David L. Williams is a graduate of the theatre department of Cornell University, where he was a four time award winner in the Heerman’s-McCalmon Playwriting contest, and received his MFA in playwriting from the University of Nebraska. He has written more than twenty-five plays and musicals, and his work has been produced across the United States, including four plays and musicals in the New York International Fringe Festival, and internationally in Italy, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Australia. His most recent productions include the world premieres of his full-length plays The Starving at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA, and The Censor, which won the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Award for Excellence in Playwriting, at Throughline Theatre in Pittsburgh. He lives in Bellefonte, PA with his wonderful wife Kathleen and his amazing son Samuel. www.playwrightdavid.com
Dialogue is not Conversation
“You write the way people really talk” should never be given as a compliment to a playwright. People talk in conversation but theatre thrives on dialogue. What’s the difference? In this workshop, we’ll talk about conflict: the cornerstone of western theatre, and the main thing that separates dialogue from conversation. We’ll also take a real life conversation, a drab, overheard bit of real life talking and figure out how to turn it into dialogue fit for the stage.
A Vase Must Hold Flowers Too
Writing for the stage is writing things for human beings to say and do in a room full of other human beings. Does this mean that there is no room in playwriting for symbols and motifs, for the flowery, wonderful things that language can do? Not at all. But there is an extra responsibility for a playwright to realize that every symbol s/he writes, every vase that represents something about her/his protagonist’s life, has to also be a tangible vase, one that can hold flowers (or be hurled in anger). In this workshop, we’ll go through what a good symbol needs to do to still be a vital part of stagecraft, go through some examples of this, and create some of our own.