‘Investigating Studios’ will be a recurring segment where we talk with some of the drama students and learn a little bit more about the eight undergraduate studios. This week we spoke with some students at The Playwright’s Horizons Studio.
Meet The Cast:
Will B. from Chatham, NJ. (Freshman)
Jessica D. from Highland Park, IL. (Freshman)
Andy C. from Simsbury, CT. (Junior)
What has your first semester at Playwright’s been like?
My first semester at Playwrights has been the most crazy and beautiful experience I’ve ever been privileged to have. I feel so lucky to be able to spend my time creating art. It’s been a really fulfilling time. – W.B.
Lovely and really fast-paced. I really have enjoyed learning just about every aspect of the theatre and I feel it has really helped me develop as a theatre artist. Learning all aspects of design, directing, playwriting, and performance has made me a much stronger collaborator. Playwrights has been fantastic about welcoming me to the community of young artists and I’ve made some of my best friends in the program. The first semester was intense and we never stopped moving but we created so much art, it was amazing. – J.D.
My first semester in Playwrights has been an enthralling experience. I’ve been exposed to numerous new experiences and have gained skills that I could not have imagined gaining from other studios. The experience in learning different design techniques and advancing my playwriting ability has really opened my eyes to potential skills that I didn’t think I had prior to coming here. – A.C.
How do you feel Playwright’s differs from the other studios?
At Playwrights, you get a truly holistic theatrical education. I didn’t really understand how important it is to comprehend many facets of theatre until I got to Playwrights. On top of that, I think we have our creativity challenged and strengthened every day by being asked to make things. Creativity is really nurtured and developed at Playwrights. – W.B.
Playwrights really is an education in theatre, not acting. We explore all aspects of the theatre and I think that best prepares us for working as theatre artists in today’s world. It’s really hard to market yourself as just an actor, you become a much better investment to a company if you can write, if you can design, if you know your way around a light board. We’re special because we’re held to a high standard of knowing a lot about a lot. – J.D.
Playwrights is the only studio at NYU that really lets you dig deep into creating devised work. The amount of collaboration and creativity involved in a day at Playwrights is astounding and pails to other studios who believe in more of an independent journey of self-discovery rather than a feeling of learning to work with the skills that a group processes to create the work. – A.C.
What’s the workload like? How are you managing?
The workload is heavy. I don’t have a real strategy with which I tackle my work. Mostly, I just live off of my passion for theatre. That’s the drive that keeps me going. – W.B.
The workload is pretty heavy, but is it really work if you love what you do? I manage by just not procrastinating and even then I have some pretty late nights but in the end all the work is making me a better artist! – J.D.
The work load is steep but not nearly as bad as I had been let on before coming here. Much of the difficulty of the workload is when to find time to meet with fellow studio members to work, as most of the assignments are more group oriented. However, once settled into a group and after a schedule has been made, the load is quite manageable. – A.C.
What’s your favorite class?
My favorite class has been Performance. Learning from two different teachers who approach acting with many different techniques has been really helpful to me. I have a larger toolbox now that I can draw from in my acting, which I believe is vital to have as an actor. I love having all of my tools as an actor, as opposed to being restricted to a single approach. – W.B.
Movement, easily, so much fun and Dan Safer and Mike Mikos are gods. – J.D.
Well, wanting to go into acting I would say Performance class but I’ve personally really fallen in love with Movement. I enjoy feeling myself being pushed to a physical limit and it’s helped me understand the sort of physicality that is required in much of the theater and performance being produced today. – A.C.
What’s your most challenging class?
My most challenging class has been Movement, but because of its rigor, it’s also been extremely rewarding. Contact improv opens you up in such a unique way, and it stretches both your body and your soul. – W.B.
Design because it’s the area of knowledge I have the least amount of knowledge, it’s definitely a challenge because I have to think in a completely different way than I’m used to. – J.D.
I find design class to be particularly difficult as it tends to have the most workload and the most unfamiliar work as well. Many times we are forced to trust our instincts and go out on a limb to achieve a lighting design or sound design, something that very few of us in class have ever done. It’s the class where the most risks are taken and that alone gives it a rather looming quality. – A.C.
What’s been your favorite show you’ve seen at Playwright’s Horizons (uptown)?
My favorite show at Playwrights uptown has been Pocatello. I think Sam Hunter is such a brilliant writer, and Pocatello had such a strong ensemble cast. It was an extremely cohesive piece. – W.B.
Bootycandy - J.D.
I actually haven’t seen one uptown yet but I’m sure I will be getting around to one this semester. – A.C.
Favorite place to eat in NYC?
I am all about The Smith. Great atmosphere and great food. And I’ll never turn down being served food in a skillet. – W.B.
Magnolia Bakery is DELICIOUS. – J.D.
Dos Toros on 4th ave between 13th and 14th street. It has been my favorite burrito place for the past two and half years I’ve lived in New York and I still make it a point to go by there every two weeks or so. IT honestly is the only place I’ve found that puts Chipotle to shame. – A.C.
Unless you’re the majoring in Dramatic Writing, most Tisch students don’t ever have the chance to dabble in playwriting like the students at Playwright’s Horizons do. However, through Special Programs’ fantastic study abroad program, Playwriting in London, students will gain an in-depth study of the structure; the beginning, middle, and end; originality; characters, conflict, imagery, and the pitch. Most importantly, you write a freshly conceived full-length play or two one-act plays while living in one of the most historic and theatrical cities in the world. Playwriting in London is also offered in both the fall and spring semesters! Although the deadline for Fall 2015 has already passed, Special Programs is still accepting applications for the Playwriting program so be sure to contact the office to find out more! To learn more about the program or other study abroad opportunities, click here or swing by the Tisch Special Programs office at 721 Broadway!
Not a Tisch student? Take a peak at the Open Arts course selections. Open Arts allows non-Tisch majors to take classes at Tisch. These courses are specially designed to give introductory exposure, foundational knowledge, and hands-on experience in various artistic fields to students who are not majoring in the field of the course that is being offered. And they are another great way to get your feet wet in playwriting without committing to a major. To learn more about Open Arts click here. Finally, Special Programs’ Summer in NYC program offers dramatic writing courses in playwriting, screenwriting, and television writing. Maybe it’s time to stay NYC a little longer this summer and get writing! Learn more about Summer in NYC here.