Playwriting & Performance Residency
The Unusual Suspects’ award-winning theatre program features two consecutive 10-week (60-80 hours each) playwriting and performance workshops that employ theatrical story development, script writing, improvisation techniques, onstage performance and audience interaction to help youth develop self-esteem, respect and tolerance of others as well as the communication, coping and behavioral skills necessary to make positive life choices.
Playwriting Workshop (10-Weeks/60-80 hours):
Guided by a team of three professional teaching artists, a program supervisor, and volunteer mentors, students learn how to structure a script, develop a character, and use improvisation to create an original play as an ensemble. The Playwriting Workshop culminates in a public staged reading of the final script performed by professional actors.
Performance Workshop (10-Weeks/60-80 hours):
Led by a team of three professional teaching artists, a technical coordinator, a costume designer, a program supervisor, and volunteer mentors, this program focuses on acting, design and the creation of an ensemble. Over the course of ten weeks, students rehearse and coordinate the production of an original work written in the Playwriting Workshop. The Performance Workshop culminates with a fully staged production with professional costumes, sets, lights, and sound.
Musical Theatre Residency
The Unusual Suspects Musical Theatre Residency expands its core Playwriting and Performance Residency to give youth the opportunity to create an original musical. Piloted at Narbonne High School the Musical Theatre Residency features three parts: a 10-week Musical Theatre Playwriting Workshop, a 6-week Songwriting Workshop, and a 10-week Musical Theatre Performance Workshop. Guided by a team of professional teaching artists, program supervisors, and volunteer mentors, students learn basic musical concepts, song structure, lyric writing, and musical performance in addition to the techniques taught in the core playwriting and performance workshops.
Adult Community Residency
Patterned after the core Playwriting and Performance Residency, The Unusual Suspects Adult Community Residency is an intensive 10-week program that provides an opportunity for parents and adults to write and perform a play that addresses issues in their community. Designed to inspire community discussion, the Adult Community Residency culminates with a unique, interactive performance that incorporates community participation from residents, parents, political leaders, and community organizers.
The Unusual Suspects offers a new Studio Program designed to develop skills in a specific area of theatre arts and supplement the core Playwriting and Performance Residency. Studio Programs are limited to 10 students and are instructed by one master teaching artist with the assistance of an intern or part-time coordinator. The Studio Programs culminate in a classroom presentation “Café” open to peers and family members.
Acting Master Class (5 weeks/20-25 hours)
Students delve deeper into the craft of acting by studying fundamental and advanced performance techniques. Through improvisation, script analysis, and monologue and scene work students develop a better understanding of the actor’s role in theatrical storytelling.
Dance Workshop (5 weeks/10-15 hours)
Students gain a deeper understanding of their bodies as they relate to music, space, and storytelling. They are also exposed to basic technique, stretching, and cardiovascular conditioning. Students are encouraged to express themselves through both “free” movement as well as structured choreography.
Songwriting Workshop (5 weeks/10-15 hours)
Students learn to refine lyrical ideas and poems into basic song structures. They also learn how to shape their words into melodies and incorporate basic musical concepts, such as rhythm and harmony, to form songs. Students are encouraged to bring and play instruments as well as use their abilities to program beats and tracks on a computer.
Storytelling Workshop (5-10 weeks/10-15 hours)
Students cultivate creative writing skills through the art of theatrical storytelling. Drawing from personal experience and the environment around them, students are encouraged to explore personal emotions, ideas, social issues, and imagination. Through the process of writing a monologue, students learn story structure, character development, and fundamental literary techniques.
For more information about The Unusual Suspects programs please contact Program Director Melissa Denton at 213-488-8488 x203 or Melissa@theunusualsuspects.org