Explore how and why plays are different from the story-telling media we engage in daily.

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In this workshop, we’ll be writing for the stage. We’ll explore how different plays are from the story-telling media we engage in on a daily basis: film, TV, books, podcasts. Film and TV are visual media. Novels are all about the written and read word. Podcasts are all about aural experience. But plays are visual and aural. And they are the only storytelling medium that engages—or can engage—every single sense. (You can’t smell or taste or disrupt a movie, right? And you can’t touch the characters in a novel or a podcast, right?)

We will take a hard look at what plays are and how they work differently from the media we consume every day. We’ll do a series of exercises that will get you motivated, un-blocked, un-stuck, and inspired to tell stories—that will be told in live, communal settings. These exercises will free you from your mind and help you connect to the “play” part of the word “playwright.” And by the end of our time together, everyone will have written one ten-minute play—which may eventually be produced at a theater in Maine.

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Instructor: John Cariani

John Cariani is a Tony Award-nominated actor and an accomplished playwright. As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2004, opened Off-Broadway in 2006, and has since become one of the most popular plays in the United States and around the world. He is also a novelist, and his debut novel, Almost, Maine-a novel, was recently published by Fiewel and Friends, an imprint of MacMillan. As an actor, John is best known for his role on NBC’s long-running drama, Law & Order, on which he played Forensics Tech Beck for five seasons. He also had recurring roles on CBS’ Numbers and on IFC’s The Onion News Network. He has appeared in several Broadway shows, including Fiddler on the Roof. His portrayal of Motel the Tailor earned him an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination. John grew up in Presque Isle and now lives in The Bronx.