THE FENG SHUI OF REWRITING with John Walch
Saturday, June 2nd 2:00 – 3:30pm
Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St.
Tickets are sliding scale $2 – $20 and available HERE
The French call it “élan vital”, the Romans called it “vital spark,” smoothie makers in Berkley call it “raw fuel”, hipsters in Brooklyn call it “Red Bull”, Chinese philosophers call it “Qi”…translating roughly to mean vital energy of which everything is composed. Whatever you call it, plays, especially early drafts, are filled with vitality or Qi.
In rewriting your play, the goal is to build on those furious first sparks, to understand what your Qi is, and to maximize the flow of Qi throughout your play, without snuffing out the impulses behind the initial creation. But how? A once tortured rewriter shares how he came to approach rewriting in a totally non-Aristotelian, non-denominational, non sequitur, and no-nonsense way. In this workshop, writers are introduced to three basic principles of Feng Shui and are invited to apply them to a specific piece they are rewriting. Writers should come with a play (or really anything) they want to reorganize and rewrite. The more resistance, the better. Bring whatever you write with, as we’ll do some light stretching exercises. And if you don’t have anything to rewrite, but have a closet or desk drawer to reorganize, what the heck, come anyway.
John Walch’s plays have been produced, commissioned, and developed at theaters such as Center Theatre Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, TheatreSquared, Theatre @ Boston Court, Kitchen Dog, Edinburgh Fringe Fest, and Off-Broadway at Urban Stages. Awards include: The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays; the American Theatre Critics Association’s Osborn Award; three Austin Critics Table Awards, the Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theatre, and the Charlotte Woolard Award recognizing a new voice in the American Theatre. John is a two time Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and was a James Michener Fellow at the Michener Center at University of Texas @ Austin.
John served as Artistic Director for ScriptWorks from 1998-2002 and remains a proud alum of ScriptWorks and New Dramatists in NYC. He has taught playwriting at UT @ Austin, University of Iowa, and Bennington College, among others. John currently heads the MFA Program in Playwriting at the University of Arkansas.