On the Line: Playwriting in Russia 2017

Course Description

This eight-week online course will bring together aspiring writers in Moscow and Smolensk, Russia for an intensive and interactive study of the craft of playwriting. The course title, On the Line, refers to Act II of Henrik Isben’s Hedda Gabler, wherein the title character states, “The journey’ll [marriage] be a long one … a long one yet, I’ve just come to a stopping-place on the line.” This course will be designed to equip young aspiring writers with the tools and discipline to overcome the “stopping places” they may encounter in their future creative pursuits.

Each class will offer live video lectures on the craft of playwriting, in-class readings and in-class writing exercises, and opportunities for students to share and discuss their writing assignments. Weekly reading and writing assignments will challenge participants to further their engagement with the theory and practice of playwriting. During the last class, small groups of students will perform scenes written during the course. After the course concludes, each student will submit their two favorite assignments to the instructor, who will provide written feedback by email. 

The course will begin October 3 and end on November 21. With support from the Embassy of the United States in Moscow, a course facilitator in each location will promote the course, recruit applicants, review applications, and select a group of young adult writers (ages 18-28) for admission to the course. The students chosen to participate will demonstrate an enthusiasm for playwriting and the desire to expand their journey as playwrights “on the line.”

Happening Now

  • Kristian Sendon CORDERO (IWP '17) co-edited a special issue of Words Without Borders on writing in the Philippines. Its range of poetry in the country's many languages includes Filipino work of Genevieve ASENJO (IWP '12).

  • Muhamed "Nabo" ABDELNABI (Egypt, IWP '13) has been awarded France's 2019 Prix de la littérature arabe for his 2016 novel, published last year in the UK as In the Spider's Room .

  • Over on  Asymptote, in English and Cantonese, the long poem " The Man Who Lost HIs Shadow,"  by Hong Kong poet and editor Stuart LAU (IWP '17).

  • On fish-paste English and cheddar-English: a long interview at LARB (Los Angeles Review of Books) about language, politics, and language politics with Burmese poet and worker KO KO THETT (IWP '16).

  • Behind the 2018+ 2019 Nobel Prizes for Literature given to novelists Peter Handke  and Olga Tokarczuk are translators--one key among them Jennifer CROFT, novelist as well as translator from the Polish, Ukrainian, and  Spanish. Congratulations!

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