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Playwriting with Purpose

How and Why We Do It with Paul Michael Thomson

  • Starts Jul 6
  • 240 US dollars
  • The Forge

Available spots

Service Description

In this six-week workshop-based course, students will learn (or relearn!) some of the fundamental building blocks of playwriting. What are the key elements of a play? How do we reveal character through behavior instead of description? And what the heck makes something "theatrical"? Through in-session writing prompts, out-of-class assignments, and facilitated feedback sessions, we will move thoughtfully through the earliest stages of a new draft. By the end of the six weeks, each playwright should have a solid foundation from which to jump to finish a first draft—using dramatic structure to create theatrical magic. Week 1: An Introduction to Plays and Each Other Introductions, intention & outcome setting, intro to dramatic structure Week 2: The Free Write Explore one of the fundamentals of playwriting—the free write Week 3: The Workshop Part I (Hear your work aloud) Facilitate feedback and constructive connections & questions Week 4: The Workshop Part II Students bring in either new scenes or reworked scenes from Week 3 Week 5: The Workshop Part III Students bring in either new scenes or reworked scenes from Weeks 3 and 4 Week 6: The Dramatic Arc & Going Forward Placing your works into the context of the play as the whole Paul Michael Thomson (he/him) is a playwright, performer, producer, and PhD student based in Chicago. His plays have been produced throughout Chicago and the U.S., including his most recent work brother sister cyborg space at Raven Theatre. As a teaching artist, he has taught at Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, About Face Theatre, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and his home-away-from-home, The Forge. As an actor, he has worked with Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and Drury Lane Oakbrook, among others. Paul Michael is a proud co-founder and Governing Ensemble member of The Story Theatre, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and producing the next canon of powerful Chicago plays. Currently pursuing his PhD in Afro-American Studies and a graduate certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Paul Michael's research investigates the Black Arts Movement theatre of the 1960s and 70s to better understand the relationship between creative practice and racial justice. He has received research fellowships from the New York Public Library, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, and more.

Upcoming Sessions

Contact Details

  • 2424 West Montrose Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA

    (773) 302-7405

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