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Learn how to make your plays successful! Study with the multiple award winning author of Exit, Pursued By Bear, and Emilie: Le Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Tonight and frequent Huffington Post Theatre Blogger

Lauren Gunderson

PLAY MATH: A Secret Guide To Dramatic Structure

Monday Evenings (8 classes) 7-10pm

  • April 4 - May 23
  • Regular Price: $375
  • 40% Discount: $225 (EXTENDED Through April 4th)

Click Here to Register


Like mathematics, playwriting requires intellectual rigor, adherence to rules, discovery of essence, and a leap of imagination. For even your wildest theatrical idea, defining its structure is fundamental to understanding its form, direction, and scope; and how the metaphors, imagery and context fit into the dynamic action. By applying basic mathematical concepts to the governing laws of dramatic structure Lauren will offer you some fun and truly unique tools to help you think about your play in a new way. For example: How would you describe your play geometrically? A circle, line, triangle? Can you diagram the relationship of your characters as an equation? What are the X and Y (unknown) factors of the circumstances? What is the emotional, mythical, or actionable solution set to your main character's objective? What is the buoyancy formula of your play's magic? And how do you use all that to finish the damn thing?

Class sessions will include a dynamic exchange between students and instructor using conceptual math and literary analysis, creative diagramming, practical conversation, and writing exercises (in each class session) to help you discover and understand the structure of your play from a wholly new perspective. Lauren’s methodology is guaranteed to help you at any level of your play’s progress: Get your ideas out of your head, off the ground, or across the finish line. Writers need to bring an idea for a full-length play to the first class; these ideas can be notes on a napkin, some scenes in progress or an early draft. No previous experience is necessary, but a seriously fun mindset is required.

Instructor Bio

Lauren is playwright, screenwriter, and short story author .She received her MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch, is a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and is the first Playwright in Residence at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics (2010). Her work has received national praise and awards including the Berrilla Kerr Award for American Theatre, Young Playwright’s Award, Eric Bentley New Play Award, Essential Theatre Prize. Her science-history play Emilie: Le Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Tonight premiered at South Coast Rep April 2009 and will be published this winter by Samuel French. Fire Work was developed at The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Summer 2009. She is developing a musical with Harry Connick Jr 2010, and two new plays with The Kennedy Center.

She has been produced off-Broadway (Parts They Call Deep), off-off Broadway (Sus Manos), recently had many new plays produced in Atlanta (including Class, The Van Gogh Café, Leap, and Background), as well as regionally (A Short History of Nearly Everything, Embody). She is currently working on her second commission for South Coast Rep, and her first for Marin Theatre; and has been commissioned by The Alliance Theatre’s Collision Project, Actors Express Theatre, Dad’s Garage Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, City University of New York, and Synchronicity Performance Group. Leap was published with Theatre Emory’s Playwriting Center (2004), and her first collection of plays, Deepen The Mystery: Science and the South Onstage, is published with iUniverse (2006). She has developed plays with Second Stage and Primary Stages in NYC, New Rep in Boston, Marin and The Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas, Actor Express and Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, JAW/West in Portland, WORDBridge, Brave New Works, and others. She received a Sloan Science Script Award (2008) for her screenplay Grand Unification. Her short story The Ascending Life, winner the Norembega Short Fiction Award, was published in the anthology, The Shape of Content; and her science play Background was published in ISOTOPE: A Journal of Nature and Science Writing. Her string theory poem “Hook of a Number” was published in the anthology Riffing On Strings. She has spoken nationally and internationally on the intersection of science and theatre, and Arts Activism. www.LaurenGunderson.com