Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops
The Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at The Flea Theater are intimate, four-session intensives for new work and new ways of working.
Thinking Like A Playwright: An Acting Workshop
Taught by Heidi Schreck and Matthew Maher
New plays present new challenges to the traditionally trained actor. Playwrights who take bold formal risks need actors who are willing to experiment with their craft. Actors have to consider new approaches language, structure and character as they create their performances and in many cases, learn to ask different questions. Through exercises and scene work, we will not only explore how to discern a playwright’s vision, but also think about how the actor’s own sensibility – their own intellect, wit, and worldview – can inspire their work in groundbreaking new plays.
Dates: January 18-19, 25-26
Application Deadline: January 3, 2014
Application: Please submit a cover letter, head shot and bio or resume.
Heidi Schreck is an actor and playwright who works regularly in NYC and regionally. As an actor she has originated roles in many new plays including David Adjmi’s Strange Attractors, Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation, Erin Courtney’s Demon Baby, Julia Cho’s Language Archive, Jordan Harrison’s Amazons and Their Men, Liz Flahive’s The Madrid, Lisa Kron’s The Wake, Aaron Landsman’s Open House, and Anne Washburn’s Apparition and The Internationalist. She has done a bit of tv/film and most recently performed in Comedy of Errors at The Delacorte. Her plays have been produced by the Long Wharf, Rattlestick, New Georges and Page 73. Heidi is an artistic affiliate with New Georges, Clubbed Thumb and Two-Headed Calf and has won two OBIE awards and the Theatre World Award.
Matthew Maher has performed extensively Off-Broadway and regionally—including, most recently: Mr Burns: A Post Electric Play, The Small and A Communist Dracula Pageant by Anne Washburn, The Flick and Uncle Vanya (adaptation) by Annie Baker, Golden Child by David Henry Hwang, Red Handed Otter and 100 Aspects Of The Moon by Ethan Lipton, School For Lies by David Ives and Orange, Hat and Grace by Greg Moss. He also has also acted in lots of films and TV shows. He is an associate artist of The Civilians and of Clubbed Thumb, both theater companies dedicated to creating and/or producing new work, and in 2013 he won an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence Of Performance.
Applications are being accepted electronically:
Email your cover letter, head shot and bio or resume to Gary Winter at email@example.com. 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.