Class Type: Playwriting Genre Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome
When: Monday, January 24 @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm CT
(5:00pm PT, 6:00pm MT, 8:00pm ET)
Where: Online via Zoom, check out this quick video on the process.
Structure: Lecture/presentation, discussion, writing prompts, and exercises
Questions: Email Alayna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants must register to join this class, Sign Up at the bottom of the page.
“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” — James Baldwin
From Shakespeare’s Histories to August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle to the cultural juggernaut Hamilton, the stage is often a place where the past is reborn and reimagined. This seminar will focus on writing plays that are based on historical events or take place in historical time periods. Our discussion will dive into subjects including: how to find inspiration in historical figures, environments, and events; methods of engaging with history through archival research, oral histories, and community-based resources; aspects of craft like voice and dialogue, translation and reinterpretation, historical “authenticity,” and “out of time” elements in exploring the possibilities of dramatizing history; and perhaps most importantly, where history meets a contemporary audience and how to translate events of the past into a story that resonates today. Whether in the midst of crafting a historical piece or looking for inspiration for their next project, this seminar will give writers the tools to bring history into their work.
This Is the Class for You if You:
- Are interested in history
- Are wrestling with an idea that you suspect may pull you into the past.
- Are unsure how to engage with archives and historical resources.
- Are looking for unique ways to communicate history to a contemporary
What to Expect:
To think critically about how history is presented to us and how we shape that
To discuss your own ideas and interests, if you are comfortable doing so.
To leave with more questions than answers.
Important Things to Note:
- There is a pre-assignment for this seminar
- This spring semester, Raquel Almazan will be teaching Playwriting: Exploring the Writer’s Theatrical Voice (PWC 300) through the Playwrights' Center's University Course Program. If you have an interest in taking this semester-long class, contact the Director of University Programs and Partnerships, Sarah Myers.
- Payment plans are available as needed, please contact Membership Programs Associate, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, to discuss payment options
NOTE FROM P.C.
One of the most powerful things we can do as writers is to make someone see their place in the world differently. If we can change someone’s understanding of history, then we can influence how they view themselves and their role in shaping the future.
P.C. Verrone is a writer, theatrical artist, and storyteller born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Harvard University in 2018. His short plays Eve and The Son Also Rises were produced in the Blank Theater's Young Playwrights Festival. His play Calamus was workshopped by The Custom Made Theater and a semi-finalist for the 2017 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. His plays The Tamale Man and Slow Your Roll were featured in the Native Voices Short Play Festival. His four-part series, A Queer History of American Food, an exploration of LGBTQ+ history through iconic Amerian dishes, was produced by Center Theatre Group's Digital Stage in 2021 and is available on their Community Stories website.
Through his perspective as a queer man of mixed Black, Italian, Osage, and Kiowa heritage, he uses his work to explore and uplift underrepresented facets of American culture and history. Recently, his creative interests have focused on the intersections of race, coloniality, eco-justice, and queerness. The driving factor behind much of his work is building productive, supportive, and beautiful spaces.
He was recently selected as a participant in the inaugural Black Creatives Revision Workshop, a collaboration between We Need Diverse Books and Penguin Random House. He's currently working on a commission from the Urbanite Theater as well as his debut novel. When he isn't writing, he enjoys supporting local drag artists and baking with his fiancé.
Questions? Email Membership Programs Associate, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, at email@example.com