The NJPL Storyteller Studio:
A Collective for Young Playwrights and Dramaturgs
Why the Studio?
Playwriting and Dramaturgy could be considered the backbone of theatre. Yet, there are often gaps in learned experience in these disciplines. Student playwrights in a university setting often leave without the chance to fully explore their work off the page, and student dramaturgs often fall through the cracks of curriculum and production opportunities. Young artists who have forgone higher education face numerous barriers to artistic development, and artists at an entry-level point in their careers often do not have a support network of peers who share their goals and skills. In essence, playwrights and dramaturgs often tread a lonely road, lacking a sense of cohesion or structure.
With these challenges in mind, The New Jersey Play Lab is building upon its mission of fostering the creation of dramaturgically sound new work in the Garden State, by providing a space for young writers and dramaturgs to further develop and hone their skills. With The Storyteller Studio, The New Jersey Play Lab seeks to cultivate the next generation of playwrights and dramaturgs dedicated to the craft of storytelling.
WHAT IS THE STUDIO?
The Storyteller Studio is a collaborative space to work, play, and grow: a community network of like-minded young playwrights and dramaturgs seeking to hone their craft through peer and professional support and to connect socially.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Artists collaborating in the Storyteller Studio (a cohort) meet virtually 3-4 times per month, over the course of 10 months. The process is guided by an experienced mentor.
At the majority of the monthly meetings, artists in the cohort present their work and receive feedback from their peers. At one meeting per month, the cohort engages with a visiting professional artist around ideas and issues important and exciting to the needs of the cohort. Scheduling will be determined according to the participating artists’ availability
Playwrights’ presentations can take the form of a reading of a play or play except (professional actors will be brought in to read the work). A dramaturgical presentation can take the form of a “pitch” presentation of a dream play, an examination of a new play in progress, audience engagement concept, or more.
But these are just ideas. Everything is open! The Storyteller Studio has been conceived and designed for the cohort to be able to create and tailor the program to their needs.
*Once it’s safe to meet up in person, we can explore a hybrid model of in-person and virtual
WHO IS THIS FOR?
The Storyteller Studio is a no-cost opportunity for young writers + dramaturgs early on in their artistic lives who want to dive headfirst into their craft, creating alongside a group of their peers, while being guided by experienced mentors.
You may have some professional experience, you may have gone through theatre training, you may have done nothing except create for yourself at home! Wherever you’re at, as long as you’re passionate about your artistry, we welcome you.
The Storyteller Studio is for you if:
- You consider yourself a playwright or dramaturg, or you have a strong interest in doing those things.
- You’re interested in exploring your work, building your craft, connecting with peers, and synthesizing learning from a group of professionals.
- You thrive in a supportive group of artists your own age, and also welcome the support of more experienced pros.
- You are open to giving and receiving feedback about your work.
- You are organized and can keep self-imposed deadlines.
- You are in a place in your life where you are able to commit to a 10-month process.
- You’re 18-25 years old.
- You call NJ your home.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
It’s super simple: just contact Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a brief interview! There is no submission requirement to participate — we just want to make sure the Studio will be a good match for you. You can also reach out if you have questions or if you’d like more info!
If you can’t commit to the timeframe right now, join as an Observer.
Observers can access most of our Studio opportunities, just with a different level of commitment. Contact Emily to chat about what this could look like for you.