After School, Weekend, and Summer Half-Day Workshops
Writers of any age who choose to write plays in creative writing workshops are guided by produced playwrights throughout the script-writing process. All Writopia plays written by playwrights ages 8-18 are considered for professional production each year in May as part of our annual Worldwide Plays Festival. Between 25 and 80 plays are produced Off-Broadway each year, depending on funding streams.
Playwriting & Performance
Trimester Workshops and Camps
In age-based groups, young playwrights spend the the first half of each session developing plays or musicals under the guidance of a professional playwright. The second half of each session, writers work to bring their plays to life, exploring acting, directing, and all elements of theater production with NYC theater professionals. The workshop or camp culminates in a final showcase of one-act plays.
Advanced Playwriting Workshop
When you began to write, did you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
Some of us started writing because there was something we desperately wanted to communicate. Some of us simply wanted to pass the time in a joyful, creative way. As we continue to write, it’s useful to ask ourselves important questions. Is there something specific I’m trying to express? How do my choices on the page reflect this? What makes my voice different from others? How can I use this voice in big ways? As we ask ourselves these questions, we evolve into artists with intention.
In Advanced Playwriting workshops, over the course of a trimester and under the mentorship of theater professionals, teen playwrights will play writing games and participate in exercises that mine their subconscious for ideas and emotions that they want to explore on the page. They will write original short plays tackling those ideas getting to know the fundamentals of writing for the stage— dialogue, monologue, action, behavior, character development, structure, theatricality, theme— and investigate the ways in which they can effectively use these fundamentals on the page. The investigation will broaden from the craft of writing to the bigger picture of why it is they write, as they work to discover their individual voices. They’ll craft short “artistic statements,” putting into words what their intentions are as writers. Workshops will culminate in a cold read of their new short plays by professional actors, as well as their own readings of their artistic statements.
NYC Program Application form here.
Page 2 (Digital) Stage Workshop
It seems funny to try and make theater right now. After all, theater is about the live moment, and we are all distanced from one another, communicating digitally through screens. But one way we can still bring relevance and immediacy to original theater is by creating it together even through the distance and channeling THIS moment in time.
In Page 2 Digital Stage, over the course 5 sessions, young writers from all over will work together over Zoom and Google Docs to create one large play, musical, or theatrical experience that channels this moment in time — the fear and isolation and longing for connection as well as the humor and hominess and unexpected connectedness it can provoke. We will parse through the emotions, stories, and themes we’ve been hearing and experiencing. Then, we’ll channel them into scenes, monologue, and potentially songs. Finally, we’ll put our thoughts and work together and create one large theatrical experience — a group of short pieces. The workshop will culminate in a final dramatic reading of our work online for friends and family.
Musical Theater Workshop
Our feelings are big! Yet it’s rare in everyday life that we get the chance to properly express them. What we can do, however, is allow the characters we create to voice their feelings through dialogue, monologue, action, behavior, and song. We can help them pour their hearts out to a tune we write!
In Musical Theater Workshop, over the course of a trimester, writers meet in age-based groups with theater and songwriting professionals. They learn the fundamentals of writing for the stage: dialogue, monologue, action, behavior, character development, structure, theatricality, and theme. They craft their very own short, high-stakes scripts peopled with characters who have feelings and yearnings so big that, at moments, words alone are not enough to express them. They turn those heightened moments into songs--with original lyrics, melodies, and chords--and weave these songs into their story in a meeting of libretto and score. The trimester culminates in a scripts-in-hand reading (and singing) of their pieces with accompaniment, as they cast themselves and each other in their brand new pieces of musical theater.
Political Plays Workshop: Theater with a Social Conscience
What are the big issues that excite us? Anger us? Make us want to take action? How can we channel those issues into our art?
In Political Plays Workshop: Theater with a Social Conscience, young playwrights will craft short plays for the stage around the issues that matter most to them. We’ll take the political, social, and moral issues fresh on our minds and place them at the heart of brand new pieces of drama.
In Investigative Theater Workshop, young writers become equal parts journalist and dramatist as they investigate a true story or issue that’s important to them and then translate it to the stage. They’ll build questions around their chosen topic and interview subjects who have knowledge or personal experience in that area. They will then take those interviews and craft short theatrical pieces around them, telling these important true stories with the immediacy of the live moment.