Angelo Parra, the author of Playwriting for Dummies and an award-winning playwright, will be offering a six-week Playwriting Workshop at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center in Sleepy Hollow beginning mid-January.
Parra wrote the critically acclaimed play with music, The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, which ran Off-Broadway for more than a year. The show moves to Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, Mass., January 9.
He also teaches playwriting at SUNY Rockland.
“Writing for the stage is easy: just give two people opposing goals and write what they say to each other,” Parra says. “Well ... maybe not quite that easy, but playwriting is definitely doable, exciting, and fun.”
The Playwriting Workshop is suitable for both beginners – those who would like to try scriptwriting for the first time – and for those who’d like to sharpen their scriptwriting skills. “We explore scriptwriting step by step in a supportive and relaxed environment,” Parra says. The workshop will end with a public reading of students’ scripts for an invited audience.
The sessions will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights for six weeks, January 16 to February 20. For information on registering for Angelo Parra’s Playwriting Workshop, go to http://writerscenter.org/index.html, click on “Classes and Workshops,” and scroll down.
Parra, a Rockland County resident, has theatrical production credits in N.Y.C., Chicago, and L.A., at Hartford Stage, Florida Stage, Cape (Cod) Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Florida Rep, Cleveland Play House, Penguin Rep (in Stony Point), and at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival, among other venues.
His The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, was named among the “Top-Ten Off-Broadway Experiences” by the New York Daily News, and was nominated for a 2012 Lucille Lortel Award and a 2012 Off-Broadway Alliance Award.
Parra’s honors include two N.Y. Foundation for the Arts Scriptwriting Fellowships. In 2000 he was named a Tennessee Williams Scholar (Sewanee Writers Conference).
A member of The Dramatists Guild, the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit, and member emeritus of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Parra also is literary manager of Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point.
With roots as far back as 1983, the mission of The Hudson Valley Writers' Center is to advance the art and craft of writing by encouraging writers and readers at all levels to participate in and enjoy the literary arts.
The center, located in the historic Philipse Manor railroad station, offers classes, seminars, and workshops in poetry, essays, fiction, memoir, and scriptwriting. Throughout the year, many literary-themed events, such as readings with local authors and even occasional music performances, are hosted by the HVWC.