ONLINE SEMINAR: Oral History in Our Plays

Taught by Core Writer Riti Sachdeva
Monday, November 21st from 7:00pm - 9:00pm CT
Online via Zoom
$10 for Members, $20 for Non-Members

Class Type: Writing Craft                     

Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome

Class Dates: Monday, November 21st

Class Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm 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, Q&A, In-class videos

Questions: Email Alayna, Membership Programs Manager at

Captioning: For all sessions, we enable Zoom's auto-generated captioning. However, live captioning can be requested (with 2-weeks' notice) via the Membership Programs Participation Form shared in the detailed confirmation email.

Recordings: If you cannot attend a portion of the seminar, we have a Teaching Assistant and/or PWC facilitator taking in-depth notes. These written notes will be shared with all participants at the end of each session. (We record all of our sessions for internal use only. We do not share recordings with participants.)

Participants must register to join this class, Sign Up at the bottom of the page.


How is oral history intentionally and unintentionally part of our plays? How can we cultivate listening for oral history and transfer it to our scripts? What are ethical methods for oral history stories? Through discussion and examples, we'll design a collective and individual practice.

This Is the Seminar for You if You:

  • Are a community organizer, historian, playwright working in new forms, podcaster, writer of marginalized people, writer of site-specific and community-specific work.
  • Are interested in the ethics of using other's oral stories in your work.
  • Are writing historical pieces.
  • Are writing about a community or experience different than your own.

What to Expect:

  • Consider what is oral history and how it can be developed into theatrical form.
  • Discuss different types of oral history plays and understand how they may differ in approach and intent.
  • Explore and expand the ethical process for creating oral history plays.

Important Things to Note:

  • When you sign up, you will receive an auto-confirmation email. The next business day you will receive a detailed confirmation email with important information about the seminar including (1) Membership Programs Participation Form (2) The Zoom link (3) Pre-assignments from the instructor and (4) Information about the PWC Membership and Education Team. If you have not received this email by the next business day, please check your spam folder or reach out to Alayna and she will make sure you have the information you need for the seminar or class.
  • All participants must complete and submit a Membership Programs Participation Form for each seminar or class they want to attend. A link to this form is included in the detailed confirmation email.


Many of my ideas, characters, locations, and metaphors come from oral histories I've conducted or information I realized, in retrospect, was oral history. It is a way I contribute to making sure that the "unwritten is not written out." 


As a performance maker and cultural worker, Riti Sachdeva has been creating art in some shape, pattern, or rhythm for over twenty-five years. Incorporating text, installation, song, and dance into her writing and performance, she straddles the practices and conventions of traditional U.S. theater, performance art, and international approaches to theater. Interweaving the personal, political, and arcane, she has crafted the singular Indo-Gothic aesthetic of her work. 

Playwriting fellowships include: the Dramatists Guild Fund, which awarded her the 2019 Thom Thomas playwriting award; The Public Theater’s EWG; WP Theater Lab; Ingram New Works Lab; and New Georges. She is recipient of the Kennedy Center ACTF Quest for Peace award and Sultan Padamsee award for her play Parts of Parts & Stitches and a Theater Communications Group/Mellon Foundation travel grant to begin adapting her play Suicide Seed to the kathakali dance-theater form. Her play The Rug Dealer made the 2016 Kilroys List. Additionally, plays have been developed by Phoenix Theater, Working Theater, CenterStage, The Civilians, the Playwrights’ Center, NNPN, U of Hawai’i, and Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. 

Acting/performance highlights include work with National Hispanic Cultural Center, PopUp Theatrics, Honest Accomplice, HBO, Disney, lots of cool indie films, and an Outstanding One Act award from Planet Connections for her performance art show Scene/Unseen. She continues to develop her solo show BEHIND EVERY FAVORITE SONG IS AN UNTOLD WOMAN, part cabaret, part memoir, part mythicism.

As a cultural worker, Riti was a sexuality educator with South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) in Queens; a teaching artist and community organizer with Somos Los Otros and Cambio in Albuquerque; and a founding sister of South Asian Women for Action (SAWA) in Boston. Her cultural works activate the crossroads of solidarity; economic, gender, and racial justice; and the arts—with intergenerational, cross-cultural, transnational communities.

Instagram @midniteschild

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Questions? Email Membership Programs Manager, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, at

Headshot of Riti Sachdeva wearing a black leather jacket in front of a white background.