CAMP residential: Playwriting with John Burgess


CAMP is a residential arts facility perched high in French Pyrenees, where masterclasses are led by the worlds most celebrated artists, writers and thinkers. In August 2019, John Burgess will lead two catalytic five day workshops intended to give playwrights of all abilities the tools they need to move forward. The workshops are sequential, and participants are encouraged to take both workshops, but those taking part in only the first week will find it beneficial in itself.

John Burgess has worked as a director and producer of new plays for over forty years. He helped found the National Theatre Studio with Peter Gill in 1984 and he was Head of New Writing at the National theatre 1989 -1994. Writers whose work he has premiered include Nicholas Wright, Sarah Daniels, Jonathan Harvey, Judith Johnson, David Spencer, Stephen Wakelam and Meredith Oakes. His productions have been seen at the National Theatre, the Royal Court, the Donmar, the Bush, Stratford East, Riverside Studios and BBC Television as well as abroad in Switzerland, Scandinavia and the US.

Since 2011 John has been running a highly successful writers’ group whose graduates have had their work performed at the National Theatre, in the West End, at the Soho Theatre, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Arcola, BBC Radio 4, the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, the Finborough and Hampstead Theatre and published by Faber and Nick Hern Books.

How it works: these five day workshops are about the practice, not the theory, of playwriting. Days will be divided into 2 intense two-hour group sessions with assigned reading and set exercises in between. Topics covered will include basic dialogue, rhythm, lists, action, silence, stichomythia, exits and entrances, music, vulnerability and direct address. Participants will be guided towards finding individual solutions to specific problems of writing for the stage, enabling beginners to find firm ground beneath their feet and giving the more experienced an opportunity to refine and extend their skills.

What’s included: the session includes accommodation in private, peaceful rooms with mountain views, plus excellent food and drinks. There will also be optional outdoor activities including mountain ascents, nature walks and visits to local beauty spots.

How to apply: there is no extended application procedure, but places are extremely limited – reserve a place at:

https://www.campfr.com/johnburgess (for level 1)
https://www.campfr.com/johnburgess2 (for level 2)


Dates: 7th –  12th August 2019 (level 1)
14th – 19th August 2019 (level 2)

Location: CAMP, Aulus les Bains, France

Cost: visit the website for more details. Grants, bursaries and other funding is available.

Deadline: not applicable

Source: direct contact

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