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Writing and Performing from Your Roots

June  6 - 8, 2014
10:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Writing from Roots
Lynne KaufmanObasi DavisMarc Bamuthi JosephErika Chong Shuch

Writing and Performing from Your Roots

How do we find the courage to reveal the stories that are ours alone to tell? How can we begin to transform ourselves and society by saying the unsayable, or even the unspeakable?

You can show up empty-handed to this workshop - but be ready to go deep, fast. Spend Friday evening in lively conversation with legendary performer, art activist, poetry slam champion, choreographer, and literary storyteller Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

Saturday, dive into an intimate, intense, and productive workshop setting and choose one of three forms to focus on: the three-minute performance poem, the five-minute play, or the three-minute monologue. With support, structure and inspiration from one of our mentors - and the energy of the group - you'll produce, refine and revise an original work on Saturday and Sunday that you will then perform on Sunday afternoon. Believe it! Think of it as a "lost weekend" - one where you devote yourself completely to making and performing new work.

"Writing and Performing from Your Roots" is designed both for beginners and experienced writers and performers. Choose from one of the following tracks:



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From Allan Ginsberg shocking San Francisco with his first performance of "Howl" at the Six Gallery in 1955 to the dazzling annual spectacle of the Youth Speaks Grand Slam Poetry Finals, performance poetry rooted in the Bay Area is provocative and risky, famous for its grit, style, and substance. In this track, you can go as deep as you dare.

...with Obasi Davis
Currently the youth Poet Laureate for the city of Oakland, Davis is a founding member of the heralded poetry ensemble Young, Gifted and Black. California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, a judge in the competition, calls Davis "a rare master of the out-breath, born into consciousness, singing. With the humanity-voice of Gwendolyn Brooks, the long-jeweled line of Ginsberg and his own Obasi magic, here stands a giant poet in the making - for the people of Oakland and the world."

The five-minute play is a crash course in the arc of story. Learn how to structure a beginning, a middle, and an end. Create a dramatic zone for tension, conflict and catharsis, or explore the depths of character through revealing dialogue. See and hear your play enacted by your fellow writer-performers, and perform new works-in-progress.

...with Lynne Kaufman
Kaufman is a nationally award-winning playwright. Her twenty full length plays have been produced in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington D.C. Her recent play, "Acid Test", about the life of Ram Dass, ran for over a year at The Marsh Theatre in San Francisco and Berkeley. She is also the author of three published novels and dozens of short stories.

In this performance technique and composition workshop, we will generate multiple sketches of original performances.  Each participant will wear the shoes of director, choreographer, writer and performer and learn generative processes to build solos, duets and ensemble works.

...with Erika Chong Shuch
Shuch is a choreographer and director whose work has been supported by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Groundfloor and ACT's New Works Program and has been commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Dancers' Group, Chang Mu Dance Company (Seoul, Korea) and Daejeon Metropolitan Dance Company (Daejeon, Korea). A resident artist at Intersection for the Arts since 2004, she is a recipient of the Falstaff Award in Choreography, the Gerbode Foundation's Emerging Choreographer's Award, a Goldie Award and a nominee for a Helen Hayes Award in Choreography. http://www.erikachongshuch.org/ 

Hybrid Performance: Writing and Performing from the Roots with Marc Bamuthi Joseph

June 6, 2014
7:00pm - 9:00pm
CIIS Main Building
$15/$20 at the door

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, originally from NYC, is an arts activist currently living in Oakland, California. He is a National Poetry Slam champion, Broadway veteran, featured artist on the past two seasons of Russell Simmons' Def Poetry on HBO and a recipient of 2002 and 2004 National Performance Network Creation commissions. He entered the world of literary performance after crossing the sands of "traditional" theater, most notably on Broadway in the Tony Award winning The Tap Dance Kid and Stand-Up Tragedy.


Saturday and Sunday
June 7 & 8
10:00am - 5:00pm
CIIS Main Building
$175/$200/$225 (includes keynote)
Get in for half price if you are under 21!
Become a Member and save up to 20%

California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103


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MFA Programs

The MFA in Writing and Consciousness is part of the Department of Writing, Consciousness and Creative Inquiry. We welcome writers and artists who are ready to do the following: Enhance their art, craft, and knowledge of both literature and consciousness, while taking their writing to a deeper level; Acquire professional skills such as teaching, grantwriting, editing, publishing and freelance writing; Develop experimental, multigenre, and/or multimedia projects or Work primarily within a single genre, whether fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction, staying open to developing their art and craft through the exploration of other genres; Discover new frameworks and meanings for their work as they claim their own literary lineages.