When I was a child I heard my parents tell me I grew up on asparagus. Asparagus; I now love asparagus. I heard that before I was two years old that I had been in twenty or thirty States; I love traveling. I heard I had a big imagination; I can see myself bicycling around the world. I heard someone say he walked through the Khyber Pass backwards, to which I saw possibilities; throughout South East Asia, then onward to Europe, all the way to Vienna. That, I say, shows how there has been a progression to my life, though illogical in many respects, but logical in the sense of one thing leading to another. That, I also say, gives some insight as to who I am and even perhaps why I became a writer.
You can go all the way back to the time when as a very young boy (before the age of two) I wandered down the road by myself and, rather than wander off into the miles upon miles of vineyards, stuck to the road. And I think you will understand how difficult it has been for me to stay put for as long as I have now. Especially now, when at 65 years old (going on 66) I still get on my bicycle as often as I can, the urge to ride from Arizona (where I live) to Tierra Del Fuego is still very much alive within me. In a real sense, even though with my Parkinson’s my body may have its limitations, my ATLAS OF THE WORLD (the EIGTHTH or NINTH EDITION) is not worn out enough yet. But perhaps you might think that if I took off right now I wouldn’t know what I was doing; I could counter that with I’ve heard that before, and heard that more from myself than from any other person. What I have said here about my life, however, comes from my current perspective. And by no means does having perspective stop restlessness. Only now, when the time I have left is relatively short, I also have a strong urge to write and to try and catch up with my writing. That means the biggest challenge I have left now is to go as far as I can go.
I said I loved to travel. That was so, and that remains so now, when I’m forced to make a choice. I’ve always gone with my urges. I’ve preferred a journey without a map. I’ve lived for surprises. Adrenaline made me happy. I didn’t avoid hardship, the rain and catching sleep on barrels when there was no other alternative. Even when it came to the hardest job in the world, investigating child abuse, I thrived in that environment, an environment of danger and non-stop anger. My life has taken many directions but has been enhanced by each turn. And I had to go where I did because I’ve never liked to backtrack, and I’ve always chosen the right turn (I’d have to backtrack to dispute this). I can say that because I’ve followed a predictable progression that started when I was very young.
February 17, 2009
New Play Boot Camp Starts Next Week!
Almost Full: Enroll Now
Don’t miss the chance to sweat your way to a one-act in two weeks!
Feb. 28 – Mar. 12
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
6 – 9 p.m.
Learn more and register here.
“We’re not in med school, we’re artists, and where you happen to be in your process is almost as important as the work itself.” Read our full interview with Dominic here.
Past Students Say…
“Dominic was wonderful, grounded, assured. His feedback was very valuable, and I appreciated that he actually thought about what my play means to me, not just how it fits within the structure of Playwriting 101. I would rearrange my life if necessary to take his class.”
-Vicki, New Play Boot Camp 2008
“Dominic’s class was great: no beating around the bush, just get to it and write your play. This class really gave me the inspiration and guidelines I needed. Be ready to sweat for this one!”
-Leah, New Play Boot Camp 2008
Join New York City’s Thomas Bradshaw, dubbed Best Provocative Playwright by the Village Voice, for a hands-on playwriting workshop that will help you produce a new one-act or fully edit a work in progress. “Provocative, funny, and concise” is Mr. Bradshaw’s bottom line for an exceptional play. The class is designed to build on your expertise and teach you strategies to trim excess fat and finalize a sleek and to-the-point play that will pull audiences out of their seats. This intensive workshop is structured so that students will complete a one-act play at the end of these sessions.
Saturday, April 11, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 12, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Monday, April 20, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Learn more and register here.
About Thomas Bradshaw
According to the New York Times, playwright Thomas Bradshaws’ work is “likely to leave you speechless.” A professor of playwriting at Brooklyn College, Bradshaw has also been named one of the top ten playwrights to watch by Time Out New York and Best Provocative Playwright in 2007 by the Village Voice.
Thomas Bradshaw “has sliced open the pretensions of the white avant-garde with a wittily glistening axe,” says the New Yorker. Read the full article here.
The aim of this service is to provide playwrights with in-depth feedback and analysis for their work. The program is divided into three phases:
Phase 1. The dramaturg will read your play and give you written feedback–generally one to two pages of notes–on the strengths and weaknesses of the work, questions and opportunities for rewrites.
Phase 2. Rewrite, as appropriate.
Phase 3. The dramaturg will read a new draft of the play and meet with you for one hour, in person or over the phone, to discuss the rewrites.
These steps will occur on a timeline mutually agreed upon by the playwright and dramaturg but must conclude within three months.
To sign up, email email@example.com.
Michael Gene Sullivan and Lee Blessing: Classes Enrolling Now
Take advantage of these rare opportunities to study with SF Mime Troupe head writer Michael Gene Sullivan and Pulitzer Prize nominee Lee Blessing.
Visit Michael Gene Sullivan‘s website.
Read a profile of Lee Blessing in the New York Times.
Learn more and register here.
Adam Bock, Steve Cosson, and Lisa Kron
Acclaimed playwrights Adam Bock (Obie Award-winning author of The Thugs), Steve Cosson (artistic director of The Civilians in NYC) and Lisa Kron (author of Well at A.C.T. and on Broadway) will be teaching classes in the New Play Institute this spring. More information coming soon!