Playwrights Retreat to Ohio

Information about retreats organized by the Ohio State University Department of Theatre for the International Center for Women Playwrights (ICWP), whose work is archived in Ohio State's Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Plays in the Classroom

In the Autumn of 2006, Ohio State's Theatre H101: Introduction to Theatre through original work for first-year Honors students, used ICWP plays as the basis for the course. Each student was assigned a play, and then had to reconstruct how that play was written, and what happened to it during the course of production. Three plays were selected by the class for staged readings, and the playwrights invited to join us on campus for the reading. G.L. Horton came from Boston for her play, Boston's Brothers in Liberty, an historical drama on the Boston Massacre. Unhappily, G.L.'s flight was cancelled, so she arrived in Columbus after the scheduled class session. She did report on her visit, and her interview with student Brad Bartels, on her podcast; see to hear her discussion with Alan Woods (that's me), as well as with Brad, and other thoughts about Columbus.

Also visiting was Mrinalini Kamath, from New Jersey, for a reading of her comedy, Celestial Motions. Here's Mrinalini with the large cast of her play (she's in the center in the dark maroon sweater; next to her, in orange, is Kalifa Li, the student who worked on Mrinalini's play).

and here's Mrinalini, talking with the class in Ohio State's Roy H. Bowen Theatre, after the reading.

Cleveland playwright Carole Clement also came down to Columbus for a reading of her play, Babes in America; unhappily, I forgot to photograph her reading and events. Carole's play had a production in Cleveland in October, and she kindly hosted her student, James Treadwell, for the weekend so that he could interview her and see the production--which, unhappily, both she and James found not very successful.

This was the second time the class was offered; it's been enormously successful, from my perspective. The students--most of whom are not theatre majors--learn an enormous amount about the process of creating plays, and are aided enormously by the cooperation of the playwrights, all of whom agreed to participate. A complete list of the playwrights involved and the syllabus for the course is available at for those who are interested.