Thursday, January 28, 2016

PlayGround Winter/Spring 2016 Classes

PlayGround is pleased to announce our lineup of classes and workshops for the Winter/Spring 2016… nine distinct offerings led by leading local theatre artists to help you take your playwriting to the next level! All classes take place at the PlayGround PlaySpace, 3286 Adeline Street #4, off Alcatraz Avenue, in Berkeley. For more information or to register, visit


This semester, PlayGround has crafted a series of seven single-session 2-hour classes, designed to immerse playwrights (and others) in the creative processes of your artistic collaborators. Inform your playwriting by learning the craft of stage combat, directing, acting, voice work, dramaturgy, casting, and design, led by some of the Bay Area's leading practitioners! On select Mondays, 8pm-10pm, at the PlayGround PlaySpace. Registration is $40 per session and significant discounts are available for those registering for multiple sessions. 

2/29: Stage Combat for Playwrights with Brian Herndon This class will be a hands-on introduction to basic unarmed and rapier techniques to introduce how choreographers create the illusion of violence while keeping combatants safe. Come prepared to move, with closed-toe shoes and your sense of adventure. 

3/7: Directing for Playwrights with Molly Noble

This class will focus on three processes in directing: text analysis, ensemble building (this includes design ensemble), and developing the directors’ powers of observation and imagination. 

3/14: Acting for Playwrights with Stacy Ross

In this class, students will learn the actor’s craft and approach to new works from a master. Stacy Ross has acted on the Bay Area’s leading stages over the past twenty years. 

3/28: Voice Work for Playwrights with Mary Baird

In this class, students will go through a basic Linklater voice warm up. A series of exercises for freeing the natural voice. Wear loose fitting clothes and be willing to lie on the ground and have some fun. 

4/4: Dramaturgy for Playwrights with Laura Brueckner

In this class, students will explore the role of dramaturgy in theatre production, specifically in the development of new plays, from early draft to the production script, including script deconstruction and analysis, facilitating feedback, and helping set goals during script development. 

4/18: Casting for Playwrights with Annie Stuart

In this class, writers will get an in-depth look at the casting process from idea to audition to first rehearsal. We will look at the audition from both sides of the table and talk about the playwright’s role in casting as well as how to best communicate specific casting ideas regarding gender and diversity. 

4/25: Design for Playwrights with Josh Senick

In this class, students will learn how designers approach new works, with a focus on the sound designer’s process.  We will discuss the challenges of interpreting stage directions into design elements and copyright concerns, specifically those around sound effects and music.


PlayGround will offer two PlayLab master classes this semester on consecutive Tuesdays, 7pm-10pm, at the PlayGround PlaySpace, each providing an opportunity to go deeper on your learning and writing: two five-week sessions with PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann and other special guests focusing on the ten-minute play (2/16-3/15 and 3/22-4/19), and one six-week session with Anthony Clarvoe focusing on full-length works (4/26-5/31). 

PlayLab: Ten-Minute Play Master Class (3/15-4/19) with Jim Kleinmann & Friends

In this six-session workshop, PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann and guest faculty drawn from top alumni provide a thorough introduction to the key elements to playwriting with a focus on the ten-minute play. Subjects covered will include: setup, character development and dialogue, conflict/stakes, action, and plot. Students will receive a short writing assignment at the end of each session, due the next week, and read aloud in class. Perfect for the new student and great as a refresher for early-career professionals. Early-Bird Registration (30% savings) until 3/8. 

PlayLab: Full-Length Play Master Class (4/26-5/31) with Anthony Clarvoe

This six-session workshop will enable you to explore the art and craft of playwriting. Get the tools to initiate your next play or complete a new draft of your play-in-progress! Shop talks, targeted writing exercises, and discussions will be driven by your questions and needs. The final session will include readings of student work and facilitated feedback. Early-Bird Registration (30% savings) until 4/12. 

For more information on this semester’s offerings, visit
To register, visit


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