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Experimenting with Form: Performance writing craft class 

w/Melisa Tien

Jun 1, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM  (EST/New York)

In theater and other genres, it may seem as if there are only a handful of available formulas for structuring one's writing.  In this workshop, we will briefly discuss common theatrical forms, then depart from these forms and work from an entirely new structure borrowed from an artistic medium outside of writing. Guided by a succession of prompts that I will provide during the workshop, you will complete short plays that are perfectly theatrical, and possibly unlike anything you've written before.

Melisa Tien is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist invested in making formally unconventional, socially relevant, and emotionally evocative work. She is currently teaching at Sarah Lawrence College MFA program. A resident of New Dramatists, she is the author of the plays BEST LIFE (JACK, 2021), YELLOW CARD RED CARD (ICE FACTORY, 2017), THE BOYD SHOW, and FAMILIUM VULGARE; co-author of the operas THE BIG SWIM (Asia Society Texas Center/Houston Grand Opera, 2024), FAMILY HEIRLOOM (Experiments in Opera, 2024), FOREVER (Washington National Opera, 2023), SONG OF THE NIGHTINGALE (On Site Opera, 2023), and THE BEEHIVE (University of Northern Iowa, 2023). She is currently a member of Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, and a librettist for American Opera Project's Composers & the Voice Program, and was a member of Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 2022 Ground Floor Residency Lab, Experiments in Opera’s 2022 Writers’ Room, The Assembly Theater Project’s 2021 Deceleration Lab.

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