Monologue and Play Development – Online – Middle School
Monologue and Play Development Class for Middle Schoolers (Online)
In this class we will create a play about life during a pandemic, with the kids as the playwrights. The students will turn their experiences during this time of social distancing (the good, the bad, and the funny) into a compilation of monologues that will be performed at the end of the session via Zoom and eventually as a live performance (once we can all gather in public). Art always reflects what is going on in life, and we have an opportunity to find the light in dark times, the humanity behind the grim news, and the positivity to push forward—all through the powers of creativity, collaboration, and storytelling.
Students will have the rare opportunity to train with Triple Threat founder and Golden Globe nominee Cynthia Gibb. She has worked one on one with numerous students to prepare their monologues for college auditions, landing them at top performing arts institutions—including NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Carnegie Mellon, and Chapman—as well as in Broadway, TV, and movie roles. We will begin the session teaching students needed techniques to prepare monologues for school auditions or professional performances. Students will select a monologue written by a professional playwright and will learn how to approach the process of bringing their characters to life.
We will then take what they have learned about monologues and guide students in writing their own pieces expressing what their lives have been like during this strange time. Students will be encouraged to journal daily about their experiences in this new normal and read their writing in class. We will hone their material into monologues unique to them and by the end of the session have a compilation play written by tweens/teens about tweens/teens. The monologues in A Chorus Line were created in this way. Other smash hits incorporating monologues include: The Exonerated, The Laramie Project, and Working.
Students interested in only writing may join the class as part of the playwriting team. Those who prefer only to act can join and be cast in a monologue and leave the writing to the team.
We envision many exciting possibilities for this project, so jump in now to claim your place as part of the original cast and creative team!
Once you are enrolled, we will send you resources for selecting a contemporary monologue to work on. You may consider comedic, dramatic or serio-comedic monologues (think about which style speaks most to you) of one to two minutes each. In the first class, we will narrow down to the best selection for each student.
Westport native Cynthia Gibb has over 60 film, TV and theater credits. She received a Golden Globe® nomination for her portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy, opposite Bette Midler. She also starred in the Karen Carpenter Story. And anyone who ever donned legwarmers remembers her as the star of the TV series Fame! She also starred with Shirley Jones, Dick Van Dyke, Donna McKechnie, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, James Woods, Dabney Coleman, Burt Reynolds, Christopher Lloyd and many others. Cynthia has worked with Oliver Stone, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Arthur Laurents, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan (producers of the Academy Awards, Smash and Chicago), as well as choreographers Jerome Robbins, Debbie Allen and Jaime Rogers. She has over 30 years professional experience as an actress, singer and dancer. Her TV credits include Law and Order/SVU, Criminal Minds and Without a Trace, among many others. Cynthia is a member of the prestigious Actors' Studio and has taught hundreds of singing and acting students in Connecticut, L.A., and in master classes across Italy.