On November 21st, PlayBuilders is offering, for the first time, a playwriting workshop just in time to prepare for our 5th Annual PlayBuilders' PlayFestival.* The themes for this year are “place” and “memories of place.” Instructors include award winning playwriting teacher, Robert St. John, and Walter Gains of Le Jardin Academy with Po’okela award winning director, Terri Madden, of PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company. From characterization to the dramatic arc, broaden your skills in storytelling and learn how to use personal interviews and story circles to write plays for the communities you care about. Certification of participation will be given out at the end of the workshop.
The workshop leaders are as follows:
Robert St. John (MFA creative writing--University of Oregon) has taught playwriting and devising at Le Jardin Academy for 26 years, and currently oversees the LJA International Baccalaureate high school theater program. Under his supervision, the LJA theater program has always used its limited resources as its advantage by focusing on creating original plays exclusively, and through a liberal use of sound effects and minimalist sets. He works with beginning playwrights by focusing on scene development through limiting the number of characters and enriching dialogue. His student playwrights have won numerous awards and have received a number of local productions of their plays. Each year at LJA, high school student playwrights work with him to write the main-stage school production, featuring actors from grades six through twelve. In 2014, he won the Lin Wright Award, an American Alliance for Theater and Education national teaching grant, and in 2015, he won the PlayBuilders Teacher of the Year Award, both in recognition of his contributions to the teaching of playwriting.
Walt Gaines (MFA- Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre/ MA- UH Manoa- Theatre) has extensive background in using various physical theatre styles and methodologies to create actor-generated plays and devising ensemble theatre. He has taught in several schools in the U.S. and abroad, as both an English and drama teacher. Currently he teaches 6th-9th grade drama at Le Jardin Academy, and assists young playwrights in developing new and adapting existing plays. As a performer, Walt has been in dozens of new and original works. He originated several characters in Clown and Commedia forms, and as a playwright has won “Best of SF Fringe Festival” awards, Grand Prize at English-Drama awards, KCACTF Regional playwriting award, and the 2014 UH Manoa annual playwriting award.
Terri Madden (MFA theatre with focus on playwriting, University of Hawaiʻi) As founder and executive Director of PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company, Terri has spearheaded 6 community collaborative performance pieces including Someone Else’s Slippahs, Chinatown, Wahiawa, Remembah Wen, Yes I Am, Stories from Honoluluʻs LGBT Community, Houseless in Paradise, Yes I AM: Leeward Edition, and The Waipahu Project. Of those 6 projects, Terri directed and/or served as playwright on several. Terri is a recipient of Lisa Toshigawa Inouye Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and is a multiple Po’okela Award winning actress for both straight plays and musicals. She was most recently acknowledged with a Po’okela award for directing “Houseless in Paradise” which was also selected as “All-Around Play” for the 2013-2014 season. The 2016 PlayFestival is the 5th playwriting festival in a row she has produced for PlayBuilders.
Please note: Participation in this workshop in not necessary in order to participate in The PlayFestival. It will have absolutely no bearing on play selections.
*Formally known as PlayBuilders’ Festival of Original plays