Write every day in the company of leaders in new play development! That is the intensive Kenyon Review Playwrights Conference experience, which offers morning-long seminars led by literary managers from powerhouse international theater companies, the time to write in the afternoon, and the chance to hear your scenes read aloud at the evening Open Barns.
Partner Theatre Companies
To create a vibrant environment for aspiring and working playwrights, the Kenyon Review has partnered with three renowned companies: the Alley Theatre in Houston, Second Stage in New York and the Royal Court Theatre in London.
Program Structure: Morning, Afternoon, Evening
Artistic staff from these guest theaters, along with the accomplished resident faculty, will lead small-group morning seminars focusing on how to structure your play, offering readings and exercises that will serve to generate new work or allow you to reinvestigate a current play. Afternoons are set aside for writing and revision. In the evenings, you will have the chance to hear a new scene, or one from your work-in-progress, read aloud by a talented ensemble of young Conference actors. At Open Barn, you will receive feedback from experienced directors and be in conversation with the community of playwrights who assemble for the Conference. Additional individual tutorials will also be an option.
Each of the three professional theater companies, along with the Kenyon Review, has commissioned a new play by an established playwright. These three playwrights will also develop their commissioned work at the Conference and you will have the opportunity to learn more about their process and the craft of playwriting in three afternoon master classes.
Every summer the Kenyon Review Playwrights Conference assembles a dynamic community of playwrights, at all levels of experience, to offer writers the rare opportunity to focus on their own writing, in the beautiful environs of Gambier, Ohio. Get immediate feedback and career advice from peers and industry leaders, hear actors bring your words to life, and connect with a national and international network of playwrights and theatre professionals.
If you are accepted to participate in the Conference and would like to schedule a one-on-one meeting about a specific work-in-progress with one of our Conference staff, you may do so for an additional fee of $250. The staff member, a theatre professional with experience in new play development, will read the draft you submit of your play and meet with you during the week of the conference for 30 minutes to discuss your questions about the work.
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, and we make every effort to notify applicants within four weeks of application. The application consists of the online application form, a paragraph (no more than 250 words) about why you are applying to this conference and what you hope to take away from it, a sample scene of no more than five pages (if you are planning to work on a particular play at the conference, your sample must be from that play), and a brief biography (no more than 250 words). The cost of attending the Conference is $2,295, which covers tuition, housing, and daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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