Maybe the election has frazzled your last nerve. Maybe anxiety is crowding out your creativity. What would it be like to write untethered? In this workshop, you'll use a strategy to bypass anxiety by accessing long-term pleasant memory. You'll start with a guided meditation and move into writing generated from a proposed prompt. After possibly sharing, you'll look at the Critic (that not-always-helpful voice in your head) and the Editor, and the resources you have to let your writing rip. You'll read some Sharon Olds and Danez Smith, write some more, laugh, and give the most positive feedback to each other. Wait until you see what you can do!
What Makes You You: the Writer's Voice
cross-genre | Kate Gray
Tell it like nobody else. Leap into it, on it. Splash. Learn your own sound. Participants should bring 3 of their characteristic pieces that they have written and/or revised beforehand. This workshop will include examples, investigating your own work, writing, and feedback.
Memoir can be a process of discovery. You may uncover secrets that you may have hidden from yourself or heal past wounds. In this class we’ll look for turning points and untaken paths, changes and transformations or regrets and unresolved conflicts. Someone you met, your hand on the door knob, your discovery of a talent, the book that shifted your major, a moment of awe in nature. We’ll use these to jump-start a short memoir piece.
Those who urge you to find your "voice” in memoir writing aren't always talking about the same thing, but they agree that voice is the difference between a laundry list of facts, events, and descriptions, and an engrossing read. In this class we’ll explore voice in various forms to experiment with perspectives which narrate some past events, and perhaps also reveal what they mean now to the self in the present.
Dramaturgs are theatre's best-kept secret! One of their many responsibilities is often to build the creative scaffolding that helps playwrights and directors turn promising situations into compelling stories. With this class, we'll get to know some of dramaturgy's most dynamic and effective storytelling tools and how they can help make stories of any genre or medium sing.
What characters say and how they say it are shaped by the same things we are: environment, experience, and, whether they know it or not, what it is they want at this exact moment in time. Working with playwriting prompts and group exercises, we'll play with different elements of setting and character to uncover characters' authentic voices.
Are you feeling called to bear witness to a social injustice or just the challenging times we’re living in? Poets have long worn the mantle of truth-speakers, witness-bearers and in these challenging times, we see them once again refusing silence and rising to the call. We’ll look at a variety of poems that bear witness, from elegies for what’s lost to calls for action, discussing what makes each effective. Then we’ll begin our own witness poems, writing about issues we care deeply about by focusing on the concrete details that bring them to life on the page. Come ready to write—and with some knowledge of at least one issue you might write about. All writing levels welcome.
We all know the prevailing image of the solitary writer in the garret, but the truth is we’re always writing in community with the poets we read and admire. In fact, most of us will admit to reading other poets to fuel and inform our own work. How often have you been inspired by a poem, but when you tried to translate that inspiration into words, it lost its energy? We’ll try a few ways to sustain the inspiration -- from flagrant imitation of a poet’s style and voice to the time-honored cento, which is made up entirely of borrowed lines. We’ll also see how poets honor each other by choosing a line or two to spark their own poems. And yes, we’ll talk about how to acknowledge the poem/poet in a respectful way so we’re not plagiarizing. Bring a poem you admire to share -- and we’ll go from there. All writing levels welcome.
We will be focusing on ways to generate ideas for melody and chords that will provide a setting for your lyrics that will enhance what you're hoping to convey to the listener. There will be emphasis on craft--having the rhythm and phrasing of the melody allow for the words to be sung with the same emphases and inflections they would have if spoken, understanding how to utilize repetition and also how to disguise repetition. We'll also work on identifying a musical vocabulary of melody and chords that will sound and feel natural to you. Lots of exercises and show-and-tell in class.
Come explore the rich and varied universe of co-writing songs! We'll go over some different approaches to and strategies for collaborative songwriting and then spend the rest of class putting them into practice. If you're a brand-new beginner, if you're a confident songsmith, if you think of yourself as more of a music or more of a text person, welcome! If you have an instrument, please bring it.