A Playworks Workshop Proposal by Judith Royer, Doris Baizley, and Linda Bannister
This year, ATHE’s PACT Focus Group will present a 3-4 hour Playworks Workshop featuring Judith Royer, Doris Baizley, and Linda Bannister, all of Loyola Marymount University, who have, for the past several years, been creating multiple dramatized narratives from interview transcripts with selected community members. Dramatized narratives, a less traditional form of play construction (not single-authored, not fiction-based), are deeply tied to theatre as social change because they reflect real action in and of the community in response to contemporary culture and politics. Effectively produced and publicized, they both mirror and debunk the civic ecosystem, pointing at society’s most pressing issues and problems, and even suggesting solutions.
The workshop will explore all aspects of creation and production of a full-length performance piece based on the stories of a particular group (such as veterans, religious workers, senior center residents, homeless outreach programs, and other community based organizations) and will cover the following topics:
1. Two-stage Interviewing
2. Playcraft: Monologue, Scene, and Punctuated Monologue
3. Gathering Multiple Voices Around a Relevant Theme
4. Collaborative Authorship
a. Historical fact(s)
d. Script Editor
5. Funding and Producing the Dramatized Narrative
6. Dramatized Narratives’ Impact on the Community and Beyond
This audience-participatory workshop will include an informative handout with creation/production basics and tips; a small group activity mirroring (in brief) the actual process of creating, producing and performing dramatized narrative theatre; and examples of successful dramatized narratives representing each of the three playcraft forms we have identified.
Judith Royer, C.S.J. has been honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her 40-year career dedicated to developing and fostering the talents of theatre students. Royer is Professor of Theatre Arts at LMU and Co-Chair of the Playwrights and Creative Teams New Play Development Workshop at ATHE. Doris Baizley, author of Mrs. California, has been a working playwright for 25 years, lives in Los Angeles where she is a founding member of LA Theatre Works and was for 7 years resident playwright for The Mark Taper Forum’s ITP Company for Young Audiences. Linda Bannister is an English Professor at LMU and co-author with James Hurd of NAACP Theatre Award-winning play Turpentine Jake, a 2012 MIP Press book. Together they have worked on 5 dramatized narrative projects using the stories of Los Angelenos.