ONLINE SEMINAR: Writing For The Solo Performer

Taught by Jerome Fellow MK Tuomanen
Monday, April 1 @ 6:30pm - 8:30pm Central Time
Online via Zoom
$15 for Members, $20 for Non-Members

**Registration is now closed**


What are the ways a story can be wrapped around one performer? What happens when that performer is you? In this seminar, MK Tuomanen wants to examine works of solo performance. Students are encouraged to confront themselves playfully, writing from a place of honesty and vulnerability that celebrates experimentation and encourages bold artistic gestures. 

This class is for you if you:

  • Want to explore solo performance art.
  • Are straddling performance and writing.
  • Are willing to go into playful vulnerability to discover story.
  • Are stuck in your biographical and devised work.
  • Are interested in learning more about MK Toumanen’s work and approach to writing.

What to expect:

  • Sharing and discussing your work and the work of your peers.
  • Exploring and experiencing with prompts, tools, and inspiration for your solo work.
  • In-class reading and discussion of excerpts of plays using various forms of inspiration.

Important Things to Note:

  • When you sign up, you will receive an auto-confirmation email. About a week before the first session 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 within an hour of the session, please check your spam folder or reach out to Alayna and she will make sure you have the information you need for the seminar.
  • 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.


Class Type: Playwriting craft, genere               

Class Level: All levels are welcomed

Class Dates: Monday, April 1

Class Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm CT 

(4:30pm PT, 5:30pm MT, 7:30pm ET)

Where: Online via Zoom, check out this quick video on the process.

Structure: Lecture/presentation, Writing prompts, Exercises, In-class readings, 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.


Every body -- as in every person's body -- has stories in it. This class is meant to give ourselves tools to be gentle with unlocking those stories. It also helps us clarify how we can build a constellation of theme, character and humor out of what might otherwise be heavy memoir. Even if a story isn't personal, it becomes personal when you put it in a solo performer's body. This course will help you think about what your "skin in the game" is -- what are your personal stakes in telling this tale, and how can you design an experience for an audience and create a relationship with them that allows the story to sing? 


MK Tuomanen (they/them) is the 2017 recipient of the Haas Emerging Artist Award, named “Best Theater Artist” by Philadelphia Magazine in 2014. A graduate of the Lecoq School of Movement Theatre in Paris, they helped found two devising ensembles: Applied Mechanics, an immersive performance collective, and The Bearded Ladies, a queer experimental cabaret. In 2015, they cofounded Philadelphia’s first producing playwright’s collective, Orbiter 3, along with Maura Krause and playwrights James Ijames, Emma Goidel, Doug Williams, and Emily Acker. Their play Peaceable Kingdom, an allegorical retelling of William Penn’s arrival in Lenape lands, won the 2017 Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award, and was hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “deeply moving and utterly melancholy… with a sharp satirical edge.” In the same year, their play Marcus/Emma premiered at InterAct Theater and was nominated for the Independence Award for Best New Play. Says Tuomanen: “It was written from a place of urgency — a need for political and sexual liberation, a need to be released from cynicism into empowering joy.” Their solo show Hello! Sadness! was developed at the 2014 Dael Orlandersmith Solo Residency at the Kimmel Center, a performance described by critic Julius Ferraro as: “witty, wise, heroic, cruel.” An alum of The Foundry and InterAct Core Writers, Tuomanen’s work has been supported by Venturous Theatre Fund, the Philadelphia Foundation, and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. As a director, they have recently toured John Jarboe’s Rose: You Are Who You Eat to the Guggenheim Works and Process and Cultural DC. They are a practicing Quaker and were the 2018 Friend-In-Residence at Haverford College. Their current project, Night Science, is supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and has been developed at the Wilma Theatre. Instagram @m.tuomanen TikTock @mktuomanen

BACKGROUND: Purple to pink ombre PHOTO: MK, a white transmasc person with short blonde hair, stands in front of a white wall and looks through dappled shadows at the camera with a small grin