2016 Archives

Applications now being accepted for free Dallas Playwrights’ Workshop

Program to run Nov. 1 - Dec. 5; applications due by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14

September 27, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) — Applications are now being accepted for the fourth annual Dallas Playwrights’ Workshop, a free, six-week program for emerging playwrights presented by Will Power, artist-in-residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts and playwright-in-residence and Mellon Foundation Fellow at Dallas Theater Center.

The program, to be held at SMU once a week from November 1 through December 5, enables participants to work closely with Power to sharpen their writing, develop professional relationships and learn from their peers in a rigorous and supportive environment. Each participant will develop his or her own three-scene project, followed by a closed reading for workshop members with actors from SMU and the local community.

The Dallas Playwrights’ Workshop is intended for emerging and mid-career professional playwrights who live in Dallas-Fort Worth, have previously written at least one play and are able to demonstrate a unique and compelling voice. The program will run for six weeks beginning Tuesday, November 1. Participants must be available on November 1 and then on Monday evenings from November 7 through December 5.

Interested writers should apply by submitting a completed application, a 10-page excerpt from any play they’ve written, a full-length play (one or two acts), a resume or biography, and a one-page summary explaining their writing goals, the ways in which they’d like to develop as an artist and why they would like to participate in the program. Applications are available at online and are due via email to wyliew@smu.edu. The application deadline is Friday, October 14 at 5 p.m. (Central Standard Time).

In its first three years, the Dallas Playwrights’ Workshop has helped foster the work of a number of local theatre artists. Award-winning playwright Jonathan Norton, a participant in the inaugural class in 2013-14, said, “The Dallas Playwrights’ Workshop led by Will Power was a game changer for me. It was great, and very necessary, to have a place to return to week after week to deep-dive into the craft of playwriting. Will creates a very supportive environment that is still incredibly demanding and rigorous. Through the workshop I was able to articulate my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and develop strategies to get better.”

Shelby-Allison Hibbs, a director, writer and actor and a member of the 2015-16 class, said, “Will Power has been a great mentor and really transformed the way I think about plays. His workshops highlighted aspects of plot structure and story making that I had not considered previously. His notes are always spot on and he cultivates a highly collaborative environment with the playwrights group. I was challenged in the best way with this program, and I always felt encouraged to dig deeper into storytelling and raising the stakes of action. I left the program with such a positive outlook for my own work and have started self-producing.”

For more information about the Dallas Playwrights’ Workshop, email wyliew@smu.edu or visit http://bit.ly/PlaywrightsApplication.

About Will Power

Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer whose work combines classic folklore with modern elements. His musical Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center, 2015) spanned the 20th century, tracing mythical characters in their quest to achieve the American Dream. Its deep-seated themes of racism and power were translated through Joplin-inspired tunes, R&B and hip-hop. Other plays include Fetch Clay, Make Man, which recently enjoyed a successful run Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop; Steel Hammer with SITI Company (Humana Festival); The Seven (winner of Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, New York Theatre Workshop, La Jolla Playhouse); Five Fingers of Funk! (Children’s Theatre Company); Honey Bo and The Goldmine (La Jolla Playhouse); and two acclaimed solo shows, The Gathering and Flow, which toured over 70 cities in the U.S., Europe and Australia. He also created a hip-hop version of Caliban’s speech from The Tempest for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the 2012 London Olympics. His numerous film and television appearances include The Steven Colbert Report (Comedy Central) and Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS).

In 2016, Power was one of 21 national performing artists named winners of the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Awards. Power’s numerous other awards include a United States Artist Prudential Fellowship, the TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the Trailblazer Award from The National Black Theater Network and the Meadows School’s Meadows Prize in 2011.  Stagger Lee, which was produced and premiered by the Dallas Theater Center in 2015, was partially developed in workshops in collaboration with the Meadows School as a part of Powers’ Meadows Prize residency.

Power is currently working on Wade in the Water, which he describes as a “Nuevo-Gospel Musical,” a work that brings a more contemporary viewpoint to a traditional Biblical or gospel tale. It is being commissioned and developed at Center Theater Group in Los Angeles.


Media Contact: 

Victoria Winkelman
SMU Meadows School of the Arts


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