Imagine if, when you were a young, passionate student, a professional in your field could sit down and give you real-world advice. Pretty valuable.
That’s what students in Sean Casey’s Summer Teen Playwriting Class experienced this past Saturday. Students, ages 12 to 19, were taught the basics of playwriting over the six-week class, which culminated with a table reading by professional actors in front of an audience of friends and family members.
Benefits of the course were apparent to the students. Russ Laney, Jr., whose piece "Coffee Shop Talk" focused on a conversation between an aging rocker and a record shop owner, believes the class has given his writing process more perspective. “It helps to take it out of your mind and see how other people interpret it. The way you read a line when you're writing it may not be the way they read it when they're acting."
After each play was read, fellow students, audience members and even the actors themselves discussed each piece, giving notes about tone, differentiating characters and pace. Local actress Lydia Gordon participated in some of the readings and could tell that the playwrights were taking these notes seriously. “I know they like hearing it because it helps them to see if they’re getting their point across,” said Gordon.
Casey, the course instructor, believes that the live readings do more than just benefit the student’s ability to craft a story. "It's good for them that their plays are out there. An exercise like this shows them that what they're doing matters. These plays may not make it to Broadway but today they had an effect on the people in this room and that's important for them to see.”
Casey’s fall class schedule includes Journalism, Creative Writing and Elementary Drama. For information, contact Sean Casey at 404‐314‐0668.