El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice: almost everything I know about teaching, I learned at El Puente. In my five years with the organization, I taught in both the high school and afterschool settings, doing everything from theater and playwriting to physical education and men’s group facilitation. Some of my proudest moments as an educator came with the high school’s Integrated Arts Project, where I worked with Andrea Thome to help create and stage original interdisciplinary theater projects that highlighted the artistic talents of virtually every student in the school.
Florida State Thespians: over the past several years, I’ve served as one of three playwriting adjudicators for the largest high school state theater festival in the United States. Each year, we read more than forty one-act student scripts to select the most promising. We also spend fifteen minutes with each student writer, offering feedback and general writing advice.
International Thespian Festival: at the International Festival, I do less adjudication and more dramaturgy, generally working with a student playwright to revise his or her work for a public reading. In 2009, I shifted gears, creating the WIT (Write It Today) program, which selected five students to create and perform in an original dramatic piece over the course of one week.
Cleveland Play House: I spent one year in Cleveland, working for the nation’s oldest continually run regional theater. My brief experience at the Play House involved dramaturgical work, study guide creation, post-show talkbacks, and pre-show workshops for both students and subscribers.
Workshops and panels: I spend a considerable amount of time these days sitting on panels on all types of theater-related topics. My primary areas of interest include hip-hop theater and contemporary latino/a theater, but I’ve participated in talks on such diverse topics as alternative performance spaces, representations of masculinity in hip-hop theater, new play development, and social responsibility/cultural awareness in not-for-profit theater.
And while I don’t have a comprehensive list handy, my full-length plays The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Welcome to Arroyo’s have each been included on a number of college theater curricula. My one-act play The Trophy Thieves: A High School Love Story is available for amateur licensing through Playscripts.com, and received its first high school production in early 2009.
I’m currently available to be hired to lead workshops for high school and college students, as well as other early career writers and theater companies/leaders. Each workshop can be tailored to the needs of the group, and can often be paired with a specific play/production.
1. 10 Things Every Playwright Should Know – created at the International Thespian Festival, this workshop covers the broad foundations of professional playwriting. Topics include basic dramatic structure, subtext, writing with urgency, and some simple but important realities of the business. Suitable for high school, college, and very early career adults.
2. Open The Door: Basic Dramatic Structure – a stripped down version of 10 Things, focusing on the traditional storytelling arc: beginning/middle/end, escalating obstacles, and conflict. This workshop utlizies improvisation exercises to illustrate storytelling techniques that audiences are instinctively drawn to, but not always aware of. Suitable for high school and college.
3. WIT: Write It Today – high school students always have something to say. Period. This new workshop engages student writers to think about the issues that care about most and explore them through the creation and performance of short monologues, multi-character scenes, and ensemble-generated pieces.
4. Social Profit Theater – part lecture, part thinktank, and part practical writing exercise, this new workshop is based on the term created by Claire Gaudiani. Participants will look at not-for-profit theater as an institution devoted to the “greater good” — how does this manifest itself in theater programming? Does it manifest itself in theater programming? How do issues of ethnicity, race, class, gender, sexuality, and more get addressed in a season or in individual works? What obligations do theaters have to address these issues? Each conversation can be tailored to the needs of the group, and can include lists of and contact information for plays, playwrights, and theater companies doing “socially responsible” work.
Additional workshops can be created on request.
For rates and more information, contact me by e-mail.