Off-Broadway Performing Arts Studio is sponsoring and hosting a script-writing group known as the Playwright’s Guild.
“It is called the Playwright’s Guild but members do not have to write only scripts for the stage,” Off-Broadway Performing Arts Studio owner and Mt. Pleasant High School Theatre Director John Klak said. “Scripts for television, animated shorts, film, YouTube series, and radio are all options that members can pursue.”
The Playwright’s Guild is a group for writers, similar to a book club, where prospective writers can bounce ideas off each other and participate in different activities and exercises to help develop their skills. Some of the group activities includes writing challenges, table readings and feedback, inspiration improvisations, public showcases of new works, and optional online writing time.
“No experience is needed and you don’t need to have any prior writing experience at all,” Klak said. “This isn’t a class but we will be doing writing activities that give people a chance to play with words and get feedback in a low-risk, supportive environment. Every playwright needs to write his/her first play. The guild is there to get people started.”
Klak is starting the group and will be leading the meetings. Klak graduated from Central Michigan University with a double major in English and Speech with a Theatre Concentration and was involved with 21 CMU theatre productions. He has overseen around 100 plays and musicals at Mt. Pleasant High School (MPHS), served on boards for the Michigan Story Festival and the Friends of the Broadway Theater.
“As for playwriting, I have compiled numerous oral interpretation shows, authored a few short plays, and written one full length play Twelve Nights at the Regency which I produced and directed at Mt. Pleasant High School in 2013,” Klak said.
Membership costs $30/year and $10/month with dues starting the 1st of the month after payment of annual membership and potential members must be at least 14-years-old to join. The guild meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Off-Broadway Performing Arts Studio in the kitchen.
During the meetings, there are some COVID-19 related requirements for in-person meetings. This includes requiring members to wear masks inside the building, to submit to and pass a COVID health screening upon entry, washing or sanitizing hands upon entering the building, and maintain social distancing.
The group also has a Google Meet for those who want attend meetings remotely. A Google Classroom page is available as a communication tool for group activities and sharing creations.
“This is a new group and I have no idea how quickly or slowly it will grow,” Klak said. “I am hoping that there are a few people out there who have had ideas for scripts but maybe never knew how or maybe never had a push to put pen to paper or to start that new document. This could be their chance.”
For more information, visit offbroadwaystudio.com.
Off-Broadway Performing Arts Studio holds outdoor classes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues