Location: Department of Theatre
The Ohio State University
Drake Performance and Event Center
Dates: Aug 16-23 2009
Geralyn Horton's report:
The 2009 ICWP Retreat opened in Columbus Ohio with a corn roast at the
home of Professor Alan Woods and his wife Anne.
Playwrights showed up as they
arrived, and met each other and some Columbus friends and neighbors who
are interested in the Retreat and its writers.
Monday am was the first day of work, which commences officially
whenever the earliest bird gets to the Drake Performance center.
everyone works at the computers in the OSU Department of Theatre's
Lab-- several writers set up their laptops or legal pads on tables in
the Drake upper lobby, where the huge windows overlook a soothing but
ever-varying vista of sky and river.
Most of us feel inspired by the
quiet companion- ship of other writers, working diligently near by. Those
who prefer complete silence and solitude may stay in the dorm across
campus and work in their room.
Lunch is usually brown-bagged, or
purchased from the selection at the Pizza Pad, where any time between 9
am and 2 pm a sprinkling of writers may be found talking shop over
coffee and a snack.
Near the 4 pm end-of-the-Day's session there is a
flurry at the printers, as writers use their OSU Buckeye card to print
out copies of the completed work for reading by the actors that
Here's the roster of writers. I may have missed someone-- if so,
Nicole C. Kearney,
Chris Shaw Swanson and
Workshops and/or information sessions were held daily at 4:00 p.m., in
Drake's top floor Lab Theatre.
Central Ohio theatre companies/artists
After the Workshop, most writers head out for dinner and shop talk
together, some go back to the Lab for more writing.
- Evolution Theatre Company
- Beth Kettleman, from the Lawrence & Lee Institute and MadLab
- Katherine Burkman, Women at Play and Process Theatre.
- Available Light Theatre Company
- Geoffrey Nelson, Artistic Director of CATCO (Contemporary American
Theatre Company; Central Ohio's Equity house)
- Christine Emmert presented a workshop on writing historical drama
writers head back to Drake, upstairs to the black box Lab Theatre,
where Professor Woods has organized a team of local volunteer actors
for cold readings of whatever the writers are creating -- although
about a quarter of the writers are also performers, and happy to fill
Field TripsWe also went on a couple of Field Trips: Friday afternoon we saw a
matinee in the downtown Arts Center by Available Light Theatre, an
experimental group whose actor-generated production I'd seen on a
earlier Columbus trip.
Currently they are performing CHURCH, by Young
Jean Kim, recently produced at PS122; check them out at
ICWPers had a range of
reactions to this piece, from "it's self-indulgent anti-theatre" to
awed admiration. Some of us discussed the show in detail on the first
(Listen - link at the foot of the page)
Saturday night a group of us went to see Actors' Summer Theatre,
outdoors in Schiller Park just south of downtown Columbus. The
production of Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT, by William Shakespeare,
featured a combination of actors and life-size puppets, and was
co-directed by John S. Kuhn and Beth Kettelman.
We were all eager to
see how this worked out, because Beth Kettleman's account of the design
and use of the puppets in her 4 pm presentation earlier in the week was
Writers had full access to other campus computer labs and
the University libraries, and some ICWP writers became readers for the
night session's overflow and carried on in the dorm after the formal
work day was over.
I wish I had the titles and a short description of each of the writers'
work and the feedback they got.
The variety was amazing, and a real
break with the Well Made Freud-based American Play of Domestic
Naturalism much in evidence. Unfortunately, I didn't take notes-- and
apparently no one else did either. If those who also attended could
also contribute some documentation, that would be a Good Thing.
Next Page - More retreat info with Podcasts of Members interviews and discussions about the benefits of the retreat :
Alan Wood's blog- external site http://icwpohioretreat.blogspot.com/
On Page 2 -
Photos By Vicki Cheatwood
Corn roast party
Anne Pecaro and Mrinalini Kamath hanging out at the loading dock waiting to get in the lab.
View of the Olentangy River from the Drake Performing Arts building.
Great mix of urban life and wildlife. We saw great blue heron, a
woodchuck, a raccoon, two rabbits, and a bunch of ducks and Canadian
Playwrights in the computer lab creating work for the evening readings.
A pre-reading chat: left to right, Alan Woods, Donna Spector, Geralyn Horton, Kathy Burkman