Play/Write began in January of 2010 and is inspired by playwriting programs around the country (WiseWrite in St. Louis, The 52nd Street Project in NYC). During the program, each student writes an original play, and at the end receives a formatted and bound copy of it.
GRP’s Play/Write program has two main components:
1. A residency during which teaching artists visit schools for 20-weeks of classes with fifth and sixth grade students. Teaching artists focus on theatre games and exercises informing the writing process, and techniques for thinking creatively.
2. A Showcase celebrating the student work, in which 10 student-written plays are presented by professional theatre companies at Dillard University’s Cook Theatre.
Play/Write classes have been hosted by seven New Orleans schools:
- Bethune Elementary
- Renew Cultural Arts Academy
- St. Mary’s Academy
- Success Preparatory Academy
- The International School of Louisiana
- Young Audiences Charter School
- Warren Easton Charter High School
(schools in bold have current Play/Write programs)
Play/Write has been lucky to benefit from the artistic talent of many New Orleans-based theatre companies in the Showcase performances:
- American Theatre Project
- Amplified Voices
- Artspot Production
- Ashe Cultural Arts Center
- Cripple Creek Theatre
- Dancing Grounds
- Dillard University Theatre
- Junebug Productions
- KM Dance Project
- Last Call
- Lux et Umbra
- NEW NOISE
- Night Light Collective
- Pamela Davis-Noland
- Skin Horse Theater
- Southern Rep
- The NOLA Project
GRP’s Play/Write curriculum is based on the idea that students learn from doing. It combines theatre activities – games, improvised scenes, students staging short works – with lessons on writing – exploration of dramatic conflict, believable dialogue, and developing a plot map.
During the 20-week Play/Write residency, each student in the program writes a short play that demonstrates mastery of Common Core writing standards. The teaching artists lead students through the playwriting process: prewriting and drafting, individual and group conferences, revisions, and finally, publication.
In addition to attending the Showcase at the end of the program, each student receives a bound copy of his/her very own play, typed, formatted and printed in professional script format.
Please contact Shannon Flaherty at firstname.lastname@example.org for more curriculum information.
*Photos by Jess Pinkham
Play/Write 2017 was supported by an Artworks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and grants from the Gambit’s Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education, the New Orleans Theatre Association, the Pavey-Deblois Foundation, and the Keller Family Foundation. It is supported in part by a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans and a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, both of which are administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans.