Synopses & Reviews
The interaction between the ideas of the playwright and the know-how of the dramaturg is vital to the success of any production. But not every writer is accustomed to thinking like a dramaturg. The Collaborative Playwright changes that by offering a lively dialogue between a highly successful playwright, Bruce Graham, and an equally accomplished dramaturg, Michele Volansky, supported by hands-on exercises to get you thinking and writing in new ways. The Collaborative Playwright gives you professional advice on how to get started with a play, how to structure it to be performed, and how to work with a dramaturg to turn it into a staged production. Graham and Volansky's fun, smart conversation offers step-by-step advice on each of the components of the craft - exposition, rhythms, characterization, structure, and story generation - all illustrated with clear examples from Graham's own plays. But unlike other books that advise playwrights, The Collaborative Playwright is written from two points of view: the playwright's and the dramaturg's. It's both friendly and packed with indispensable nuggets of information, including interviews with more than thirty current theatre artists whose collective advice articulates some of the more practical aspects of working in the theatre - knowledge that playwrights need as they write. Want to write plays that work as well on stage as they do in your head? Read The Collaborative Playwright, listen in as two theatre veterans discuss the crucial characteristics of good writing, and find out why, if you're writing for the theatre, it pays to listen to your dramaturg.
About the Author
Bruce Graham is the author of the following plays: Burkie, Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar & Grille, Minor Demons, Moon Over the Brewery, The Champagne Charlie Stakes, Belmont Avenue Social Club, Desperate Affection, Coyote on a Fence, and According to Goldman. Coyote on a Fence was the winner of the Rosenthal Prize and recently opened in London's West End starring Ben Cross. His one-man show, The Philly Fan, was recently revived for a third run. Two new plays, Dex and Julie Sittin' in a Tree (Arden Theatre) and Full Figured, Loves to Dance (Theatre Exile), opened this year. His feature film credits include Dunston Checks In, Anastasia, Steal This Movie, and his TV movie, Ring of Endless Light, won the Humanitas Award for Best Children's Teleplay. Graham has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and he was a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Statuette Award. He currently teaches playwriting and film courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Graham lives in Media, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Stephanie, and their daughter, Kendall.Michele Volansky is Assistant Professor of Drama at Washington College and the dramaturg for the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference. She has worked on more than 150 plays, including the Broadway productions of Buried Child and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She has worked with numerous theatrical groups, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and the Philadelphia Theatre Company. In 1999 she won the inaugural Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy and is also past President of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. She is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Hull (England), writing about the critics Kenneth Tynan and Frank Rich.