If you see something, write something

FALL CLASS! GET YOUR WRITE ON: 

TUESDAY WARRIOR WRITING WORKSHOP

Your New or Next Draft Now with Winter Miller

Clarify Your Impulse. Tell Your Story. 

Now what? You're stuck? It's a mess? You love it but it terrifies you? Stop procrastiwriting(TM) and take a deep dive. This workshop will meet you exactly where you are with your play (or solo show or memoir) with tools to get you writing, revising and moving forward. We will focus on the structure of your play, the environment, and what the characters want, need and are doing. It's your play, your story to tell, and I'm here to help you do it with authenticity and freedom -- whatever the genre. What makes your comedy funny; is it jokes? circumstances? Where can you look for models or inspiration about how your specific piece works? You will get weekly assignments to keep you moving forward, whether generating all-new material or rewriting. 

9 SESSIONS. Workshops: Tuesday nights 6:45-9:45pm

DATES:   10/11,  10/18,  10/25,  11/1,  11/8,  11/15,  11/22,  11/29, 12/13

Place: Prospect-Lefferts Gardens off the B/Q express at Prospect Park.

Investment $660

Inquiries and enrollment winterconnect[at]gmail.com

 

 

Black Female Playwrights are not a monolith, nor are they jumping on the BLM bandwagon. They've been here all along.

Important work being done here. Perhaps reductive conclusion in this piece about black female playwrights and their work this season. 

Black Female Playwrights Want You to Face Facts. The Hard Ones. 
1) These are wonderful writers, all four of them. Three of them I know personally and can attest they are wonderful humans as well. You should go see their work, whenever, wherever. 
2) These playwrights aren't in sync with Black Lives Matter, these playwrights have always written provocative, important work about race, gender and culture. You could say that more Americans are now in sync with these and other writers.
3) Black Female Playwrights are not a monolith. 
4) The conversation could be, hey, look, New York City theaters are programming work by black female writers and here are at least four you should see. And some numbers about racial and gender parity and which theaters are taking the lead and how that fares socially and commercially for the theaters. 
5) Write an article about all the fking amazing black female playwrights that is not tied into the idea of Black Lives Matter as some explanation for why we're seeing their plays or that it's new that these women (and others) are writing fierce plays. 
6) Is this a euphemism for the dismissive, reductive and condescending Angry Black Woman? Cause you'd be angry too if you got the short end of the stick for your race and gender all the damn time, and your definition of angry might not even be a logical definition of what it is to make art, to breathe, to exist in a country that wants to extinguish your voice and personhood.
Am I glad any and every time these writers get press, hell yes. Am I glad it may bring more people to their work, hell yes. I'd also like to see these artists' work contextualized not by a single movement, but by a lifelong journey against oppression and white imperialism. But that's me, I'm picky that way.

Just for the fun of it, I'm gonna post a few names of female playwrights of color who's work you might want to check out in addition to Sarah Jones, Lynn NottageSuzan-Lori Parks and Anna Deveare Smith: Chisa HutchinsonZakiyyah AlexanderKirsten GreenidgeTanya EverettChristina AndersonDominique Morisseau, Janine Nabers, Rhada Blank,Shontina VernonEisa DavisD Lavinia Grays, Lenelle Moises, Danai Guirara, Sharon WashingtonSharon BridgforthJacqueline E. LawtonNikkole Salter Adrienne Kennedy, Dael OrlandersmithNtozake Shange, Tracy Scott Wilson, Tanya Barfield, Nambi Kelley, Katori Hall .... just a few top of mind, there are so many more, 
And please go to the theater, support the work of POC, women, trans, queer and other marginalized voices--put your money where your mouth is and take your money where your mouth doesn't want to be.

FALL CLASSES! GET YOUR WRITE ON: enrollment limited

FALL WARRIOR WRITING INTENSIVE

First Draft with Winter Miller

Building from instinct, impulse and the unconscious.

 

Workshops will be a thoughtful series of in-class writing prompts and exercises to get you deep into or through an entire first draft of your new play. This is a writing intensive class. In addition, there will be homework assignments. You can enter this class with the seeds of an idea, or no idea but preferably with few pages written.

 

10 SESSIONS. (including one skype day and one Saturday class)

Workshops: Tuesday nights 6:30-9:30pm

Place: Prospect-Lefferts Gardens off the B/Q express at Prospect Park.

Investment $750 ~ payment plans available

Must have instructor’s permission to enroll

 

DATES:  10/4,  10/11,  10/18,  10/25,  11/1,  11/8 ELECTION DAY*

11/12 SATURDAY READING DAY 12 – 4pm**, 11/15,  11/22,  11/29

 

*ELECTION DAY will be an individual work meeting via Skype or phone with winter to discuss your project and process. You can still hit the polls and cast your vote.

** SATURDAY READING DAY will be an afternoon workshop where we read your work aloud, aiming for trouble spots to work through them.

 

“I took what you said to heart - to have the courage to bring in the imperfect in order to work on it and learn.  The lesson you taught me is one of the most valuable ones I've ever gotten.  It unlocked something not only for this play, but for ALL my plays.  I felt like I leveled up as a playwright.”  ~Gina Femia

 

SERIES EIGHT with Winter Miller

MONDAY AFTERNOONS 1-4pm

An intimate class limited to 8 students, weekly reading of your works in progress. Out of class assignments geared to keep you moving forward creatively.

 

Workshops: Monday afternoons 1-4pm, beginning September 19th

Where: Prospect-Lefferts Gardens off the B/Q express at Prospect Place

 

Designed to let you hear your work aloud, get insightful feedback to propel you forward into your draft or rewrite and to crack open difficult obstacles to find paths through resistance. Best for projects that are new or early drafts. Good for people chasing something elusive and wanting to open up some channels. Assignments given based on your project. Open for plays, solo shows, memoir writing. All levels.

 

Monday September 19th – Monday November 14th 1-4pm

9/19,   9/26,  10/3,  10/17,  10/24,  10/31 (in costume)  11/7,  11/14

Investment $580 ~ payment plans available

 

 

 

ONE-ON-ONE: the fast track

30 minute weekly Skype or phone sessions.

Book 6 sessions in a set, then weekly as needed.

 

Ongoing individual work or (work in pairs) via Skype is available. Inquire to see if this is right for your practice. This work is extremely concentrated and will move you through your work at a faster pace and with greater depth. Not for the faint of heart, though you will be supported and encouraged to take risks. Especially good for people:

• blocked in their writing,

• with busy schedules ~ no commute

• interested in writing things that feel taboo or dangerous

• who like having pants-optional classes

Testimonials available. For the beginning through advanced writer.

 

Investment: Block of 6 sessions is $450, payment plans available. Thereafter, sessions are $75. Payment plans available.

 

“Winter's precise advice cuts deeply and strongly into the heart of the play. Her process makes you want to commit daily to your work and this emotional investment is both satisfying and enriching. You will not feel fear or procrastinate! Through the combination of her tutorials with your own rewriting and editing, the play can move to fresh places of clarity. Her calm, optimistic - but never gushing - style will not only improve your current play but will provide strength and knowledge for the future too.” ~ Kieran Carroll, Australian playwright

Why Language Matters

I wrote and emailed this letter to the reporter of this piece, and I share it publicly in the hopes that it provokes dialogue about how any of us frame the narratives of rape. It's a chilling story and I'm left with lots of questions, and the sense that a woman's choice not to press charges, not to call something rape means it wasn't rape. This story has so much to account for, like the very human need to feel loved, or wanted, and the power dynamics here: father, drunk, group of young men--not just the case leaves me unsettled, but the reporter's diction and sway in the court of public opinion. I respect this reporter; all the more reason to write him.

Please read the letter and the story, there's no obligation to agree or disagree, I just invite you to question what you or I know.

Dear Mr. Wilson,

You're an excellent and experienced reporter and I respect your work. Which is why I challenge your statement (or perhaps conclusion?) in your recent Brownsville piece that there was not a rape because there was no evidence of force.

Force looks a lot of different ways--she was drunk--how drunk, you don't say--sober enough for consent? She was having sex with her biological father, the fact that she doesn't want to press charges against him is not a sign that he didn't rape her so much as a window into the complexity of abandonment, foster care, and the promise of something--connection, approval, love? We don't know.

To say there is no evidence of rape because a person does not want to testify--against either man--may be more related to her current emotional state, her mental state, and her desire not to get anyone in trouble or face further stigma and/or repercussions herself. But to say it isn't rape, is an obfuscation of the fact that it may have been rape or two rapes. All rapes don't require tears and bruises to be rapes.

Not to mention, if your father is having sex with you and five men appear and you're terrified, maybe the safest thing to do is to just try to make it through with the least amount of harm--these are things we don't know, but they don't point to non-rape. They point to we don't know if it was consensual. Any of it.

Please think about your language, it may have roots in legalese and 20th century journalism but you do no favors for rape survivors who dare not come forward or who are coerced out of some obligation to come forward and report a rape.

Do you see what I'm getting at here? Journalists and police officers and courts carry so much weight when it comes to public perception.

Thank you for reading. I chose to write this to you directly because my intention is not about debating the facts of so much as to say, you have a voice, please consider the power you wield and what it would be like if you never had a voice.

We can't know at this moment whether she was raped and by whom, but that doesn't mean that she wasn't--it's a gray area in which we simply don't know. To me that's a big difference.

Allbest,
Winter Miller

 

Swings, Slides and the Lingering Memory of a Brownsville Rape Case

A day after prosecutors said they would drop the charges against five men in the case, a quiet calm set in at the playground where a woman reported being attacked.

MOBILE.NYTIMES.COM|BY MICHAEL WILSON

 

Rules of the Game: Steinem, HRC and Power

I was just thinking this last night, that Gloria Steinem's comment was basically about it's uncool to support Hillary. And a lot of people, particularly young people, have a lot invested in being cool. And this is my opinion, not hers, but so many men only have examples of women having power over them when they felt powerless--as young sons, as teenaged students. Once they get in the workforce, they see examples of power more often than not, embodied by men. So it's reinforced culturally from birth on that men are emotionless and powerful and women are emotional and nags. Ask yourself, who would you want to be more powerful than you--someone who is seen as powerful or someone who is seen as a nag? Just like racism, we have to work so hard to unlearn sexism. It's insidious, buried in everything we encounter. When was the last time you heard anyone ask a white man, are you just voting for Bernie because he's a white man? If this contest were two men, each with the same platforms and experience as these two, the Hillary style candidate in a man's body would be mopping the floor with Bernie's idealistic attitudes which exist in a vacuum without obstructionism or this country's bedmate, capitalism. The representations of who should win are about gender, because we are a binary-focused society in which many people feel threatened by the prospect of the most powerful figurehead of our country being a woman. Since gender is indelible in this election, imagine a country in which it is cool to vote for a woman in the first place. Because you and I, we aren't going to be having a beer and shooting the shit with Bern or Hill, so whatever your politics are, imagine for a moment the frame around this race if both candidates were women? I'm not voting for HRC because she's a woman, I'm voting for HRC because I'm a woman and I want a president who believes in equal rights. All the other things I care about--racial equality, reducing income disparity, international diplomacy, protections for lbgtq people--I'll continue to work for those same as everyday.

Spare Rib + #TogetherForAbortion. 1.22.16

Spare Rib teams up with #TogetherForAbortion and The NYC LGBTQ Center to mark the anniversary of Roe v Wade with a reading of the play Spare Rib for an audience.  

January 22, 630pm @ 208 West 13th St., NYC 

http://togetherforabortion.com/#events

To get tickets, go the the Center's web page: https://gaycenter.org/sparerib

FEATURING AN ALL-STAR CAST

  • Kathleen Chalfant (“House of Cards,” “The Affair,” “Angels in America”)
  • Zainab Jah (“Eclipsed,” “Hamlet,” “In Darfur”)
  • Quincy Tyler Bernstine “Mr. Burns,” “Ruined,” “In the Next Room”)
  • Heidi Schreck (Writer on “Billions,” “Nurse Jackie,” Actor in “Circle Mirror Transformation”)
  • Kate Rigg (Band “Slanty Eyed Mama,” “The Jammer,” “Dogeaters”)
  • Keira Naughton (“The Quartos,” “The Rivals”, “The Three Sisters”)
  • Marin Ireland (“Girls,” “Homeland,” “The Big Knife”)

With direction from Jessi D. Hill (“Hi, Hitler!,” “Wink,” “Human Fruit Bowl”) and Winter Miller and the production team of Becky Goodman, Jillian Carruci, Virginia Alber-Glanstaetten, Abigail Barr, Jody Christopherson, Teddy Nicholas and Amy Raudenbush.

In partnership with #ShoutYourAbortion and New Georges, with early support from The Civilians, The Lark and Blue Mountain Center. With special thanks to those working tirelessly and courageously to provide safe and legal abortions for all, regardless of class or geography.

Read more in The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/12/14/cold-read

"Talk of the Town"

Lately, she has been developing “Spare Rib,” a non-Aristotelian, nonlinear, quasi-comic drama about abortion. Last month, Ellen McLaughlin, the actor and writer, who first encountered Miller’s work while judging submissions for a Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, enlisted Kathleen Chalfant, the actor, to host a reading at her house in Brooklyn Heights. Eight Broadway and Off Broadway professionals gathered in Chalfant’s front parlor to bring the play to life.

Read More

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR THE TUESDAY SESSION

"Winter is hard on the work without being hard on the person, and therefore gives precise, intelligent, and inspiring constructive criticism. Her teaching comes from a generous and grounded place that is focused on empowering writers to find and articulate the stories they are trying to tell." -Karina

Details below.

ENROLL FOR THE TUESDAY SERIES 8

 

"Bring me your huddled egos yearning to breathe free..."

Ongoing Tuesday Night Series 8.

Write a draft of your new play. Revise the play in the folder.

Tell your story.

Individual journeys in community.

Openings now for the next round of workshops begins Tuesday, September 8th .

            8 sessions

            Investment: $480 for class.

            Dates: 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27

Location: Brooklyn (more specifics when you register), off the B/Q express.

Time: Tuesday nights, 7pm -10pm

Sessions include a mix of feedback on written work, and/or writing prompts or group exercises.  

Further questions email winterconnect[at]gmail.

This group is right for you if you have a first draft, a first idea, the need to revise and you are ready to move ahead with both feet (and hands).

**solo show, novel, memoir, etc .

Payment plans are available, please inquire.

Tuesday Series 6

Ongoing Tuesday Night Writer's Class/Group. Write a draft of your new play.** 

Location: Brooklyn (more specifics when you register)

Time: Tuesday nights, 7pm -10pm

Sessions will include a mix of feedback on written work, and/or writing prompts or group exercises.  

Minimum commitment of 6 sessions required. Brief nterview and/or reference required.

Remain in workshop until your draft is complete. 

Investment: $360 per six-pack.

Further questions email winterconnect[at]gmail.com

**Open to additional genres, inquire. 

A few thoughts on privilege and power

A RUMINATION ABOUT PRIVILEGE AND POWER,  A brief shout out to some of my teachers: Ken Hardy, Ann Bradney, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, Arnold Mindell, Patricia Hill Collins, Gloria Steinem and to my parents and to many inspiring friends and peers like Taylor Mac, Alan Aja, Lynn Nottage, Sarah Schulman, Vini Bhansali, Lucy Thurber, Morgan Jenness, Polly Carl, Daniel Alexander Jones and to my students who are also my teachers, who light the way. Too many to name, but that's a few. While this post is not authorized by any of those people, nor would they even endorse my thoughts perhaps--I am the one accountable--I do want to recognize their words have enlightened me over the years.

AS WE discuss privilege and entitlement more and more in public and private fora, it's worth thinking about the differences between institutionalized privilege, individual privilege and in-the-moment privilege because all of these are not (always) the same.

Depending on where we are--environment, circumstances--our individual privilege can shift in relation to how one self-identifies and how that relates to the group in which we are surrounded by at any given moment.

For instance, if I, as an educated queer white atheist female bring an educated straight white christian male into the following groups, how might his understanding of or identification with his own privilege shift if he is in a category of one in the following:
a) a group of women of all ethnicities
b) a group of LGBTQ of all ethnicities
c) a group of men of color
d) a specialized group of all people who have a skill and a knowledge he does not possess and cannot grasp
e) a neighborhood where he knows no one and no one resembles his external identity.

In our U.S. patriarchal and white-celebrated culture, this man is viewed as privileged, but I'd like to suggest, as many others have, that this privilege is not absolute on an individual level. There are many ways in which this man may be and act entitled, absolutely. Many instances of oppression he does not feel or observe. But, even with this in mind--there is a difference between group identification and self-identification and the individual does experience things differently according to circumstances.

Privilege is, in one sense fixed, while simultaneously situational. To me, the interesting piece is how aware we are about our moment- to-moment interactions. In what ways can we make space for continually marginalized people to claim their voices, and in what ways can we extend whatever confidence in our abilities we hold--regardless of categories--to encourage those with less confidence to take up space, to be heard, to have the space and time to speak in a way that is on their terms? Can we do this on the bus, in a classroom, in a boardroom, at a barbecue, among strangers and peers? It is this give and take--in myself and in others, that I am drawn to. As we go about our day, where are the places that we need to speak up and claim our voices, and where are the places we need to hang back and let others lead and join the conversation? 

Writers Without SPF: Write your play now

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS LAB

WWSPF (Writers Without SPF)*

*indoors we don’t need sunblock.

The WEDNESDAY afternoons LAB

2-5pm. BROOKLYN

10 WEDNESDAYS MAY 13 – JULY 15

May: 13, 20, 27

June: 3, 10, 17, 24

July: 1, 8, 15

(located near the B/Q express at Prospect Park)

Tuesday nights have filled up fast. Which is great. Next Tuesday night rotation will begin in June, to register, contact me.

Here’s a new(ish)* idea: Wednesday afternoon. 

*popular in 2302 BC, allegedly

 Class size: Small 

  What: play with your scripts and characters. Deepening, questioning and going into the parts that don’t connect, don’t make sense, are somehow off… and exploring.

Investment: $585 payable in 3 installments*

Contact: winterconnect[at]gmail

      Winter Miller, MFA, CCEP

 Referrals welcomed and greatly appreciated

Can’t do this one, but you want to get on the waitlist for the next Tuesday night class beginning mid-June? Drop me a note.

Hankering for a day-long or a Weekend Warrior? Drop me a note, I’ll see what I can do. Ask and receive.

The Civilians R&D Group 2015-2016

http://www.thecivilians.org/programs/rdgroup.html

This group is a hotbed of exciting plays being researched and developed. Reading series come May. 

 

Tell Your Story: Tuesday Night Writer's Group.

Ongoing Tuesday Night Writer's Class/Group. Write a draft of your new play.** 

Location: Brooklyn (more specifics when you register)

Time: Tuesday nights, 7pm -10pm

Sessions will include a mix of feedback on written work, and/or writing prompts or group exercises.  

Minimum commitment of 6 sessions required. 

Remain until your draft is completed. 

Investment: $360 per six-pack.

Further questions email winterconnect@gmail.com

**Open to additional genres, inquire. 

Book Skype sessions and work out your play.

"Winter's precise advice cuts deeply and strongly into the heart of the play. Her process makes you want to commit daily to your work and this emotional investment is both satisfying and enriching. You will not feel fear or procrastinate! Through the combination of her tutorials with your own rewriting and editing, the play can move to fresh places of clarity. Her calm, optimistic - but never gushing - style will not only improve your current play but will provide strength and knowledge for the future too."

Kieran Carroll, Australian playwright

January 2015

Pop-Up Writer's Class 6/17 1:30 - 4:30: All levels!

A ONE DAY POP-UP WRITERS' WORKSHOP

Tuesday 6/17 1:30-4:30

Convenient midtown location @ 520 8th Ave

Focus of this workshop: To generate pages and zoom into your play. Or if you're stuck, to unstick you and get you moving.

"Just enough freedom to roam. Just enough structure to make the work happen."  -Nina

COST: $45 via paypal.

**FOR ONE-ON-ONE ongoing work or to learn more about Core Energetics,

write winterconnect[at]gmail.