Creating Original Theater: Playwriting, Directing, and Acting

II - July 20–August 6, 2021
Modality, Day & Time:
Monday-Friday, 10:10 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. and 3:10-5:00 p.m.

Dyana Kimball and staff

Prior experience in amateur community or high school theatre. As part of their applications, students are required in the personal statements to discuss their theatrical experience and explain what they hope to contribute to the program. This class is intended for current 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. Younger students might be interested in Introduction to Creative Writing or Introduction to Digital Filmmaking.

“Each workshop for each of the three elements was incredibly enriching.” – Anoushka J. | New York, New York

Course Description

Designed for students with experience in drama who are interested in developing original theatrical productions, the course emphasizes the working relationship between actor, director, and playwright, and the unique dynamic that exists between them when working on untried material.

Workshops and lectures during the first week introduce students to the demands of play development. Students then elect to specialize in one of three areas: acting, directing, or playwriting. The remainder of the course is given over to the development of short plays to be written, directed, and acted by the students under the supervision of theatrical professionals. In small, autonomous groups of actors, each with its own director and playwright, students create a production to be mounted at the end of the program.

Workshops are interactive, with the evolving pieces of each play periodically shown to the entire group for feedback in a safe, supportive environment. The course affords students a unique opportunity to experience the nuances of professional theatrical collaboration.

In the last two days of each session, several of the completed plays are performed for an audience of peers, friends, and family members. Students present two evening performances and one matinee.

Participants in this course may also be interested in Experiencing Theatre in New York, which is offered in Session I.


Dyana Kimball

Dyana Kimball earned her M.F.A. in directing at Columbia University and her B.A. in English literature at Boston University. She has taught directing, acting, theatre history, and communication courses at Marymount Manhattan College and Dowling College. She has been a guest director at Marymount Manhattan College, Long Island University’s CW Post Campus, and UMass, Lowell, and has been a visiting artist at Vassar College and the University of Alaska in Juneau. Ms. Kimball was the founder and Artistic Director of Boston Directors’ Lab for five years and was a founding member of the New York-based theatre Collective Ontik.

Her New York City directing credits include: Will Eno’s “Oh, the Humanity!” (Marymount); Bertotl Brecht’s “Good Soul of Szechuan” (Marymount); Alice Tuan’s adaptation of Thomas Middleton’s “The Roaring Girle” (CW Post); Thornton Wilder’s “The Happy Journey” (Marymount); Alexis Clements’ “Conversation” (University Settlement) and “Your own Personal Apocalypse” (Chashama); “Numbers” by Kieron Barry (Manhattan Rep.); “Orestes 2.0” by Charles Mee Jr. (CW Post); Georg Buchner’s “Woyzeck” (Central Park); Elmer Rice’s “The Adding Machine” (Theatre at Riverside Church); Bertolt Brecht’s “Baal, Island of Slaves” and Bixby Elliot’s “Love and Literature” (Schapiro Theatre at Columbia); “Library Play” by Paul Cohen (J. Houseman Theatre); “Sill Life” by Emily Mann (Belt Theatre); “Rubber” by Tom Sleigh (RAW Space); and “Chopping” by Magdalena Gomez (HERE Arts Center).

Her regional directing credits include: “Roach, An Adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis” by ONTIK, Philadelphia, PA (Spirit Wind Arts); “Don Giovanni” by Mozart, Juneau, AK (Opera-to-Go); “What Will I Do When You’re Gone” by Neil Bell, Cambridge, MA (The Market Theatre/BTM); “Traveling Naked” by Debra Lake Fortson, Boston, MA (Boston Playwrights Theatre); “Through the Leaves” by Franz Xaver Kroetzk, Boston, MA (BDL); “Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie” by Albert Innurato, Boston, MA (BDL). She is a 2008-2010 member of the Women’s Project Director’s Lab.

Back to the Course Guide

Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.