“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
– Oscar Wilde
Playwrights have the enormous joy and responsibility of writing a blueprint: the origin of what will become a collaboration between actors, directors, and designers. Their words
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 ten-week workshop course, we will build a supportive writer’s room focused on the generation of a well-structured full length play, running between 75 & 90 minutes. Early sessions will focus on utlining the plot as well as close readings of professional scripts. There will be guided, generative exercises and group workshopping of preliminary scenes written by the articipants. There will be no meetings in the month of February in order to give students time to work and enjoy one-on-one conversations about their progress with Elizabeth. The group will congregate again in March and April, and each subsequent class will be dedicated to a staged reading and workshopping of one play, featuring local actors from Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company and the Houston community coming to the classroom. Actors and classmates will share their feedback and insights on each script. This rewarding class will require both courage and commitment.
Elizabeth Ann Michaela Keel is a native Houstonian, as well as a playwright, director, actress, dramaturg, producer, novelist, and teacher. Her plays have been read or produced by Shattered Globe Theatre, Rec Room, Otherworld Theatre Company, Stages Repertory Theatre, Mildred’s Umbrella, METdance, Squeaky Bicycle, Landing Theatre Company, Cone Man Running, This Is Water Theatre, Nova Arts Project, Fresh Produce’d (NYC), and 14 Pews, among others. She has published two novels for adults, and currently works as a teaching artist for Stages Repertory Theatre and Writers in the Schools. Her master’s thesis work focused on the encouragement of meaningful science fiction onstage. Her play Corona was invited to the inaugural Science Fiction Theatre symposium at the University of Toronto. She is proud to serve as an Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild, the Story Captain for lo-fi puppets, and as a script reader for the Alley Theatre. Some of her most important work has been mentoring young playwrights during her time with the education department at the Alley, Stages Repertory, and at the University of Houston. Upcoming projects may be found at elizabethamkeel.com.