Theatrical Collaboration: The Actor, the Director, and the Playwright

Level: Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in fall 2014.
Session: I, June 23-July 11, 2014; II, July 15-August 1, 2014
Days & Time: Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:30-4:30 PM
Instructor(s): Dyana Kimball and Columbia University Graduate Student Teaching Fellows
Prerequisites: Prior experience in amateur community or high school theatre. As part of their applications, students are required in the personal statements to discuss their theatrical experience and explain what they hope to contribute to the program.

It was challenging but in a good way. It allowed me to open up more and be bold and I was excited and wanted to come to class every day!...I liked how you didn’t have to do only directing or acting or playwriting. You get to do all and learn so much! - Dilara Akol, 2013

Course Description

Designed for students with experience in drama who are interested in developing original theatrical productions, the course emphasizes the working relationship between actor, director, and playwright, and the unique dynamic that exists between them when working on untried material.

Workshops and lectures during the first week introduce students to the demands of play development. Students then elect to specialize in one of three areas: acting, directing, or playwriting. The remainder of the course is given over to the development of short plays to be written, directed, and acted by the students under the supervision of theatrical professionals. In small, autonomous groups of actors, each with its own director and playwright, students create a production to be mounted at the end of the program.

Workshops are interactive, with the evolving pieces of each play periodically shown to the entire group for feedback in a safe, supportive environment. The course affords students a unique opportunity to experience the nuances of professional theatrical collaboration.

Students who are interested in devoting six weeks to Theatrical Collaboration may apply to both Session I and II.  Students taking the course in both sessions extend their experience in the creative processes involved in producing original works for the stage.

Instructor(s):

Dyana Kimball

Dyana Kimball earned her B.A. in English literature at Boston University and an M.F.A in directing at Columbia University. She is a current member of the Women’s Project Director’s Lab and teaches directing at Marymount Manhattan College. She has been a guest director at Long Island University's CW Post Campus and at UMass Lowell, and she’s been a visiting artist at Vassar College and the University of Alaska in Juneau. Ms. Kimball was the founder and Artistic Director of Boston Directors' Lab for five years and is currently a member of the New York-based theatre Collective, Ontik. Her directing credits include: NYC: Alice Tuan's adaptation of Thomas Middleton's "The Roaring Girle" (CW Post); Thornton Wilder's "The Happy Journey" (Marymount Manhattan College); Alexis Clements’ “Conversation” (University Settlement) and “Your own Personal Apocalypse” (Chashama); “Numbers” by Kieron Barry (Manhattan Rep.); "Orestes 2.0" by Charles Mee Jr. (CW Post); Georg Buchner's "Woyzeck" (Central Park); Elmer Rice's "The Adding Machine" (Theatre at Riverside Church); Bertolt Brecht's "Baal, Island of Slaves" by Marivaux, and Bixby Elliot's "Love and Literature" (Schapiro Theatre at Columbia); "Library Play" by Paul Cohen (J. Houseman Theatre), "Sill Life," by Emily Mann (Belt Theatre), "Rubber" by Tom Sleigh (RAW Space) and "Chopping" by Magdalena Gomez (HERE Arts Center). Regional: "Roach, An Adaptation of Kafka's Metamorphosis," by ONTIK, Philadelphia, PA (Spirit Wind Arts), "Don Giovanni," by Mozart, Juneau, AK (Opera-to-Go); "What Will I Do When You’re Gone," by Neil Bell, Cambridge, MA (The Market Theatre/BTM); "Traveling Naked," by Debra Lake Fortson, Boston, MA (Boston Playwrights Theatre); "Through the Leaves", by Franz Xaver Kroetzk, Boston, MA (BDL); "Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie," by Albert Innurato, Boston, MA (BDL).

Specific course information, such as hours and instructors, are subject to change at the discretion of the University.