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Writing Workshop: Sylvan Oswald

Jun 23 2012 - 12:00pm -- 3:00pm

New Dramatists is thrilled to announce our FINAL low-cost writing workshop of the season with Sylvan Oswald's 'FINDING YOUR PLAY WITH FOUND TEXT'. There will not be another workshop like this one until the Fall...

Sylvan's workshop will take place this SATURDAY, JUNE 23RD from 12-3pm at New Dramatists (424 West 44th street) and costs just $40.

This workshop is part of a dual-service program created by the members of New Dramatists. We offer the general public unique, 3-hour long writing classes led by our award-winning playwrights and master instructors - all for just $40. ALL of the proceeds go toward an emergency fund for in-need writers who apply...

Thus far, our monthly workshops have sold-out - for placement please write to us at ndworkshops@yahoo.com immediately.

FINDING YOUR PLAY WITH FOUND TEXT

Led by Sylvan Oswald

Learn techniques for getting outside your own brain to jump-start the writing process. As writers, we are constantly borrowing and stealing from the greats. Consider this workshop like your bandit’s toolkit. Whether you’re struggling with getting started or with the language, story, character, action, conflict, or even setting of a going project, working with a found text can help unlock your play. By subverting your usual thought process, and with a nod to the Surrealists, you can surprise yourself with solutions that were not initially apparent. Instructor Sylvan Oswald has collected these techniques in writing his recent plays.

Supplies: This workshop embraces writers at any stage of a project, from Blank Slate to In Deep. Bring *photocopied* pages from one or more texts that inspire or haunt you/this project. Maybe it’s a writer who sits on your shoulder. Maybe it’s a play that is doing what you want your play to be doing. Maybe it’s an article that expresses the essence of your project. Maybe it’s some old instructional manual you find enigmatic or disturbing – even if you’re not sure how it connects. How many pages to bring? Five pages if the pages are dense with text, ten pages if they are sparsely populated (as in, say, a play). Poetry is often not ideal for these exercises as it’s usually already so pared down. Texts with archaic, stodgily translated, or specialized language; Non-fiction or journalism; fictional/dramatic works written before contemporary times are strongly encouraged as texts to bring.

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Sylvan Oswald creates plays, texts, and publications. His plays are often set in Philadelphia, his hometown. Sylvan is the author of Mystery plays: Profanity, Nightlands, and Sun Ra; Romance plays: Pony, Vendetta Chrome, and Painful Adventures; and Philadelphia plays: Plutonics, Two Spent Swimmers, Desmond..., and Goat Songs. Recent collaborations include text for puppet-theater artist Dan Hurlin’s Disfarmer at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2009, and Zoetrope, a music-theater work in progress with composer/director Alec Duffy and designer Mimi Lien. Sylvan is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, a Six Points Fellow for 2010-2012 and the Dorothy B. Strelsin Playwriting Fellow at Soho Rep for 2010-2011. He is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship from The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, a Thurber House Playwriting Fellowship from The Ohio State University, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Dramatists Guild. Sylvan’s plays have been produced by About Face Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, and New Georges. His work has been workshopped or developed with The Foundry Theatre, Hangar Theatre, McCarter Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, and Page 73 Production’s I73 Writing Group, among others. Sylvan created Play A Journal of Plays with Jordan Harrison and currently teaches playwriting at Barnard College, Mount Holyoke, and at Purchase College/SUNY.

Event Details
  • Location
    424 West 44th Street, New York, NY
  • Open to the Public
 
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