Thursday, June 26, 2008

Humble Play Workshops

Hey you 11-17 year kids

It’s not too late to sign up for the

Humble Play: Appalachian new play festival youth division playwriting workshops!


Where, When, and With Whom

Monday, June 30, 1-3 p.m., The Dairy Barn
Tuesday, July 15, 1-3 p.m., ARTS/West
Led by Wendy McVicker and Lynette Peck
Call ARTS/West (740) 592-4315 to register

Goals and Expectations

The goal of the Humble Play Playwriting Workshops is to help you work toward completing a short play.

You do not need to have begun writing before the first workshop. We’ll spend time talking about the writing process and about the special needs of plays. We’ll read at least one short published play and analyze it as we go. This will help us to develop our critical eye. In order to become good writers, we work on becoming good readers. Then we’ll get started on our own plays.

We’ll give you some things to work on during the two-week break. When we come back together for the second workshop, we’ll look at each other’s work. This can be intimidating, but it can also be fun. AND it’s an essential part of the writing process. The expectation is that this work will be unfinished—so if it’s a page, ten pages, or just one exchange between two characters, that’s fine. It’s where we all begin.

Things to keep in mind

Where do ideas come from?

They come from everyday life! Here’s a suggestion: start keeping a notebook this very minute. Have it with you all the time. Write down ideas, observations, quirky things/people you see, snippets of conversation you overhear. Let your mind go. Explore. Texture is often what makes a play; your everyday observations can provide you with texture, as well as with the larger ideas of plot and relationship.

How do I get started?

Many writers say they don’t think about the final product during the first draft. They don’t think about stage directions, setting, or even plot. They begin with a situation, add some characters, and let them talk. A lot of what emerges won’t make it to the final cut. That’s okay. It’s a good idea not to be too attached to the words that come pouring out in the first draft. The important thing is to let them pour.

What good is criticism?

Criticism doesn’t have to be negative. When we hear others respond to our writing, we enter an outsider’s viewpoint. This can give us sudden and exciting clarity about our work. In the workshop, we’ll talk about ways of using criticism to widen our views and take the creative leaps necessary to progress.

We take it for granted that all criticism is kindly and honestly meant. This is everyone’s responsibility, and one that comes back to us.

The Contract:

We accept absolutely that each and every piece of writing has merit, and it is that merit that we are aiming to locate and help bring to life. We will consider the following questions: What is this piece trying to do? In what ways does it succeed, and in what ways does it need work? How can we help this particular piece to move forward? It is understood that every comment is merely a suggestion; the writer decides which suggestions to take up and which to abandon.

And, don’t forget about:

OVST’s- Summer Youth Theater Program

Ohio Valley Summer Theater presents a new program to nurture students in the development of age appropriate theatrical knowledge and skills. Participants will have an opportunity to explore performance and/or technical production and artistry. Individual growth and development is the goal. Open to primary grade through early high school students, the program will take place July 7-25. Classes will be held M, W, and F, 9am - 1pm. The program will culminate on Saturday, July 26 with a free demonstration performance sharing with family and friends the knowledge and skills learned. Sign-up and fee structure information is available at


The APE Center, with the support from ARTS/West and The Dairy Barn, offers a creative week of self-esteem, cooperation and team-building skills enhancing theater program for children and youth in GRADES K-10. Participants will learn HOW A THEATER SHOW COMES TO BEING – not only through the actors/actresses but
through the efforts of a large team offstage.

The sessions will take place at ARTS/West, every day MONDAY, JULY 28th through FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st from 9am – 4pm, with a free presentation of the SHOWS on SATURDAY afternoon, AUGUST 2nd in ARTS/West. Check their website at

To register, please go to Fill in the "Summer Theater Camp" forms.
For more information, please ask at

Maximum group size for both younger and older children is 15.

For a complete listing of classes, workshops, and meetings please call during our semi-regular office hours Tue.-Fri. 11-4 at (740) 592-4315 or go to . Check out our blog for all of the latest

Many thanks to The Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Athens Foundation, The OU Credit Union, The Hocking Valley Bank, The Ohio Arts Council, The Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission, The Ohio University School of Music, Magic Video, our Olympian Founders, individual donors and the time donated by our army of volunteers, for making this possible.

The mission of ARTS/West is to make facilities, resources, and opportunities available to arts organizations, individual artists, and community residents. ARTS/West harnesses community focus for all individuals engaged in the creation, performance and exhibition of the arts and promotes activities preserving the beauty, heritage and culture of our town

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.