This past weekend I had the wonderful experience of partaking in Playworks Ink, a drama conference with a particular focus on playwrighting as well as other theatre related skills. There were sessions directly related to playwrighting as well as movement, breath control, directing, and (from what I heard) a phenomenal workshop where you could learn the Catalyst Theatre process from the inside. This conference is run by Theatre Alberta and Alberta Playwright's Network and they managed to bring in world-class instructors who worked with the many participants of backgrounds ranging from enthusiasts, to drama educators, to emerging professionals to full-fledged professionals. I cannot speak to anyone else's experience but mine was fantastic and everything I needed to get me recharged.
My first session was with Karen Hines and in a jam-packed session on Friday afternoon I discovered 2 major things that will help me with my in-process script Girls in White Dresses. The activities she taught us are also ones that I can take and use again with the same script and others. Very valuable.
I spent all of Saturday with Daniel MacIvor. His session, Play Finding, was individualized. He worked with the 11 of us to pull out the best of what we had and push us on to the next step and for me, the next 2 or 3 steps. I have a new play to work on now from that. This session has me desperately trying to figure out how I can do his 3 day workshop in Banff in February. I'll be talking more about MacIvor this week. I got to interview him for this Blog about his upcoming show, This is What Happens Next, that opens at the Citadel this weekend. He also delivered a Keynote that spoke to theatre in a way that was refreshing and enlightening. A generous instructor, a charismatic speaker, and a thoughtful thinker - I cannot wait to see his show.
Sunday was the last of my three sessions. I got the low-down on how to market my work from Ken Cameron. For me this was the most scary workshop and perhaps the most valuable. I am not scared to delve deep for my work, but have me talk about it to a potential producer and I freeze up. I have a plan now and hopefully this will help me face me fears.
A wonderful weekend. It's every 2 years - which is a financial necessity for the organization, but I could go twice a year if it was possible!