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About the Program

You will write every day, in the midst of some of the most exciting new play development in the world.

The Kenyon Institute has partnered with the Bush Theatre in London, Center Stage in Baltimore, and the Manhattan Theatre Club to create an extraordinary opportunity for aspiring and working playwrights. 

The artistic staff of these guest theaters, alongside Institute faculty, will lead morning workshops in which you will generate new work and/or reinvestigate a play you’ve brought to the conference. 

The week will begin and end with individual meetings with your instructor. During the program, you’ll spend the mornings in intensive workshop sessions. Afternoons are for writing and revision.  In the evenings, an ensemble of Institute actors will be available to informally read work that you and the other participants have created during the conference.

Each of the three professional theater companies, along with the Kenyon Institute, has commissioned a new play by an established playwright. Each of these resident playwrights will offer an afternoon master class that is open to conference participants.

At the close of the conference, the commissioned playwrights will present staged readings of their plays with a professional cast and offer a post-show discussion.

A Typical Day

9:00 am


You will work in small seminar groups on daily writing exercises, presenting readings of your work in class using class members and/or resident student actors.

12:00 pm

Lunch in Peirce Hall.

1:00 pm

Writing time.

Because each day you will be asked to write or rewrite a short play, you'll probably want to spend the afternoon writing.  But this can also be your time to work out at the athletic center, or walk and bike on the Kokosing Gap Trail while thinking about your work-in-progress.

4:00 pm

Master classes (optional).

Hear from some of the nation’s top literary managers about how to get your work read, what happens to a new play in development, and trends in new work. You might have a master class with one of the visiting playwrights or actors. Or the instructors might talk about related fields like acting, directing, or writing for film and television. Wine and cheese receptions follow some events.

5:30 pm

Dinner in Peirce Hall.

Sit down with a poet, or a fiction writer, or just have a relaxed dinner with your classmates looking out over the magnificent central Ohio countryside.

7:00 pm

Readings (optional).

Be among the first to hear scenes from a play, still in development, by a renowned playwright. Hear readings by the poets, fiction and nonfiction writers teaching in the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop or hear selected short plays by willing workshop playwrights. Come out for drinks at The Village Inn or, if inspired, go home to write!