Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops
The Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at The Flea Theater are intimate, four-session intensives for new work and new ways of working.
Alfred Jarry re-invented black humor. Ubu Roi is a consummate classic. He was a poet, critic, puppeteer playwright editor— virtually a performance artist — in that volatile period in 19th century Paris that saw the conjunction of Symbolism, Surrealism, Ibsenism converge.. particularly around small magazines and the theater of Lugne Poe. Jarry was — the avant garde.
In this workshop we hope to both trace and continue his artistic lineage. It is for writers who are interested in the language and the ideas of the avant garde. It is not for playwrights who wish to see their work on Broadway — or even most of Off Broadway where predominately commercial ventures are mounted. The Pataphysics Workshop uses the model originated by Lee Breuer at Yale Drama School where playwrights learn about acting and directing in order to control the final imagery of their work through to production. It emphasizes collaboration of the nature that has been the core method of his Theater — Mabou Mines. This is a workshop in play development from a variety of points of view — none of them “practical” in our system of mounting new work for profit.
Dates: April 20, 21, 27, 28
Application Deadline: March 18, 2013
Lee Breuer is most widely known for his revelatory, upending adaptations of classic works of theater: Mabou Mines DollHouse, adapted from Ibsen; The Gospel at Colonus, adapted from Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus; Peter & Wendy, adapted by Liza Lorwin from J.M. Barrie’s novel Peter And Wendy. All continue to tour festivals and theaters around the world.
Breuer is a MacArthur Fellow, a Bunting Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow and twice a Fulbright Fellow. He has collected many OBIES as well as the prestigious Golden Herald of the Edinburgh International Festival, the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the Helen Hayes Award. He delivered the inaugural lectures for the Samuel Beckett Chair at Trinity College, Dublin and his teaching resume includes time as Co-Chair for Directing at the Yale University School of Drama, as well as positions at Stanford, Harvard, Arizona State University West, NYU, Columbia, Penn State, UC Berkeley, Drama Institute Beijing, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Athens University, and the Moscow Art Theater School of Acting.
Announcing the Inaugural Pataphysics West Playwriting Workshop!
Started in 2001, the Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at The Flea Theater in New York are intimate workshops stressing new work and new ways of working. Named after Alfred Jarry’s science of rule breaking, the workshops are taught by game changing writers (including Mac Wellman, Paula Vogel, Lisa D’Amour, Maria Irene Fornes, Erik Ehn, Will Eno) and are designed to jimmy open your writing brain.
On the weekend of May 25-26, Circle X Theater in Los Angeles will be holding the first Pataphysics workshop on the West Coast, led by playwright/TV writers Sheila Callaghan and Jason Grote.
The Pataphysical TV
An investigation into the television of today, and, tomorrow.
Playwrights Sheila Callaghan and Jason Grote bring their experience of writing for television (“Mad Men,” ”United States of Tara,” “Smash,” “Shameless”) to this exploration of both what it is and what it could be to write for television, in a class which combines the practical and the pataphysical.
Classes will center around discussion, and in class and out of class writing exercises. Writers will leave the class with a proposal for a pilot, a working knowledge of what it is to write collaboratively, and an idea of the unique formal possibilities of TV.
Dates: May 25-26, 2013
Place: Circle X @ Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., LA, CA 90039
Application Deadline: May 5, 2013
Applications are being accepted electronically:
Email your cover letter, Bio or CV and ten-page sample to Deron Bos at email@example.com. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours that we received your application, please email again.
Applications are being accepted electronically:
Email your cover letter, Bio or CV and ten-page sample to Gary Winter at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours that we received your application, please email again.
Be sure to specify which workshop(s) you would like to attend, and mention if you have attended a Pataphysics Workshop in the past. The Pataphysics Workshops for Playwrights are produced at cost by The Flea Theater. A limited number of scholarships will be awarded based on need and merit. If you want to apply for a need-based scholarship, please do so under a separate letter. If you are applying to more than one workshop, one application will suffice. Please list your preferences. Thank you!
New Work and New Ways of Working
The Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at The Flea Theater are intimate, four-session intensives for new work and new ways of working. Named for Alfred Jarry’s science of imaginary solutions, the workshops are a gymnasium for the writing brain—curious, particular, and rigorous. Students enter with blank sheets of paper, and leave with pages of notes, fragments, scenes, even entire plays unlike anything they would have written on their own.
Led by Master Playwrights
The Pataphysics workshops are led by master playwrights who are known not only for a distinct and groundbreaking body of work, but also for their ability as teachers. Each workshop, led by a master playwright pursuing his or her own train of thought, is geared to generate new material and new ideas through writing experiments, readings, and interesting talk. Master playwrights have included: Lee Breuer, Erik Ehn, Karen Finley, Maria Irene Fornes, Jeff Jones, Eduardo Machado, Chuck Mee, Paula Vogel, and Mac Wellman.
The workshops are structured around the idea that whatever is most immediately interesting to a teacher will make for the most engaging class. They’re an opportunity for writers, emerging and experienced, to challenge their own assumptions using strange muscles and surprising parts of the brain.
Each workshop meets four times over two consecutive weekends at The Flea. Class size is limited to thirteen and admission is by application. The Flea Theater runs these workshops at cost. Grants from The Flea Theater and private donations provide a limited number of scholarships for those who would not otherwise be able to attend.
Pataphysics is quite simply the best class I’ve ever taught. Why? Because everyone in the room knows why they’re there and comes highly motivated. That cuts through the bull. It lets us work as peers.
—Jeffrey M. Jones
To receive notification of upcoming classes, add your name and e-mail address to the Pataphysics mailing list by e-mailing us here. When a class is scheduled we will inform you 2 months ahead of the date.
About Our Participants
Pataphysics workshops are for both developing and experienced writers of any age or aesthetic inclination. Pataphysics students have been produced or developed by, and have received awards from: Humana, The Public Theater, The Flea, Princess Grace Award, Little Theater, SOHO Rep, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Manhattan Theater Club, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Lucille Lortel Playwrighting Fellowship, Printer’s Devil, Horla Theater (London), BRIC Studios, New Dramatists, NYFA, Whitfield Award, Portland Center Stage, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, HERE, Playwrights Horizons, LaMama, The Cherry Lane Alternative, Annex Theater, Dixon Place, Empty Space Theater, McArthur Foundation Award, The Ontological, Ensemble Studio Theater.