Dramatists Guild National Conference

2018 Conference Schedule

Thursday, July 26th

  • 12pm-1:30pm — CLE - Estate Planning for Dramatists

    Description coming soon

  • 12pm-4:30pm — Paula Vogel Boot Camp (submissions closed)

    Paula has been conducting these Boot Camps for playwrights since 1984 and has also held sessions with veterans, women in maximum security prisons, subscribers at not-for-profit theatres, board members, high school students and teachers, designers and graphic artists, and drama critics.

    Participants: Paula Vogel

  • 1:30pm-3pm — Sexual Harassment in the Theatre

    Join Guild staff and industry leaders in a frank discussion of theatre in the age of #MeToo. Learn about The Lilly Awards’ latest initiatives, and find out what resources are available to dramatists who may not be covered by traditional employment law.

    Participants: Hannah Fenlon, Julia Jordan

  • 1:30pm-3pm — A Survival Guide to Rehearsals

    Even seasoned playwrights can suddenly find things going very wrong during the rehearsal process. As outlined in Jon’s new book, Life as a Playwright: A Survival Guide, this session will highlight potential problems, so that playwrights at all levels can be more prepared for the warning signs. Also, what is the playwright’s relationship to the director and actors? Issues regarding communication and rehearsal protocol will be outlined at this informative session.

    Participants: Jon Klein

  • 1:30pm-3pm — Geek Theatre

    We’ll be talking about how geek theater is actually just theater – duh – but also how certain genres generate passionate fandoms – and how writers can use that connection to create experiences that exceed most traditional theatergoers’ expectations.

    Participants: Crystal Skillman, Mac Rogers, Matthew Cox

     

  • 3pm-4:30pm — Author As CEO

    The Author as CEO will review the main points of dealing with your portfolio as intellectual property assets. A question and answer period will follow the discussion. This highly informative and entertaining event has been previously presented, to great success, in regional town hall meetings all across the country.

    Participants: Dave Faux

     

  • 3pm-4:30pm — Legal Clinics

    Back by popular demand! In this town hall style meeting, attendees can ask all their burning questions in an open forum. “When is the best time to copyright my work?” “What is a ‘story by’ credit” or “Do I need a collaboration agreement with my director?” Come and ask a question, or just sit and listen. Everyone is bound to learn a little something.

  • 4:30pm-6pm — The Dramatist LIVE!

    The Dramatist LIVE endeavors to celebrate theatre writers and to foster a local and national community among artists. Using a format inspired by the bi-monthly The Dramatist, we “publish” our popular roundtables and other features live in an interactive, unedited event featuring some of today’s most exciting dramatists.

  • 7:30pm-10pm — How to be A Respectable Junkie

    HOW TO BE A RESPECTABLE JUNKIE is a one-person show based on the true story of a man from Northeast Ohio who overcame heroin addiction. At times humorous, others heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful, HTBARJ takes an intimate look into the troubled soul of a man caught in heroin’s deadly grip. A talkback with playwright and actor follows the 80-minute performance.

    Participants: Greg Vovos, Christopher M. Bohan

     

Friday, July 27th

  • 10am-12pm — Legal Clinics

    Back by popular demand! In this town hall style meeting, attendees can ask all their burning questions in an open forum. “When is the best time to copyright my work?” “What is a ‘story by’ credit” or “Do I need a collaboration agreement with my director?” Come and ask a question, or just sit and listen. Everyone is bound to learn a little something.

  • 10am-11am — Self-Producing Workshop: Finance and Marketing

    Tired of waiting for someone else to produce your work, but eager to avoid the appearance of a “vanity project?” Sit down with a group of respected writer/producers and learn how to create your own opportunities.

    Participants: Jeff Sweet, Amy Drake, Sheila Curran Bernard, Yvette Heyliger

  • 10am-11am — How to Submit Your Plays

    You hear it all the time: the only difference between unproduced playwrights and produced playwrights is that produced playwrights get their work seen by decision makers. That translates to submissions, which can be daunting. This session covers resources for finding opportunities, tips for easier submission, success stories from cold calls, and Q&A.

    Participants: Donna Hoke, Stephen Kaplan

  • 10am-11am — Original Source Material: Adapt it, or Interpret it?

    Panelists will discuss acquiring/optioning original material. How to tackle the source material as a faithful adaptation or a creative interpretation. Knowing your audience of both the source material and your new presentation of it. The panel will discuss optioning copywritten and public domain properties, understanding the audience of the previous material and your intended audience of the new play, the difference between “”adapting”” and “”interpreting”, “Sizing down”” a book, “Expanding” a short story, poem or news article, “Killing” characters, Diversity choices and changing endings. The panelists are Lydia Diamond, Kate Hamil and David Paterson.

    Participants: David Paterson, Kate Hamil, Lydia Diamond

  • 10am-11am — Navigating Inclusion and Representation

    On stages and behind the scenes, the international theater community is experiencing a revolution in representation. Just this month, the Montreal run of Robert Lepage’s SLAV was cut short due to protests over a primarily white cast portraying enslaved people throughout the ages. Here in the States, the DG and the first amendment protect your right to write whatever you choose. But just because you can write something, should you? What are your thoughts about cultural appropriation? When we ask Can I write this, to whom are we asking that question? Whom are we empowering to answer? Join Dael Orlandersmith, Winter Miller and others in a wide-ranging discussion of dramatists’ rights and responsibilities in the current culture.

    Participants: Dael Orlandersmith, Winter Miller, Christine Toy Johnson, Candece Tarpley

  • 11am-12pm — How to Build a Playwrights' Collective

    What is a playwrights collective, and how can I start one? Join Winter Miller (13P), Mike Lew (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh (The Lark) and Gwydion Suilebhan (The Welders) for a Q&A about what happens when writers take the helm and guide their own work into production. How do playwrights secure financing? Who determines the division of labor? When is the right time to implode? Is there still a role for the developmental reading, or is production the key to unlocking new work? Join us and add your own questions to this informative discussion.

    Participants: Gwydion Suilebhan, Lloyd Suh, Mike Lew, Winter Miller, Penny Pun

  • 11am-12pm — How to Write the Political Play

    History and politics have served as inspiration for countless stories. During this panel discussion, we will explore where to find story ideas, what makes a compelling story, researching the political figure or event that inspires a dramatic story, the different types of historical or political dramas, keeping your story active, challenges, setting goals, and dealing with audience expectations.

    Participants: Robert Schekkan, Idris Goodwin, Kia Corthron, Kira Obolensky

  • 11am-12pm — Playwrights Who Teach: Building a New Play Festival

    In this session, we will discuss negotiating the sometimes tricky balance between one’s own plays and teaching writing. And hopefully how producing student work through festivals, while a lot of work, can be an important part of growing a theatre program.

    Participants: Gino Dilorio, Pamela Turner, Padraic Lillis, Gary Garrison, Chisa Hutchinson

  • 11am-12pm — Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez: On Collaboration (BMI)

    Join Pat Cook, Director of BMI, as he chats with two of the most vibrant, vital dramatists in the American theatre today, Bobby Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen, Finding Nemo, Winnie the Pooh). They’ll discuss their new projects as well as what they believe makes for a successful writing team with music and story.

    Participants: Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Pat Cook

  • 11am-12pm — DGI Meetup

    The Dramatists Guild Institute (DGI) has offered classes and workshops to over 300 students over the last two years – join us at this session to learn about what makes the DGI so exciting. Gary Garrison, Director of the DGI, will host, joined by Associate Director Tari Stratton and Executive Administrator Jordan Stovall. Open to both past and prospective students, this session is your chance to hear about what the DGI is doing to help you move forward in your craft and your career.

    Participants: Tari Stratton, Jordan Stovall, Gary Garrison

  • 12pm-1pm — Playwright Submission Binge Meetup

    The Playwright Submission Binge (The Binge) is an international online community focused on marketing for playwrights. This event is an opportunity for Guild Members who are also members of the Binge to meet in person. The Binge started in 2003, with just a dozen writers, and has grown to include than 1,000 members from around the world.

    Participants: Donna Hoke, Patrick Gabrige

  • 1pm-2:30pm — Can I Do That? At the Crossroads of Copyright and Free Expression

    The Guild’s legal staff will discuss a a range of topics covering the nuts and bolts of the playwriting business, addressing such questions as, “How much of a song/lyric/poem/photograph/biography can I include in my play without permission?” “Can a public figure sue me if I write a play about them?” “Can you copyright a title?” They will gladly take your related questions, but since they are lawyers, the answer is likely to be “it depends.”

  • 2:30pm-4pm — New Music-Theatre

    American musical theater has begun to manifest musical and theatrical qualities that are often associated with classical opera and alternative music-theater, offering a variety of techniques for telling stories through music. This interactive conversation will clarify genre distinctions, note stylistic influences, and offer participants a “visual map” that will help them understand where new American music-theater is headed.

    Participants: Ben Kywosz

  • 2:30pm-4pm — Writers on the Storm

    As the oceans rise and grow warmer, more and more of us find ourselves in the path of lethal storms. How do playwrights respond to hurricanes (and by extension all natural / man-made disasters), be it as artists, first responders, educators, or political activists? What is the playwright’s responsibility (if any) and what impact does the playwright’s response have?

    Participants: Raquel Almazan, Rob Florence, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Arthur Jolly, Tere Martinez, Dewey Davis Thompson, Gary Garrison

  • 2:30pm-4pm — Ten Minute Musical

    The ten minute musical can be your diversion, your calling card or your cottage industry. No matter what purpose it serves you, it is always an art form in and of itself. Award winning musical theater writers Timothy Huang and Sara Wordsworth share their tricks of the trade on the why and how to craft a top notch short-form musical.

    Participants: Timothy Huang, Sara Wordsworth

  • 2:30pm-4pm — Finding Your Audience

    You’ve finished writing your final draft. Instead of wondering who will produce your show, we propose asking yourself, who is the audience? Panelists will offer examples of how their work found audiences through marketing and outreach including internet fandoms, Soundcloud, webseries and more. Learn how to build a fan base for your show that can sustain you for years to come.

    Participants: Joe Iconis, Charlayne Woodard, Don Zolidis, Susan Miller, Tina Fallon (moderator), Ted Swindley

  • 4pm-5:30pm — Build Your Own Empire: Indie Publishing in the Digital Age

    Don’t wait for a publisher to discover you. Take control and do it yourself! USA Today bestselling author Kate Danley will guide you through the tricks of the trade. Learn the nuts and bolts of how to transform your Word file into an ebook or paperback and self-publish it online!

    Participants: Kate Danley

  • 4pm-5:30pm — New Play Exchange Works-in-Progress Discovery Session

    This year, National New Play Network and the New Play Exchange are thrilled to host a Works-in-Progress Discovery Sessions. Just as the New Play Exchange has helped thousands of plays get discovered by readers and theaters across the country, this session will give playwrights the opportunity to share a short excerpt of their work, receive some feedback from fellow DG Conference attendees, and meet the work of their colleagues! Each selected writer will share up to 10 minutes of work with the group and ask one essential question of the room. Writers can either bring readers along, or cast from the group assembled.

    Participants: Gwydion Suilebhan

  • 4pm-5:30pm — Art is the Best Teacher: Creative Youth Development Through Theater

    Learn how what we do as playwrights, artists, and educators can be used to teach students effectively according to research and statistics. Using celebrated Creative Youth Development programs as models, we’ll cover the science of learning, theater as curriculum, and how to use CYD to mentor youth into not just successful artists, but community leaders and engaged human beings.

    Participants: Rick Stemm, Reg Flowers

  • 4pm-5:30pm — Art of the Synopsis (or: Are we there yet?)

    You’ve written the play. You know it’s fabulous. But a brilliant script that hasn’t been read is just another script in your drawer. A strong synopsis can be the key to getting your script read. Submit your synopsis (250 word max.) by July 15th for a chance to be a synopsis guinea pig. Following a discussion of the submitted synopses, Roland will lead the group in some short-form exercises designed to hone in on the essentials of solid synopsis writing. [EMAIL: guildstaffmemberTBD@dramatistsguild.com]

    Participants: Roland Tec

  • 4pm-5:30pm — Myth of Broadway

    This panel, featuring Stephen Schwartz and Sara Wordsworth, is designed to debunk some of the misconceptions about having your work produced on Broadway, as well as offering tips on how to use any production, on Broadway or in a tiny theater, as a branding opportunity for your work.

    Participants: Christopher Diaz, Stephen Schwartz, Sara Wordsworth, Tod London

  • 5:30pm-7pm — Writing for High School/YA

    Don Zolidis, John Cariani and Arlene Hutton are three of the most-produced playwrights in America. How do they do it? Their work has been embraced by a generation of young theater artists and the 30,000,000 people who come to see school theater each year. Learn how your work can be adapted to create a sustainable income stream – and a loving fan base – that will support you throughout your career.

    Participants: Don Zolidis, Arlene Hutton, John Cariani

  • 5:30pm-7pm — Women Mentoring Women

    This workshop offers a hands-on look at Woman to Woman, a mentorship program for playwrights and theatre artists, and Maestra: a mentorship program for female composers. Participants will learn the ins and outs of how to form a support group in their own community, as well as be engaged in a conversation about power and status in mentor relationships.

    Participants: Annie Eliot, Pamela Turner, Gabriella Fulton, Georgia Stitt

  • 5:30pm-7pm — Writing Traditions and Rituals for the Stage with Anita Gonzalez

    A working session about incorporating myth, ritual and cultural symbols in writing for the stage. As more diverse communities bring stories to the stage, writers face the challenge of finding new narrative forms for incorporating movement or ritual motifs into their work. In this session, we share strategies and writing techniques.

    Participants: Anita Gonzalez

  • 5:30pm-7pm — MFA Q&A with Goddard College

    Description coming soon

  • 7-10pm — NNPN Presentation

    This year, National New Play Network and the New Play Exchange are thrilled to host a Works-in-Progress Discovery Sessions. Just as the New Play Exchange has helped thousands of plays get discovered by readers and theaters across the country, this session will give playwrights the opportunity to share a short excerpt of their work, receive some feedback from fellow DG Conference attendees, and meet the work of their colleagues! Each selected writer will share up to 10 minutes of work with the group and ask one essential question of the room. Writers can either bring readers along, or cast from the group assembled.

    Participants: Gwydion Suilebhan

  • 7:30-10pm — Monologue Project

    Join us for The Monologue Project’s New York debut. The Monologue Project aims to increase the number of audition-length monologues available to Women of the African Diaspora. With performances having taken place in Pittsburgh and Dallas over the last year, The Monologue Project has facilitated conversations on the essential role of black women in America by joining in solidarity with the woman-driven activism of movements like Black Lives Matter. Dramatists Guild writers from across the country — including such luminaries as Amy Evans, Pia Wilson, Charlayne Woodard, Mfoniso Udofia, Cori Thomas and Chisa Hutchinson — have contributed their work to this collection of new audition-length pieces for Women of the African Diaspora.

     

  • 9-10pm — ASCAP

    The DG ASCAP Songwriters Showcase features songs by Dramatists Guild members from across the country who are attending the National Conference. Chosen from more than 100 submissions by a national committee of musical theatre artists and Michael Kerker, ASCAP’s Vice President of Musical Theatre and Cabaret, the concert features the work of Danny Abosch, Kimberly Aldrich-Ceja, Stephen Burns, Michael Finke, Anita Gonzalez and Dan Furman, Holly Yurth Harmon, Pat Hazell and Lawrence Goldberg, Weiko Lin and Christopher Wong, Janine McGuire and Arri Lawton Simon, and Colleen Porter. The showcase will be performed by guest artists under the musical direction of DG member Diana Lawrence.

Saturday, July 28th

  • 9am-10am — Breakfast

    Description coming soon

  • 10am-11am — Rock Your Writing

    Musicality is inescapable and specific to where and when you were born and how you experience the world. The same is true of your characters. Explore ways to capture unique rhythms and tonalities by understanding the newly identified key elements of musicality found in non-musical – and musical – playwriting.

    Participants: Andy Landis

  • 10am-11am — Networking and Follow-Up

    You’ve been following good submission habits for years, and are now ready for some next steps. We’ll talk about making the most of conferences, meeting follow-ups, travel, email queries, realistic expectations, and more.

    Participants: Donna Hoke, Stephen Kaplan, Patrick Gabrige, Chisa Hutchinson

  • 10am-11am — Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty songwriting workshop (submissions closed)

    Tony-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty will critique the songs of three participants and discuss musical dramatization and craft.

    Participants: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

  • 10am-11am — The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

    Journalists Isaac Butler and Dan Kois set out to write an article about Angels in America. Their reporting led to a book-length oral history of the influential play. The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America “conveys, on a granular level, the determination, heartbreak and competitive fire that go into making great theater.” — San Francisco Chronicle

    Join the authors in a discussion of the joy and heartbreak experienced by all writers (and their collaborators) on the road to making “the great work.”

    Participants: Dan Kois, Isaac Butler, Jose Solís

  • 11am-12pm — Modern Audio Drama

    Panelists representing a wide-range of areas in audio-drama will discuss the craft of audio-drama writing, how to compile a pitch for a new audio-drama series, and where to find script submission opportunities. The session will feature hands-on adapting of stage plays and fiction into audio-drama scripts.

    Participants: Barry Putt, Claudia Catania, Mac Rogers, Chisa Hutchinson

  • 11am-12pm — Director/Dramatist Exchange (submissions closed)

    Join us for the first DG National Director/Dramatist Exchange at the National Conference. This is an opportunity to connect directors interested in developing new work with writers interested in adding their voices to the American theatre. Over the years, several fruitful collaborative teams have been borne through these events. The Exchange session will be moderated by DG Regional Representatives Gab Cody (Pittsburgh) and Stephen Kaplan (New Jersey).

     

  • 11am-12pm — Late Style and Ageism in the Arts

    The prevailing notion of “career” assumes a youthful breakout, a mid-life peak and, the inevitable, decline (neatly encoding ageism, in this trajectory). In contrast, the idea of Late Style describes a non-predetermined, cyclical and more startling path. In his last work, On Late Style, the great cultural critic Edward Said analyses the astonishing power of the last works of “great artists,” Beethoven, Euripides, Ibsen, Moliere among his examples. Leaving aside the notion of “greatness”, the late style artist has worked an entire life attaining a mastery that now can be broken through with reckless daring; themes and structures recombined, dissonance and resonance co-exist. Contrary to idea of “past her prime”, Late Style proposes enormous cultural worth of these last works. Said writes: “Lateness is being at the end, fully conscious, full of memory, and also very (even preternaturally aware) of the present.” We propose a discussion of late style in the context of contemporary American theater.

    Participants: Karen Malpede, Penny Arcade

  • 11am-12pm — Q&A with Stephen Schwartz and Timothy Huang

    Participants: Stephen Schwartz, Timothy Huang

  • 11am-12pm — Parenting

    Join Mike Lew and Sara Wordsworth in an open forum on parenting in the arts. We will discuss the wide variety of challenges parents face while trying to maintain momentum in their careers. We will share some hard-won techniques for staying sane (and solvent), and explore the latest resources available to parents, including the Lilly-Ruhl Fund, the Family Residency at Space on Ryder Farm and more.

    Participants: Mike Lew, Sara Wordsworth

  • 12pm-1pm — Lunch

    Description coming soon

  • 1pm-2:30pm — Writing Wrongs: Power of Writing and Underserved Communities

    Join moderator Francesca Piantadosi, who has been teaching in prison for seven years, as she discusses her work with underserved communities. Francesca will be joined by Robbie Pollock, an advocate of criminal justice reform and its intersection with the arts (currently the Prison Writing Coordinator at PEN America); Lisa Carling, who helps design and implement services that make theatre performances more accessible to people with disabilities on Broadway, off-Broadway, and nationwide; and Maurice Decaul, a former Marine, poet, essayist, and playwright whose writing has been featured in the New York Times and who has served as Artist-in-Residence for the Veterans and Theatre Institute at TCG. While the focus is on teaching the underserved, you’ll be learning writing techniques that could help in your own career.

    Participants: Francesca Piantadosi, Robert Pollock, Lisa Carling, Maurice DeCaul

  • 1pm-2:30pm — Cybersecurity for Writers 1

    Description coming soon

  • 1pm-2:30pm — Monologue Project Workshop

    Join the organizers, advisory committee and select playwrights of The Monologue Project for a hands-on workshop examining the playwright’s role in creating a more equitable and representative theater. Mary C. Parker of Just Collaborations will lead a guided workshop in which attending Dramatists Guild members participate. Come prepared to listen, actively brainstorm, offer opinions, and work as a group to uncover a new methodology for the writer’s role in creating and sustaining a diverse world on the stage.

    Participants: Yvette Heyliger, Morgan Macguire, Ife Olujobi, Gab Cody, Teresa Coleman Wash

  • 1pm-2:30pm — The Art of the Side Hustle

    You dream of having open-ended time with nothing to do but write, but unless you’re independently wealthy or you have a generous benefactor, you probably spend some part of your day trying to generate income. Learning how to balance the creative space and the hustle can be a career in and of itself. Where’s the money?

    Partipants: Georgia Stitt, Khiyon Hursey, Emily Gardner Xu Hall

  • 1pm-2:30pm — Mock Negotiations

    The Guild’s legal staff will guide writers through a rollicking role-playing exercise in mock negotiations to demonstrate the various styles used in contract negotiations and the substantive issues involved with typical playwright agreements, including collaboration agreements and production contracts. Hijinks will ensue. Questions are encouraged.

  • 2:30pm-4pm — Cybersecurity for Writers 2

    Description coming soon

  • 2:30pm-4pm — New Plays in Non-Traditional Spaces

    In this interactive workshop, participants will acquire the basics of writing site-specific/immersive plays. They will learn how to identify non-theatre spaces as possible performance spaces and how to tailor their writing to an exact place. During this session, playwrights will use devising techniques to inspire character and story, then develop ideas and begin writing a monologue for a found space. We will also discuss how to access non-traditional performance spaces by partnering with businesses and non-profits.

    Participants: Nichole Palmietto, Neeley Gossett, Reg Flowers

  • 2:30pm-4pm — Casting: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    This panel will discuss the pros and cons that dramatists face when making race, gender, and other requirements when casting the work. Playwrights Christine Toy Johnson and Charlayne Woodard, along with attorney Dave Faux explore the present gray area between the artist’s vision and potentially discriminatory language. You will learn about the legal parameters of Title VII and its associated guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as the importance of the “bona fide occupational qualification.” The panel will also explore the implications of censored and compelled speech.

    Participants: Charlayne Woordard, Dave Faux, Tod London, Christine Toy Johnson

  • 2:30pm-4pm — Start Talking Music Today (For writers who love music but have no idea how to talk about it.)

    Music may be a language you’re not familiar with but music certainly moves you. If you have ears and a heart and a brain, Roland Tec is here to convince you you have a right to your opinions. In this participatory introduction, Roland will outline the basics of how music is organized and composed so that you can begin a journey of discovery aimed at helping you identify the musical elements at play in shaping your emotional response to every piece of music you ever hear.

    Participants: Roland Tec

  • 4pm-7pm — Devised Theatre Conference

    Theatre has always been a collaborative process. But what happens when the collaboration expands beyond our traditional definitions?  Join us for panel discussions that will try and shed some light on this burgeoning form of theatre, and hear about the innovative resources recently promulgated by the Dramatists Guild. In attendance will be representatives from the Playwrights Guild of Canada, The Swedish Drama Guild, and the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. Joining us from our own backyard will be The Public Theater, Tectonic Theater Group, Pig Iron, and other special guests.

  • 4pm-5:30pm — Emotional Intelligence and Writing Success

    How Emotional Intelligence can make you and your writing better! This enlightening, entertaining, interactive session provides a focus on the concept of emotional intelligence, its importance, how it is measured and improved, and the powerful results it has on you and your characters. You will leave with your emotional profile and what it means for your life and career.

    Participants: Pamela Turner, Brent Darnell

  • 4pm-5:30pm — Gary Garrison Structure Workshop

    In this workshop, playwrights will be introduced to structuring their plots more efficiently and effectively. Character and setting will be developed as elements that convey forces which converge to form rising action that leads to a satisfying climax.

    Participants: Gary Garrison

  • 5:30pm-7pm — Gender Identity and Expression in the Theatre

    As society seems increasingly more permissive, and subjects historically close to the LGBTQ+ writers seem almost mainstream, what new challenges do LGBTQ+ writers face when writing stories based on gender and/or sexuality?

    Participants: Reg Flowers, Kit Yan, Azure Osborne-Lee

  • 5:30pm-7pm — Creating Site-Specific Museum Plays

    Museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions provide additional avenues for playwrights to create theatrical work (and get paid). McGuire & Simon will discuss creating their immersive musical Express for the NY Transit Museum, and Gabridge will talk about creating site-specific work for museums and historic sites in Boston. We’ll talk specifics about how to explore this new market for your skills.

    Participants: Janine McGuire, Arri Lawton Simon

  • 7pm-9pm — Awards Night

    Description coming soon

Sunday, July 29th

  • 9am-10am — Breakfast Marsha Norman

    Description coming soon

  • 10am-1pm — Devised Theatre Conference

    Theatre has always been a collaborative process. But what happens when the collaboration expands beyond our traditional definitions?  Join us for panel discussions that will try and shed some light on this burgeoning form of theatre, and hear about the innovative resources recently promulgated by the Dramatists Guild. In attendance will be representatives from the Playwrights Guild of Canada, The Swedish Drama Guild, and the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. Joining us from our own backyard will be The Public Theater, Tectonic Theater Group, Pig Iron, and other special guests.

  • 10am-11am — Writing for Change

    Join Protest Plays Project’s Tiffany Antone in writing, and reading, plays for social change. Tiffany will lead playwrights through exercises designed to help you write your own “Protest Play”. Playwrights will also learn ways to produce these pieces in your own communities, in the hopes of cultivating continued dialogue and civic action.

    Participants: Tiffany Antone

  • 10am-11am — Sharing the Muse: Writing Collaboratively for the Stage

    Have you never co-written a play but want to? How do you know if you’ve connected with your ideal writing partner? This interactive workshop will introduce you to the pros and cons of collaborative writing, and will provide you with exercises to simplify the sometimes challenging process.

    Participants: Josh Hartwell

  • 10am-11am — Musical Book Writing

    “Let’s talk first about how underappreciated bookwriters are. And how people don’t know exactly what it is that we do.” -Marsha Norman, in The Dramatist Join Michael R. Jackson, Lisa Shapiro, Georgia Stitt and others in this discussion of the craft and business of writing the musical book. We will examine this rapidly-evolving form, and consider best practices for collaboration, adaptation and more. For playwrights who have considered a move into musicals, this session is essential viewing.

    Participants: Michael R. Jackson, Kit Yan, Lisa Shapiro, Georgia Stitt, Melissa Lee

  • 10am-12pm — Songwriting Workshop with Benjamin Scheuer and Alan Schmuckler

    A songwriting masterclass, hosted by Benjamin Scheuer and Alan Schmuckler. Each presenting writer will perform an in-progress song of their own, which can be (but need not be) from a musical. We will then discuss the writing. Anyone is welcome to observe the masterclass, which will focus on rhyme, scansion, micro and macro three-act-structure, melody, character, and all sorts of other fun things.

    Participants: Benjamin Scheuer, Alan Schmuckler

  • 10am-11am — Late Style and Ageism in the Arts

    The prevailing notion of “career” assumes a youthful breakout, a mid-life peak and, the inevitable, decline (neatly encoding ageism, in this trajectory). In contrast, the idea of Late Style describes a non-predetermined, cyclical and more startling path. In his last work, On Late Style, the great cultural critic Edward Said analyses the astonishing power of the last works of “great artists,” Beethoven, Euripides, Ibsen, Moliere among his examples. Leaving aside the notion of “greatness”, the late style artist has worked an entire life attaining a mastery that now can be broken through with reckless daring; themes and structures recombined, dissonance and resonance co-exist. Contrary to idea of “past her prime”, Late Style proposes enormous cultural worth of these last works. Said writes: “Lateness is being at the end, fully conscious, full of memory, and also very (even preternaturally aware) of the present.” We propose a discussion of late style in the context of contemporary American theater.

    Participants: Karen Malpede, Penny Arcade

  • 11am-12pm — Exploring the History of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway

    The Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project has been digitally recording the stories of Off-Broadway through the eyes of the people who pioneered it. Join us as we show a variety of highlights from our interviews with off-Broadway playwrights like Micki Grant, John Guare, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Tina Howe, Charles Mee, and others, and discuss the playwright’s role in the founding of this important theatre movement. Casey Childs, Founder of Primary Stages and Sally Plass, Director of the Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project will lead the event.

    Participants: Casey Childs, Sally Plass Makman

  • 11am-1pm — Grief Dialogues

    Grief Dialogues, an artistic movement, uses theatre to start a new conversation about dying, death, and grief. Its play, Grief Dialogues, invites audiences to reconsider the rhetoric and stigma around death and grief with the understanding that death transcends race, creed, ethnicity, gender, age, and economics. Six short plays, by DG Members Jeffrey Fischer Smith, Daniel Guyton, Ron Frankel (deceased), Elizabeth Coplan, Donna Hoke, and Barbara Blumenthal, comprise the play’s original script. Grief Dialogues enjoyed six sold out performances in Seattle in June 2018 and performs in Las Vegas on the anniversary eve of the 2017 Shooting.

  • 12pm -- Closing remarks

    Description coming soon

  • 1pm-4pm — Devised Theatre Conference

    Theatre has always been a collaborative process. But what happens when the collaboration expands beyond our traditional definitions?  Join us for panel discussions that will try and shed some light on this burgeoning form of theatre, and hear about the innovative resources recently promulgated by the Dramatists Guild. In attendance will be representatives from the Playwrights Guild of Canada, The Swedish Drama Guild, and the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. Joining us from our own backyard will be The Public Theater, Tectonic Theater Group, Pig Iron, and other special guests.