“Don’t make a wall of glass between your play and the people watching. Don’t forget they were once children, who enjoyed being read to, or sung to sleep.” – Sarah Ruhl
Playwrights have the enormous joy and responsibility of writing a blueprint: the origin of what will hopefully become a collaboration between actors, directors, and designers. The words on their pages need to exude so much life that the average reader may imagine the final product, fully formed. Playwriting is where architecture and alchemy meet.
In this nine-week workshop course, we will build a supportive writer’s room focused on theatrical exploration and experimentation, particularly through the lenses of character and setting. Time will be divided between the joint study of invigorating scenes from new playwrights in the professional sphere, as well as generative exercises and individual, close workshopping of pages written by the participants. First time playwrights (often disguised as fiction writers, poets, or screenwriters yearning to try their hand!) are welcome, as well as intermediate and advanced playwrights. The capstone goal for the course is the completion of a new ten minute play to be shared internally with the group. Professional local actors will appear in guest readings for the final celebration.
Elizabeth Ann Michaela Keel is a native Houstonian playwright,actor, director, producer, and novelist. Her plays have been read or produced by Rec Room, Tokyo International Players, The Studio Tierra Theatre Del Sol, Shattered Globe, Otherworld Theatre, Squeaky Bicycle, Fresh Produce’d (NYC), Growing Stage Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, Landing Theatre, Stages, Mildred’s Umbrella, METdance, Cone Man Running, Houston Contemporary Dance Company, Flexible Grey, and 14 Pews, among others. She currently works as a teaching artist for Grackle & Grackle, Stages, and Writers in the Schools. She is also proud to serve as an Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild. Her sci-fi play Override was selected as the second place winner for the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award in 2020. Upcoming projects may be found at elizabethamkeel.com.