fbpx
Event Details
  • Communications Lab
    August 6, 2016
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Writer-Director Communications Lab

Saturday, August 6th
10am to 6pm

DeSotelle Studios, NuBox Theatre
300 W. 43rd St., #301 (between 8th & 9th Ave.)

Taught by producer Ken Waissman (original Grease, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy, Josephine); producer Margot Astrachan (The Realistic Joneses, A Gentleman's Guide..., Nice Work If You Can Get It); TRU executive director Bob Ost.

Writers, use this form to submit: DIRECTOR-WRITERLabApp.2016 - deadline for submissions is Wednesday July 27th. Email to TRUnltd@aol.com with "Writer Lab Submission" in your subject line.


One of the most important - and most sensitive - relationships in theater is that between playwright and director. In some ways, the entire success of a show can hinge on the shared understanding,  trust and mutual respect between these two artists. The director and the writer need to see the show with the same eyes, otherwise their collaboration won't work.  This is important to establish in the initial meetings.

TRU has created a new, experimental program that will train theater artists in the crucial skills of communication. It is led generally by commercial producers, since the producer is generally the real-world mediator in writer-director disagreements, and has the better overview of a production.

In this Lab we will team ten directors with ten writers prior to the Lab itself. Playwrights will email us a synopsis, pitch and production history, plus 5-10 sample pages of a script; directors will select a project that interests them from those submitted, request and read the script and prepare for a preliminary director-writer discussion about the play. We will watch and guide that discussion in the Lab. You will:

• Discover your personal communication style
• Learn to identify the style of the person you are with, and adjust to it for maximum mutual understanding
• Explore non-threatening ways of discussing text, communicating and listening
• Identify your domain of authority, and determine protocols

Confirmed directors (as of 7/2/16): Janet BentleyBrent BuellCate Cammarata, Jessica JenningsPaula J. Riley, Rick Roemer, Richard RiskinRichard Sabellico and Paul Stancato (see bios below).

This was a tremendously helpful workshop!  I was watching the conversations as a playwright, to learn about communication, but also as a teacher, to help my playwrights be better playwrights.  This work that you are doing is invaluable!  

 
Your experience as a producer and a playwright and the fact that you brought other producers into the room really brought in a broader perspective that kept things very real and made the stakes feel enormously high.  I loved meeting everyone, especially Paul who I really felt got the play -- thank you!  You said there was someone else who wanted the play, and you had to make an executive decision, and, it seems to me, you made the right one.  And that is one of the producers biggest tasks, right?  To bring the right people into the room?  So thank you for that, Bob!   ~Emma Goldman Sherman, writer (Whorticulture)
 

A quick note of thanks for yesterday's lab. There really is no substitute for being "in the room" with collaborators and the fact that you are able to create this atmosphere with working professionals who are in the trenches and can speak to what's real says a lot about the good and relevant work you're doing with your organization. Kudos. ~Ben Gonshor, writer (When Blood Ran Red)

I came away with such valuable skills and it was definitely a wonderful learning experience. You always pick the most amazing people for these events! Looking forward to hearing what the next wonderful event you have going on is.  By the way, I recommend TRU to anyone I can get my hands on because I've just learned so much since I started going. ~Amy Oestreicher, writer (Imprints)

I found it helpful and illuminating in a number of ways. Coming shortly after my first experience of selecting a director for the production of my BETWEEN MEN at the MITF summer festival, it made me aware of the necessity of a lengthy and focussed discussion before any commitments are made. To be honest I didn't know exactly what to expect. It was, therefore, useful both to talk through the issues raised by my own play with a Director like Cate and to observe other couples going through the process of discovering whether they could work together or not. It was also moving to witness unexpected dramatic moments in the course of the day. And finally the presence of two such knowledgeable and successful Broadway producers as Ken and Margot commenting freely on the proceedings was a huge bonus. ~Dennis Porter, writer (As a Bird Dies)

The lab is fascinating, and I found not just my time, but watching the other teams very valuable. ~Richard Riskin, director

SHARE THIS: