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What I Really Mean to Say: Monologue, Liveness, and Honesty with Connor Shioshita Pickett

$330.00 · August 29

In this workshop, students will write and perform personal essays in the style of a live-lit or variety-hour show. Through a combination of in-class exercises and writing homework, we will create a number of shorter works and then a final 3-5 minute monologue.

Start Date

August 29

Day(s) of the Week

Thursday

Class Times

6:30pm – 9:00pm CT

Sessions

5

Location

Chicago Studio

Instructor

Price

$330

In stock

Description

In this workshop, students will write and perform personal essays in the style of a live-lit or variety-hour show. Through a combination of in-class exercises and writing homework, we will create a number of shorter works and then a final 3-5 minute monologue.

On the page, we will explore practices and tricks that open up unexpected choices in our work. How do we surprise ourselves? Reveal unexpected aspects of our own character? Recognize and embrace opportunities that we don’t habitually take? Exercises, prompts, and group discussion will support students in the development of robust personal writing practices.

Then, on the stage, we will explore how we show up in our own writing. How do our habitual choices create or conceal the “real” writer-performer? How can we make our live experiences “more live”–memorable, dynamic, and irreproducible? What are we really afraid of, onstage, and what can we do about it?

Students will create new work in each session as well as between sessions. Each student will complete the course with at least one 3-5 minute work suitable for live solo performance.


WEEK 1: Pressure & Momentum. Creating pressure, building momentum, bypassing the inner editor and letting go of first-draft fear.

WEEK 2: Honesty. What questions are we really asking? Where are the exciting, curiosity-raising possibilities in our first drafts? What kind of character is the I in these texts, and how can we make them more dynamic?

WEEK 3: Presence. What’s so scary about being onstage? What are we hiding from? How to be looked at, and how to start shaking off our habits.

WEEK 4: Liveness. How do we stop acting and start doing, or stop performing and start being? What choices and tools create the energetic feedback loop of mutual listening? Once there, how can we raise the live performance toward a sublime experience?

WEEK 5: Synthesis. What have we made, what did we learn, how will we incorporate these experiences into our ongoing practices?


Students are expected to read some outside texts, a chapter or a short essay per week, about 3-8 pages. Possible authors we’ll read include Anne Bogart, Tina Landau, Eula Biss, and Natalie Goldberg.

This class will include:

  • Whole class workshopping of student work
  • In-class peer feedback
  • In-class verbal instructor feedback
  • Optional sharing of student work in class
  • In-class writing exercises
  • Generative exercises
  • Writing exercises or writing assignments outside of class
  • Discussion of outside texts

About Connor Shioshita Pickett

Connor is a theatermaker, writer, musician, educator, and arts worker. Their work has appeared with American Theater Company, Bricolage Production Company, big TEEN, Non-State Actors and many more; as a Neo-Futurist, he has performed and taught since 2018. They are the human element of computer band PRECARIAT and the current Artistic Director of the Neo-Futurist Theater. Online @corporatebailout & precariat.us.