Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2010
By Sean Dalton, Heritage Newspapers Heritage/Chelsea Standard
The Purple Rose Theatre Company was recently awarded a grant of $17,000 from the Chelsea Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, to continue its partnership with the Chelsea District Library in developing new plays for the American theatre.
"The chance to develop new plays with new and veteran playwrights is essential to the survival of a theatre whose mission is to develop and produce new work for the stage,” said Guy Sanville, artistic director for the Purple Rose Theatre Company. “When we started working with the library, we absolutely upgraded our efforts in this critical area. The library folks are creative, enthusiastic, passionate people, who care about our community and their place in it.
“They are very good at what they do. We are very grateful for the opportunity to continue and grow our partnership."
Beginning now through June, the Purple Rose will host eight, three-day work-shops called “greenhouses.” Each greenhouse will focus on a new play, written by Purple Rose resident artists and other established and emerging artists. The greenhouses will include table readings of the script and discussions about story, characters and structure, from which writers will ex-periment with editing.
Each greenhouse will culminate with a concert-style reading held at the Chelsea District Library. These readings will be free and open to the public. Each concert reading will be followed by a talkback session, where audience members can express their opinions and raise questions about the script. The talkback sessions will provide the playwright, director and actors with feedback from the audience, while giving the audience a glimpse into the creative process that helps refine plays before they head to the stage.
Three public lectures will be held at the library over the course of the year focusing on a specific theme. A question-and-answer session with the audience will follow each lecture.
The final component of the project is a series of three playwriting workshops for high school students. Students will receive eight hours of intensive instruction by a professional playwright. Workshops will include lectures on dramatic structure, various writing and storytelling exercises, readings and critiques of the students’ work. Students will leave the workshop with their own completed 10-minute play.
The culmination of the workshops will include a public reading of all of the plays at the library, performed by a cast of professional actors.
For more information, visit www.purplerosetheatre.org.
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