Theater workshop runs this week in Danville

Young San Ramon Valley playwrights, actors learn at Eugene O'Neill's home

More than two dozen young, aspiring playwrights and actors are spending this week writing and performing plays in the home that inspired notable playwright Eugene O'Neill.

Under the sponsorship of the Eugene O'Neill Foundation, Tao House and in partnership with the National Park Service, the workshop will take place July 7-13 at the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site in Danville, where the playwright resided and wrote his final plays.

The week-long program, O'Neill Studio Retreat, is a collaborative program designed to provide high schoolers with an understanding of O'Neill's contribution in American theater and drama as well as encourage creative production in the arts.

In total, 11 Danville and San Ramon students will be participating in the drama camp: Reagan Black, Lauren Smith and Tara Fay from San Ramon Valley High; Emily Chuah, Michael Lewis and Jenelle Doolittle from Monte Vista High; Stephany Kim, Mohammed Syed, Arman Sufi and Pierce Woodward from California High; and Juyun Park from Dougherty Valley High.

Nine students will undergo a vigorous writing program and produce several 10-minute scripts. The short plays will be enhanced throughout the week and then rehearsed and performed by a group of 17 young actors and drama students.

Students will able to take part in the collaboration between writer and actor and watch a piece undergo the process of writing, editing, rehearsing and performing.

A final performance of the short scenes will be held for the public in the Old Barn at Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site on July 13 at 2 p.m.

"It's an intensive week-long program," said Jack DeRieux, who coordinates the Studio Retreat. "These young people will spend full days working individually with adult mentors as well as collaboratively with other students to develop and refine their own short scripts, and then take them to public performance."

The workshop will be led by an experienced team of writers and directors. Ignacio Zulueta, recipient of an Emerging Playwright Award, will be returning for his fourth season of teaching. Professional stage directors/actors Chad Deverman and John Litten have experience working with many local theater groups and will be counseling within the program.

For more information on the program, visit the foundation website.


Like this comment
Posted by B. Lynn Goodwin-Brown
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Break a leg, everyone. This is a marvelous opportunity. I wish it had existed for my drama students at San Ramon High and Cal High in the seventies and early eighties.

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