Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A playwriting workshop is born

The Colorado Springs theatre community has had some exciting times over the last couple years. We've seen the rebirth of one theater company and the birth of a couple more.

We've also seen increasingly edgier and more challenging works from several theater companies. What we haven't had is a theater where playwrights and actors can partner together to create new plays.

Until now.

I recently met with Jim Jackson, who with his lovely and talented wife Birgitta De Pree runs the Manitou Art Theatre, to establish a play development group.

Called The Drama Lab at the MAT!, the group meets the second Monday of every month from 7pm to 9pm at the Manitou Art Theatre, 1367 Pecan St. Our first meeting will be September 12.

The group is open to theatre artists of all stripes--playwrights, actors, directors. There's no need to join anything or make a long-term commitment. Just show up whenever you can.

If you're a playwright, bring a short play or up to 20 pages of a longer work. We'll do a reading.

If you're an actor, just bring your passion and your talent. Every actor who shows up will have an opportunity to develop their skills by reading one or more parts.

If you're a director, we'll give you a place to practice your skills as well.

Eventually, some of the plays may deserve further development, and that's one of the great things about being associated with the MAT! Certain works may be selected for a staged reading or full production, with the playwright paying a very reasonable rental fee for the venue while splitting the box office with the MAT!

But that's not all. The Drama Lab will also be a place where writers and performers alike can share "insider" information like upcoming auditions and playwriting contests.

Perhaps most importantly, it'll also be a place where we as theatre artists can celebrate those little victories that inspire us to keep slogging away in this exhilarating but often frustrating field.

Want to reserve a reading slot for our first meeting? Email me.

See you on September 12!