A Writers + Actors Collaborative in New York City.

Residencies/Workshops

Before the New Works Playwriting Festival with the 9th Floor, I was a stuck writer and actor. The workshops, staged readings, and time I spent with the 9th Floor playwrights have given me the kick in the tail I needed to move forward. My heart, mind, and soul have all been nourished in a way that they haven’t been since college. You are each so talented and very kind.     
         
— Mandy Ray-Jones, actor/writer
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If you’re an actor or playwright you need to be at the Fly this week. Learn from some of the best educators that I have ever sat in front of.     
       
— Daniel Dark, novelist at Seventh Star Press
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Residencies: We come to you.

Fly Arts Center New Works Festival featuring the 9th Floor, Tennessee, August 2017. Front row, left to right:  Core Member Julie Weinberg, Core Member Benjamin V. Marshall, Fly Center Artistic Director Sue Thelen, Core Member C. Kay "Andy" Landis, Core Member Victoria Z. Daly.

Fly Arts Center New Works Festival featuring the 9th Floor, Tennessee, August 2017. Front row, left to right:  Core Member Julie Weinberg, Core Member Benjamin V. Marshall, Fly Center Artistic Director Sue Thelen, Core Member C. Kay "Andy" Landis, Core Member Victoria Z. Daly.

The award-winning Core Members of the 9th Floor will travel to your theater to attend productions, engage one-on-one with your audiences and teach classes to educate and inspire your local community.

Plays.

We can suggest complete evenings of our short- and full-length plays for you to produce as full productions or staged readings. We'll consult with your directors and actors beforehand and participate in panel discussions with your audiences afterwards.

Classes and Workshops.

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We're educators as well as artists and love to teach. Our roster of available classes includes the following, and we regularly develop new ones. We'll work with you to create a curriculum spanning several days to several weeks that best suits your theater and your community. 

Classes on the Basics:

  • Fundamentals of Playwriting  - Victoria Z. Daly

    A 2-part class. Whether you’ve never written a play — or you’ve written several but need a fun refresher — this high-energy, interactive playwriting class will get you on track. Games, improvisations, and bursts of group and individual writing teach the basics of drama. Writing springboards keep you grounded. Find the play in playwriting and your own unique voice. Day One: core concepts (conflict, character, dialogue, settings, scripts, etc.;) start your scenes. Day Two: hear your scenes read by local actors and receive short feedback. 
     
  • Directing Basics for Playwrights - Benjamin V. Marshall

    A 2-part class. Now that the play is written, what should you expect from the director staging your play? Or do you wish to direct your play yourself? This workshop addresses the fundamental practices necessary for directing a play. It will focus on script analysis, character analysis, casting, blocking, and the rehearsal process. With developmental readings becoming more prevalent, we will also address the playwright’s expectations with rehearsed readings. The workshop culminates with the participants practice in directing scenes. 
     
  • Telling a Great Story  - Julie Weinberg

If you're  a human being, you're a storyteller. Stories are how we communicate and interpret our life experience for others and for ourselves. In the world of business coaching, it has become a must to include the personal or business story to enhance the quality and persuasiveness of any presentation. In the world of playwriting the monologue, often a story from a character’s life, can be an “ah ha” moment for both the character and the audience. In this class we’ll explore tools to help us tell great stories – whether for the purpose of our playwriting, solo work or to enhance any kind of professional presentation. 

  • Play Analysis for Playwrights  - Benjamin V. Marshall

    What is the difference between story and plot? How does an interesting character grow into a situation of dramatic conflict? What is rising action? How does one raise stakes if one doesn’t recognize how those stakes are introduced? In this workshop, we will look at scenes from plays to identify and to understand basic principles with the intention of incorporating these rudiments into your writing. 
     

Advanced Classes:

  • Writing So Your Actors Can Act  - C. Kay “Andy” Landis

Writing dialogue with rhythm and pace in mind. This class includes acting techniques and exercises to help you remember the actor who will put life and breath to your words. For actors who write and for writers who love actors but who may have never acted themselves, this class will help you hear your dialogue in the mouths of your actors before they’ve even read a line. 

  • Developing Comic Characters - Julie Weinberg

What does General Jack D. Ripper of Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove have in common with Annie Walker of Kristin Wiig’s Bridesmaids or Otto of Nicky Silver’s play Food Chain or, for that matter,  with you and your characters? In this seminar we will unpack writing tools that can assist you in creating the darkly funny characters that populate both classic and modern comedies. We’ll watch movie clips and read excerpts of scripts in order to analyze these tools and then we’ll explore your characters to mine their potential for dark, absurd comedy. 

  • The 36 Dramatic Situations aka How the heck did Dorothy get to Oz? – Charlene A. Donaghy

We know the story: rebellious girl runs away, gets caught in tornado, tossed over the rainbow, where good and wicked battle as she tries to get home.  While certainly at least 36 munchkins and 3 friends help Dorothy, in the story telling we find the 36 Dramatic Situations as plot points which propel Dorothy’s journey. Whether you're working a first draft or fine-tuning your story, the 36 Dramatic Situations can percolate plot to enhance your writing. In this class we’ll discover the situations, apply them to Dorothy’s journey, consider how we can utilize them to tell our stories, and work with the situations in fun, generative writing exercises.

  • Rock Your Writing  - C. Kay “Andy” Landis

Landis discovered five elements of musicality in non-musical theatre while writing her thesis at Lesley University. She’s put together a class based on the results of her year-long exploration through music, psychology, philosophy, and theater by defining Five Elements of Musicality and presenting them in a way that is unforgettable. Discover how to emphasize the melodic rhythm and tonality of your characters by understanding the intrinsic musicality as specific to them as their fingerprints. Consciously chart the pace and timing of your story by understanding your own natural rhythms and pacing and get a grasp on the five key elements that will rock your writing. 

  • Devised Theatre aka sudden surprises, blind alleys, improvisation – oh my! - Charlene A. Donaghy

Please note:  this class can be a 3 hour overview, a 2 day intensive, or a 4-7 day journey.
As writers, we embrace our personal experiences, visions, voices, explorations, and experimentation to create our art.In Devised Theatre, also known as “collaborative creation”, we add the element of improvisation, creating original performances by gathering a group of artists who bring their unique experiences to collaborate on the creation. This class will take writers on a journey of discovery, as we look at the collaborative creation necessary for Devised Theatre bringing in elements of commedia dell’arte, street theatre, and improvisation. Expect to wear comfortable clothing and active participation with ideas, movement, laughter, voices, and more. 

    • Playwrights’ Workshop - Victoria Z. Daly

    Hear a play you’re working on read aloud and receive constructive feedback. Bring up to 10 pages of work per session (part of a scene is fine.) The other writers will answer your questions about the work and ONLY your questions .... no writing the play for the playwright. We’ll put the emphasis on bright spots and on helping you achieve your intention for your play. 

    Pulling it All Together:

    • Present Your Work with Feedback  - Core Members

    Hear the pages you’ve worked on in class read by local actors in a public reading. Invite family and friends to hear and see the fruits of your labor.

     

    Please contact us to learn more.