note: Online courses will require students to participate with a camera and microphone enabled computer.


The Business of Writing for the Stage

Closed

Writing plays and musicals is not just an art, nor is it simply a skill. In a dramatist’s best-case scenario, it’s a business, as well. In fact, the business of playwriting influences the very nature of the art form, so an understanding of the theater business would seem an essential part of every playwright’s education. Unfortunately, it is all too often the case that writers remain ignorant of the standards in their own industry and so are left vulnerable to the greater forces at work. But writers can steel themselves against the ever dangerous “don’t worry, it’s a standard agreement” agreement, and the baseless “this is the way it’s done” claim, and the untrustworthy “don’t you trust me?” stare, simply by understanding what the standard business and legal principles of theatrical production are, and how those principles relate to them as writers for the stage.

Instructors: Ralph Sevush & David Faux
Meeting time: Mondays, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $225 (DG members) $425 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 13, 2017
Limit: 25 Students

Note: There will be no class on February 27th, our Annual Awards Night, nor on April 10th in observance of Passover.


Music Fundamentals for Writers

Closed

Ever wish as a wordsmith you could find the language to really communicate more effectively with your composer? This 10-week course will cover basics of music notation, ear training, melody, harmony and song structure. Weekly group singing exercises and listening exercises round out this course designed for playwrights, lyricists and librettists.

Instructor: Roland Tec
Meeting time: Wednesdays, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $225 (DG members) $425 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 15, 2017
Limit: 12 students


CORE WRITING WORKSHOPS


Writing Workshop I

New for Spring 2017: In Person or Online
Closed

From the genesis of an idea, through the conception of character and structure, to focusing on the conflict, this class will offer weekly exercises, constructive feedback, deadlines, support and community to get through that first draft of your new play. At some point in the class process, actors outside of class and drawn from the Manhattan community will be used to read your work. Class size is limited to 12, and every effort will be made to match skill levels among participants.

IN PERSON AT THE GUILD

Instructor: Stefanie Zadravec
Pre-requisite: Completion or simultaneous enrollment in at least one Foundation Course or permission of Institute Director
Meeting time: Sundays, 6:30pm - 9:30 pm
Location: The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $425 (DG members) $595 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 12, 2017
Limit: 12 students

ONLINE

Instructor: Andrea Lepcio
Pre-requisite: Completion or simultaneous enrollment in at least one Foundation Course or permission of Institute Director
Meeting time: Sundays, 7:00pm - 10:00pm EST
Location: Online
Fee: $425 (DG members) $595 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 12, 2017
Limit: 12 students.
Note: Online courses will require students to participate with a camera and microphone enabled computer


Writing Workshop II

Closed

Not sure where to go after the first act of your full-length play? Feeling stalled after feverishly writing pages and pages?  Do you need a critical eye as you maneuver around or try to avoid the second act slump? Writing Workshop II will offer weekly exercises, constructive feedback, deadlines, support and community to help you accomplish the complete first draft of your new play. By focusing on ways of strengthening character and structure, intensifying the conflict, enhancing the dramatic action and amplifying its theatricality, this weekly writing workshop will help you achieve the goal of satisfaction and completion of that elusive first draft.

Instructor: Deborah Zoe Laufer
Pre-requisite: Completion of Writing Workshop I or permission of Institute Director
Meeting time: Sundays, 1pm - 4pm
Location: The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $425 (DG members) $595 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 12, 2017
Limit: 12 students


SPECIALTY WORKSHOPS & MASTER CLASSES


Improvisation for Playwrights

Closed

Drawing on techniques used to develop material at theatres like Second City, the Groundlings and the Upright Citizens Brigade, Jeffrey Sweet leads a workshop in using improvisation to find new stories, develop characters and even write first drafts.  An award-winning playwright and the author of improv classic Something Wonderful Right Away (featured in Mike Birbiglia's film Don't Think Twice), plays developed in Jeff's previous workshops have been produced off-Broadway and on stages across the country.  Bring enthusiasm and digital recorders.

Instructor: Jeffrey Sweet
Meeting time: Sundays, 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Location:  The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $425 (DG members) $595 (non-members)
Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: February 12, 2017
Limit: 12 students


The Art of Rewriting

Closed

"My pencils outlast their erasers." - Vladimir Nabokov

Join Michele Lowe for The Art of Rewriting where you’ll be guided through the process of evaluating the latest draft of your play and starting a new one. Each week we’ll concentrate on another aspect of the rewrite from character to stakes to conflict and more. We’ll discuss what makes a scene great. You’ll have an opportunity to bring in rewrites and hear them.  You’ll do some in-class writing. The Art of Rewriting is not about tearing down your play; it’s about giving you tools to make the next draft a better one.

Instructor: Michele Lowe
Meeting time: Thursdays*, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:  The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $425 (DG members) $595 (non-members)
Duration: 6 weeks
Start Date: February 16, 2017
Limit: 12 students
*Note: Meeting dates for this course will be 2/16, 2/23, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/30


Master Class: Playwriting

Closed

Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony nominee Tina Howe will give students a dizzy writing exercise for a new ten minute play every week. These plays will then enjoy readings in the following class. Some will hopefully blossom into full lengths down the road. Given the present craze for ten minute play festivals, why not? The tone and range of our discussions will come from you, focusing on what you’re yearning for and how we can help you get there. A class field trip to an exciting new art show some Saturday or Sunday afternoon, is also a must. 

Instructor: Tina Howe
Pre-requisite: Required Interview
Meeting time: Thursdays, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:  The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $500 (DG members) $650 (non-members)
Duration: 6 weeks
Start Date: April 6, 2017
Limit: 10 students


Master Class: Writing for Musical Theatre

Closed

A weekend warrior class in writing book, lyrics, music. This course is for dramatists who have a musical in them, or want to discover the musical in them, waiting to be sung. Traditional showtune writers, avant garde performance piece writers, hip hop/funk/jazz writers (and more) are all welcome and encouraged to explore their unique voices in a three day workshop. You will work on individual and group exercises, so bring your open mind, your wide-eyed wonder, your sophistication, your sense of humor, your passion, but most of all, your willingness to work hard, have fun, and play! Kirsten Child’s purpose in teaching this class is threefold:  1) to instill the joy of crafting a musical, 2) to explore and develop real characters with real reasons to sing, and 3) to help people learn how to communicate with a collaborator.

Potential students will be single artists not with their collaborators. Students don’t have to be pianists, but they do have to have some skill at playing whatever is the instrument they use to compose. They also don’t have to be great at notation, but it would be advantageous if they could at least do lead sheets.  The words-people don’t have to be formal lyricists.

Instructor: Kirsten Childs
Pre-requisite: Required Interview
Meeting times: March 10th (6pm - 9pm), March 11th (1pm - 4pm), March 12th (1pm - 4pm)
Location:  The Mary Rodgers Room, 1501 Broadway, 7th floor
Fee: $400 (DG members) $550 (non-members)
Duration: 3 classes over one weekend, 9 hours total
Start Date: March 10th
Limit: 10 students