8th Annual International Playwright Retreat
August 1 – August 10, 2014
Facilitator: Catherine Filloux
Playwright and librettist Catherine Filloux will lead the La MaMa International Playwright Retreat as both a contemplative and community-oriented workshop. The retreat will consist of free writing time in settings in town and in nature; of generative exercises; and of reading aloud of material with group feedback. Catherine will work with participants on projects, which are the most crucial to them, encouraging them to probe the subject matter both as a kind of anthropologist on a journey of research and investigation, as well as an artist with the belief that the imagination allows the work to soar to unknown places. Playwrights may focus on one single project or experiment with various stories, as well as work on projects with different genres and styles. The workshop will end with informal work-in-progress readings for the La MaMa at Umbria community. The group itself will shape a workshop schedule that meets its specific needs, and Filloux will engage in one-on-one meetings as well. Catherine also welcomes French-language writers to the workshop.
Catherine inspires writers to straddle borders – between nations, cultures, our preconceptions about fine art and political activism. As an artist-activist, she leads a growing field of theater makers dedicated to bringing contemporary issues into stark juxtaposition with aesthetic criteria. With an enthusiasm for storytelling, Catherine guides participants to find their voice in a personal, active way, maximizing its theatrical potential. She stirs participants to approach stories with a large scope, as well as finding the center in the lives of individual characters. Skilled at multiple theatrical languages, Catherine will support participants in seeking and discovering expressions that engage the viewer on multiple levels.
In an inclusive environment Catherine creates long lasting relationships and collaborators, helping writers to fulfill their talent as playwrights. Catherine fortifies her work with the intensity of a serious scholar and the heart of a passionate dramatist. The end result is a body of work that informs and provokes the mind, affirms our humanity, and binds us all on a quest to improve our communities and our world. She is motivated by an underlying mission to resurrect and to grapple with the profound, provocative and disturbing human questions.