Friday, June 07, 2013

Summer Playwriting Intensive with Daniel Heath

We're pleased to announce a new two-part, four-session workshop covering the fundamentals of short playwriting, led by Bay Area playwright and PlayGround alumnus Daniel Heath. This workshop will provide an introduction for newcomers to the form and practical exercises for veterans to refine their skills, in preparation for the July 31 PlayGround Writers Poolapplication deadline. Students may register for parts one and two separately ($120/each) or together ($200). A limited number of financial hardship scholarships are available. All workshops and performances will take place at the A.C.T. Costume Shop, 1117 Market Street, San Francisco.


Part One: Character (July 14-15, 2013)

Good plays start from good characters, and the most interesting conflicts come from real human complexity. In this workshop, we'll work on devising compelling characters who speak authentically. We'll talk about writing for actors--what are our responsibilities as writers who are sending actors out on stage to say our words? July 14, 2pm-6pm; July 15, 7pm-10pm.
To register, visit

Part Two: Story (July 21-22, 2013)

Once we have our characters, the next most important thing in a play is that something happens. That sounds simple, but like most things that really matter you can spend the rest of your life working on it. We'll talk about how to find a story, how to recognize when you've found it (and when you haven't), and how to turn a story into a well-structured play. We'll also talk about your audience (that all-important final partner of theatrical productions) and how to plan the journey that we're asking them to take. July 21, 2pm-6pm; July 22, 7pm-10pm.

To register, visit

Each part of the workshop will consist of two sessions: first, a four-hour Sunday session where we'll discuss theatrical principles and work through some writing exercises. We'll work in small and large groups and tackle real writing problems, then begin work on a new play. Second, on Monday, your brand-new play will receive its first public reading by professional actors (family and friends are welcome). We'll wrap up with a brief small-group feedback session, and a reception will follow.

On Sunday, bring a laptop or a pad of paper, whatever you use to write on. On Monday, you'll bring copies of a brand-new script for actors to read.


Daniel Heath is a PlayGround Resident Playwright and a former member of the PlayGround writers pool for seven seasons. He is a four-time winner of the PlayGround Emerging Playwright award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) and recipient of three PlayGround commissions (2009, 2010, and 2012). His short and long plays have been performed across the country.


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