Select Past Classes for Theater Lovers
THE LEADING EDGE: A ZOOM CLASS
Taught by Howard Shalwitz, Winter 2024
The Leading Edge is back by popular demand and with all-new material! This
extraordinary class is led by theatrical legend Howard Shalwitz, Co-Founder and
Artistic Director Emeritus of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, known for its
provocative and powerful new work. Howard has directed and performed in works
by American and international playwrights and received the prestigious Margo
Jones Award for his lifetime commitment to new plays. He now travels the world
with the Center for International Theatre Development, engaging with theatre
leaders in Poland, Hungary, and Russia. The Leading Edge is a front row seat to some of the newest trends in world theatre: participants watch and discuss outstanding examples of de-constructed plays, innovative works made with found text, and unexpected takes on the classics. They’re guaranteed to explode your idea of what theatre can be!
ADAPTATIONS: HESTER STREET AND STORYTELLING FOR THE STAGE AND SCREEN
Taught by Sharyn Rothstein, Fall 2023
Get an insider look into adapting source material for the stage and screen in this course taught by playwright and television writer Sharyn Rothstein (TV’s Suits, Right to be Forgotten at Arena Stage). This season, Theater J will produce the world premiere of the Rothstein’s stage play of Hester Street, based on writer/director Joan Micklin Silver’s film adaptation of Yiddish writer Abraham Cahan’s novella Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto. Using Hester Street as a jumping-off point, this class will dive deep into adaptation, source texts, and transforming art from one genre to another. Students will study several popular adaptations, experiment with creative exercises in adaptation from their own favorite films, podcasts, and written works, and explore the creation and pitching of adaptations for film and television.
PROSTITUTES, CRIMINALS, AND THE WALKING DEAD: SHOLEM ASCH’S UNDERWORLD TRILOGY IN TRANSLATION
Taught by Caraid O’Brien, Spring 2023
Sholem Asch is one of the greatest and best-known Yiddish dramatists and Caraid O’Brien is one of the foremost contemporary interpreters and translators of his work. In this class, you will dive into her rousing translations of three of Asch’s seminal works, God of Vengeance, Motke Thief, and The Dead Man, being published this spring by the Yiddish Book Center’s White Goat Press as The Underworld Trilogy. In addition to learning about Asch and his place on the world stage, this class will investigate questions like: How does a translator anticipate the author’s intent? In what ways do translations change to meet our contemporary sensibilities? Born in Galway, Ireland, O’Brien is a noted Yiddishist, playwright, actor, and extraordinary creative mind. Do not miss this unique chance to study Asch’s stirring portrayals of the human condition through O’Brien’s translations.