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Actors read work at a Performance Workshop

HOW THE COURSE WORKS

  •  Writers on the course are actively looking to get their work read or staged, either live or online. Each individual writer will be aware of Arts Council opportunities for R&D, opening up ways to find collaborators for their plays or to seek out the right theatre, competition or agent. When the writer has completed a play, John will help him or her to find the appropriate route to future production.

  • The 10 classes run from 10.30 to 5.30pm for one Friday per month and one Saturday Performance Workshop.

 

  • The course is split into three advanced groups, with 6 writers in each. This is to allow sufficient time for each writer to talk through their current play during the afternoon of each day-long session. There is no qualitative difference or distinction between the three groups, ADVANCED ONE, ADVANCED TWO or ADVANCED THREE – all function to the same high standard.

 

  • The afternoon session is dedicated to feedback and a group discussion of each writer's play in progress. The group itself becomes a creative unit that motivates each writer to think more boldly and expressively than before.

 

  • Writers begin the course year with a clear idea of the play that they want to write.

 

  • John’s course addresses the whole collaborative nature of theatre. As well as paying rigorous attention to language and text, he looks at the physical nature of performance, the place of movement and gesture, the question of music and its impact on story-telling and the site-specific opportunities that contemporary theatre affords. John also considers the wider application of drama in the field of education and other areas of social change.

 

  • At the end of the course, writers will be advised on the potential of their plays to be produced professionally; to consider who the play is written for and why; and who the play might be sent to and what kind of collaborators to seek.

 

  • There is strong emphasis on reading current plays and, through doing so, facilitating each writer to make an educated choice as to what kind of play he or she wants to write. 

 

  • These are the some of the plays that the course participants read and interrogated in 2022 – 2023:

 

RAPTURE

Lucy Kirkwood

PATRIOTS

Peter Morgan

ROMEO AND JULIE

Gary Owen

TRUTH’S A DOG THAT MUST TO KENNEL

Tim Crouch

BEST OF ENEMIES

James Graham

JOHN

Annie Baker

THE TRUTH

Florian Zeller

THE WATSONS

Laura Wade

SLAVE PLAY

James O. Harris

SWEAT

Lynn Nottage​​

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