CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Macbeth.' Photo by Mark Lyons.

Apply Now for CCM’s Summer Playwrights Conference

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music presents the Playwrights Conference from June 12-17, 2017. Now in its second year, this program is organized by CCM Assistant Professor of Acting Brant Russell and is open to aspiring and experienced playwrights alike.

“This year’s conference will host writers from all backgrounds and levels of experience,” Russell said. “Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a theater-lover who wants a boot-camp experience in the fundamentals of playwriting, we’d love to hear from you.  The community we create over the week-long conference is supportive, diverse and artistically adventurous.”

Participants in CCM’s 2016 Playwrights Conference work on their plays during a group session.

During the Playwrights Conference participants will write, take master classes with industry professionals and attend readings of their works. The week-long program offers a Development Track for participants who already have a play that they want to work on during the conference, along with a Fundamentals Track for participants who want to learn the nuts and bolts of playwriting.

Participants will also get to hear their work read a loud by CCM actors during nightly “Play Barn” sessions, lead by CCM Acting Chair Richard Hess. The ensemble of actors will bring the plays to life at the program’s 10-Minute-Play Festival, a public performance of the new works scheduled for the final night of the conference.

Conference participants will have an opportunity to work with a host of renowned theatre professionals, including award-winning playwright MJ Kaufman and Huntington Theatre Company director of new work Lisa Timmel.

Timmel will serve as the conference’s lead instructor and resident dramaturg, while Kaufman will serve as playwright-in-residence. Kaufman has been commissioned to write a new play for this year’s conference, which will allow participants to witness this new work develop over the course of the program.

CCM’s 2017 Playwrights Conference is now accepting applications. The application deadline is April 15, 2017.

To learn more about how you can bring your ideas from page to stage, please visit ccm.uc.edu/summer/playwrights.

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10-Minute Play Festival closes Playwrights Conference with new work by Todd Almond

The week-long playwriting intensive hosted by CCM Summer Programs will come to a dramatic close Saturday (May 14) in a series of 10-minute plays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre.

Fourteen playwrights have spent the week learning from industry professionals in master classes to write and develop original works. The inaugural Playwrights Conference was organized by CCM Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell. It gave participants the unique opportunity to work closely with leaders in the field — including internationally known playwright and composer, alumnus Todd Almond (BM, 1999) and dramaturg Lisa Timmel, director of new work at the Tony award-winning Huntington Theatre Company in Boston.

“[The participants] are working with levels of expertise and talent that they would not otherwise have access to,” Russell said. “Lisa and Todd represent the very best of what the industry has to offer and I don’t know of any other situation in which playwrights at this level with their engagement with the craft would be able to work these people.”

Each participant has written a short play to be performed at the 10-Minute Play Festival on Saturday. Almond was commissioned to write and develop a new play specifically for this conference, which will premiere at the close of Saturday’s festival around 8:15 p.m. Each play will be performed by CCM’s own drama students.

“Todd’s play is part of a commissioning initiative that I’ve launched here that brings plays to CCM to be produced, the world premiere version of that will hopefully then go on to have a professional and academic life of its own for years and years and years,” Russell said.

Photo by CCM E-Media student Arielle Kruger.

Photo by CCM E-Media student Arielle Kruger.

The playwrights, including Almond, have rewritten and edited their works throughout the week to perfect them for the stage. Almond said the conference feels like a “Sundance retreat where you come every day with new pages.” Almond drew from his memories as a CCM student when writing and developing the play, he added:

“It’s about wrestling with identity when you go to college. There’s a bit of a tragedy early on that kind of derails the main character and he has to wrestle with getting back on track. The actors are helping me figure out what in that is honest and what in that feels forced. I think our process is making it more honest, we’re making this play actually feel real and not devised.”

The 10-Minute Play Festival is FREE and open to the public. Join us for an evening featuring all-new works by playwrights from across the country brought to life on stage with the talents of CCM student actors 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Photos and Video by Arielle Kruger

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CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Macbeth.' Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Presents Inaugural Playwrights Conference, May 9 – 14, 2016

CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Macbeth.' Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents its inaugural Playwrights Conference from May 9 – 14, 2016. Organized by CCM Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell, this summer program is open to aspiring and experienced playwrights alike.

This year’s conference will welcome up to 15 playwrights, who will spend the week writing, participating in master classes with industry professionals and attending readings of their works.

“Ten minute play festivals are a huge way for playwrights to get their work seen,” Russell explains, “so we have designed this program as a professional preparatory conference, which will provide writers with an intensive setting in which to hone their craft.”

At the conclusion of the conference, participants will have a workshopped 10-minute play in hand.

The week-long program offers a Development Track for participants who already have a play that they want to work on during the conference, along with a Fundamentals Track for participants who want to learn the nuts and bolts of playwriting.

Conference participants will have an opportunity to work with a host of renowned theatre professionals, including composer/lyricist/playwright Todd Almond, Huntington Theatre Company director of new work Lisa Timmel, CCM Professor of Stage Direction Emma Griffin, Know Theatre of Cincinnati producing artistic director Andrew Hungerford, Actors Theatre resident dramaturg Hannah Rae Montgomery and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park artistic director and c0-CEO Blake Robinson.

Timmel will serve as the conference’s lead instructor and resident dramaturg, while Almond will serve as playwright-in-residence. Almond has been commissioned to write a new play for this year’s conference, which will allow participants to witness his new work develop over the course of the program. “Our playwrights will benefit from being in the room during the early stages of this new play’s development,” Russell suggests.

Participants will also get to hear their work read aloud by CCM’s resident actors. Russell explains, “An ensemble of CCM actors led by Richard Hess will bring our students’ plays to life every night, and at the end of the week we’ll have a 10-Minute Play Festival performed for the public in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.”

CCM’s 2016 Playwrights Conference is now accepting applications.

To learn more about how you can bring your ideas from page to stage, please visit ccm.uc.edu/summer/playwrights.

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