If you had 5-10 minutes in front of a captive audience to tell a story from your own life, what would you say? This class aims to help you figure that out. Drawing inspiration from some of the best live performers of personal narrative currently on the scene (Kevin Allison, Hannah Gadsby, Mike Birbiglia, Heidi Schreck), we’ll shape stories, piece by piece, into scripts that not only tell a dynamic story, but serve as the blueprint for a dynamic live performance. Just show up with your life experiences and the nerve to share them.
In the first few classes, we’ll focus on generating different pieces of your story with in-class writing prompts, before moving into a workshop phase that allows you to share and hear feedback from the group. The class will culminate in a live performance of the stories we’ve created.
Brendan Bourque-Sheil is a writer of plays and prose. His plays include The Book of Maggie (World Premiere at Stages Theatre, Chicago Premiere at Death and Pretzels Theatre Company), Between Two Caves (The Landing Theatre Company) and Sunrise Coven (World Premiere this Spring at Stages Theatre). He has served as Playwright-in-Residence and Literary Associate for The Landing Theatre Company, overseeing new play development for Houston playwrights. He has been a finalist for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award, the Houston Press Best New Play Award, and Southwest Theatre Productions’ “Plays With a Strong Female Lead” Competition. He’s a writer-in-residence for The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow, and a member of the Rec Room Writers Group. As a storyteller, he has appeared on World Channel’s Stories from the Stage, Tell & Act’s Story Night at Club Passim, and KPFT’s So What’s Your Story. He frequently contributes to the monthly live storytelling show Grown-up Storytime. For six years, he has worked as a teaching artist for The Alley Theatre, and a consultant in Creative Writing for the Kinder High School of Performing and Visual Arts. He hosted and produced The Landing Theatre New Works Podcast.