Center Theatre Group is very fortunate to have cultivated deep relationships with some of the nation’s preeminent playwrights. Playwrights like Luis Alfaro, Carla Ching, Jason Grote, Kinan Valdez, Sheila Callaghan, Dan O’Brien and David Adjmi. These playwrights have also agreed to lead Free Writing Workshops at The Shop as part of The Shop Project.
The Shop provides residents throughout Boyle Heights the chance to make theatre a part of everyday life through our Costume Displays, Community Sewing Circles, Creative Writing Circles and Play Readings, all taking place at libraries, a primary center and a hospital. As we get to know residents we invite them to the costume shop, aka The Shop, with free hands-on and writing workshops. This year all the workshops taking place at The Shop are being sponsored by the Friars Charitable Foundation.
The Free Writing Workshops at The Shop are very special because in Boyle Heights, and throughout Los Angeles, there exists a community of artists that also seek a home in which to learn, practice and grow as artists. The writing workshops are especially tailored to our community of artists that have committed to call themselves writers and to those that have decided to dive into writing seriously. At each workshop the writers share methods and their funniest stories, saddest memories and their most vulnerable moments. Each workshop is different, but for almost three hours it's all about the words. One word leads to another, leads to a sentence, leads to a paragraph, leads to an ending.
The participants of the writing workshops get to learn from experts in the field. Each writer has a different method and participants that attend multiple sessions get the opportunity to find the style that works for them, that can send them off into writing their next play. The writing workshops have been very popular and have attracted people of all ages and ethnicities and at different levels. The participants learn, share and write together in a safe and welcoming environment. A group of strangers come together in a warehouse set in an industrial part of Boyle Heights. It's a quiet and creative space. These strangers make friends and some begin to build a network of like-minded individuals. Writing is a solitary endeavor most of the time but it doesn't have to be a lonely process. I have a feeling that the future playwrights of the world are attending the writing workshops at The Shop.
Thank you again, so much, for today's workshop! I had such a good time and was SO inspired - I came straight home and have done pretty much nothing but write the whole rest of the day. I turned the scene I wrote into a ten-minute play, and I already have a first draft written up. THANK YOU! What fun!