Feiffer Illustration

THE SOUTHAMPTON PLAYWRITING CONFERENCE provides the rare opportunity to develop new work in an intensive laboratory setting.  A rich and varied schedule of workshops, lectures, readings, and panel discussions led by distinguished members of the industry make this a truly unique creative experience. Additional formal and informal gatherings abound, as well as opportunities to enjoy the beautiful beaches and scenery of the Hamptons. The Conference is open to both emerging and established playwrights. We are pleased to offer graduate credits to eligible students.

Lab-style workshops are the main focus of the Southampton Playwriting Conference. Workshop leaders devise the content of their sessions and if appropriate, workshops incorporate seasoned, professional actors from New York’s esteemed Ensemble Studio Theatre.  EST is the Conference company in residence developing works in progress in readings that are often open to conference participants. In addition, the Michael Chekhov Association’s International Workshop, Festival and Teacher Training will be sponsored by the MFA Theatre and Film during the 2012 conference, dates yet to be determined.

Workshop Leaders for 2012 will be announced soon.
Our 2011 workshops included:

  • Playwriting with Obie Award winner and Outer Critic’s Circle nominated playwright Adam Bock
  • The Solo Show with Susan Smith Blackburn and Outer Critic’s Circle Award-winning playwright (Nine Armenians, Make Me) and actress Leslie Ayvazian
  • Musical Book with Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright and librettist ('Night Mother, The Color Purple) Marsha Norman
  • Playwriting with Pulitzer Prize nominated and Drama Desk and Humanitas Award-winning playwright (A Fair Country, Other Desert Cities) Jon Robin Baitz
  • Playwriting with Tony Award nominated director, playwright (Execution of Justice, Having Our Say) and artisitic director of Princeton's McCarter Theater Emily Mann

Interdisciplinary study is a core value of the MFA Program at Stony Brook Southampton, and is encouraged throughout all Conferences. In 2011, the Playwriting Conference ran concurrently with the Southampton Children’s Literature, Screenwriting, Writers, Theatre Directing and Digital Film Conferences, and participants chose from a wide range of afternoon sessions conducted by distinguished playwrights, actors, and directors, as well as novelists, filmmakers, poets and memoirists.

Special evening events feature well-known authors, actors, playwrights and filmmakers in panels, readings, keynotes and other presentations. Past evening presenters have included Alan Alda, Edward Albee, Alec Baldwin, Robert Brustein, Mike Daisey, Joe Mantello, Terrence McNally, Joe Pintauro, Jacquelyn Reingold, Lanford Wilson, Richard Ford, Robert Benton, Billy Collins, Jules Feiffer, Julie Andrews, Mercedes Ruehl, Elizabeth Strout, Tony Walton, Peter Hedges and Alexander Payne.

Read testimonials here!

Since its inception in 1968, Ensemble Studio Theatre has developed and produced more than 6,000 plays featuring many of the finest playwrights, directors and performers working in the theater. The Annual Marathon of One-Act Plays has been widely credited for reviving the one-act play form, and the company has been recognized with Village Voice Obie Awards, New York Outer Critic Circle Awards and numerous American Theater Wing Awards for excellence in theatre.

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