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Finding the Drama in History: Using Historical Materials to Inspire Playwriting – This class is cancelled.

October 7, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am EDT

Event Series Event Series (See All)

Instructor: Christine Stoddard
$120 Members | $130 Nonmembers
Online Saturdays, 10/7/23, 10/14/23, 10/28/23 | 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET;
In-person Saturday, November 18, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm ET

History has a reputation for being dull or intimidating. To those working outside of academia and museums, history as a field may appear exclusive or even cultish. But history is for everyone! It’s storytelling throughout the ages and who doesn’t crave a good story? With elements like narrative, memory, and interpretation, history inherently has theatrical qualities. This workshop aims to invite playwrights and other creative writers into the world of history and make them feel welcome. History lovers, whether history professionals or not, who are interested in writing for the stage, are also welcome.

Students will learn:

  • the differences between primary and secondary sources and why this matters for playwrights
  • how to find and record oral histories for playwriting purposes
  • how to research archival photographs, postcards, and other image-based materials for information and inspiration as playwrights
  • how to research archival letters, newspapers, and other text-based materials for information and inspiration as playwrights
  • how to find books, documentaries, podcasts, and other media for research to inform their plays
  • how to use play and storytelling games to open up their imaginations and discover new possibilities for their playwriting

Students will receive:

  • Feedback and encouragement during the workshop
  • A take-home list of historical materials for research & inspiration
  • A take-home list of resources for playwriting opportunities
  • The option of emailing the instructor questions after the workshop

Christine Stoddard is a Salvadoran-American writer, director, and interdisciplinary artist originally from Arlington, VA. She has authored plays, books, films, art exhibitions, performances, and new media works. Her theatre credits include multiple New York City venues, such as the Gene Frankel Theatre, The Players Theatre, The People’s Improv Theater, Broadway Comedy Club, Theater for the New City, and Irondale Center, as well as Washington, D.C. venues Theater Alliance, the Kennedy Center, and Teatro de la Luna. Her drama “Mi Abuela, Queen of Nightmares,” the winner of multiple awards, was recently published as a standalone book, and will next run at The Tank in New York. Her drama “Heartbreak in Tompkins Square Park” will have a staged reading at Theatre Row in June 2023. Stoddard is a three-time winner of national artist grants from The Puffin Foundation in the categories of theatre, film, and photography. She is also a former Style Weekly “Top 40 Under 40 of Richmond, VA” awardee, a FOLIO Magazine “20 in their 20s” media visionary, and was the first-ever artist-in-residence at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in New York City. She founded Quail Bell Magazine as an undergraduate at VCUarts and holds an M.F.A. from The City College of New York. Currently, she is pursuing an M.A. in Oral History from Columbia University.