Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Continued elsewhere

This blog remains as a sampler to dip into life in the CMU dramatic writing program and the interests of its leader. Current salvos can be found on Twitter @sailordoghandel.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

People everyone needs to have as teachers: Mac Wellman & Lisa Kron at the Flea

The Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at The Flea Theater are intimate, four-session intensives for new work and new ways of working.

Mac Wellman
A 4-meeting, 2-weekend intensive. Arrive with blank paper and leave with interesting writing. Non-romantic writing & discussion.
Dates: April 16-17 & 23-24
Times: 10am – 1pm
Price: $325
Application Deadline: March 14, 2011

Lisa Kron
A 4-meeting, 2-weekend course for writers interested in exploring the elusive inner structures of dramatic action.
Dates: April 30-May 1 & May 7-8
Times: 10am – 1pm
Price: $325
Application Deadline: March 21, 2011

Application Information
Applications are being accepted electronically:

Email your cover letter, Bio or CV and ten-page sample to Gary Winter at If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours that we received your application, please email again.

Be sure to specify which workshop(s) you would like to attend, and mention if you have attended a Pataphysics Workshop in the past. The Pataphysics Workshops for Playwrights are produced at cost by The Flea Theater. A limited number of scholarships will be awarded based on need and merit. If you want to apply for a need-based scholarship, please do so under a separate letter. If you are applying to more than one workshop, one application will suffice. Please list your preferences. Thank you!

About Pataphysics

New Work and New Ways of Working
The Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at The Flea Theater are intimate, four-session intensives for new work and new ways of working. Named for Alfred Jarry’s science of imaginary solutions, the workshops are a gymnasium for the writing brain—curious, particular, and rigorous. Students enter with blank sheets of paper, and leave with pages of notes, fragments, scenes, even entire plays unlike anything they would have written on their own.

Led by Master Playwrights
The Pataphysics workshops are led by master playwrights who are known not only for a distinct and groundbreaking body of work, but also for their ability as teachers. Each workshop, led by a master playwright pursuing his or her own train of thought, is geared to generate new material and new ideas through writing experiments, readings, and interesting talk. Master playwrights have included: Lee Breuer, Erik Ehn, Karen Finley, Maria Irene Fornes, Jeff Jones, Eduardo Machado, Chuck Mee, Paula Vogel, and Mac Wellman.

Workshop Structure
The workshops are structured around the idea that whatever is most immediately interesting to a teacher will make for the most engaging class. They’re an opportunity for writers, emerging and experienced, to challenge their own assumptions using strange muscles and surprising parts of the brain.

Each workshop meets four times over two consecutive weekends at The Flea. Class size is limited to thirteen and admission is by application. The Flea Theater runs these workshops at cost. Grants from The Flea Theater and private donations provide a limited number of scholarships for those who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Pataphysics is quite simply the best class I’ve ever taught. Why? Because everyone in the room knows why they’re there and comes highly motivated. That cuts through the bull. It lets us work as peers.”

—Jeffrey M. Jones

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Skype is the new Algonquin [David Wain] of MTV’s The State on a peculiar brand of stardom. “Often people would be like, I’m such a big fan of your work. I want to have a career like yours. And I’m like, great, can you buy me a slice of pizza?”

DW: Every writing partnership is different, but ours is very much us both just sitting there together at the screen and doing it. We very rarely write by ourselves.
BLVR: Who types?
DW: I type—only because Ken is not a very fast typer. Most of it is over Skype. Mostly we’re on Skype, screen-sharing, so we’re both looking at the same screen, and we’re listening to each other’s voice. That’s the way we’ve written the majority of our work together.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Found radio theatre, today at 4 is broadcasting a live feed from NASA mission control layered with ambient music. It's addictively ominous. Listen between 4 and 5 ET today for the 39th and final takeoff of space shuttle Discovery.

(Tuning in to preflight mission audio over the past 24 hours, I've been struck by the tension between the images in my head of what NASA mission control looks like — images from the cold war era, i.e. men in shirtsleeves — and the live voices I'm hearing, many of which are female.)