Fall 2016 Classes

Virginia Museum of The Arts

Writing the Shadow

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said that before we can find the Mother Teresa within us, we must first acknowledge the Hitler who is there as well. Each of us has a dark self, what Carl Jung called the “shadow” part of our psyche. Sometimes we glimpse it in dreams; sometimes it appears in dark imaginings. In this class we’ll experiment with timed writing, dream journals, guided imagery, and Active Imagination. Our goal will be to draw the shadow out, recognize it for what it is, and see what we can learn from it–and what it can bring to our creative writing. This class is not therapy, but it can be very therapeutic.

12 sessions, Sept. 12-Nov. 28, Mondays 7:00-10:00pm

Writing Memoir

Thomas Larson writes that “memoir is most successful when it is not the ‘story of a life,’ but a focused part of that life—a dozen summers spent working on a grandfather’s farm; a long relationship with a dying relative; the first year of law school.” This course will help students explore and focus on the most meaningful and memorable parts of their lives. The instructor will guide students through the stories of their lives with specific prompts, timed writing and constructive feedback.

12 sessions, Sept. 13-Nov. 29, Tuesdays 10:00am-1:00pm

Going to The Elephant

Someone once said writing is the easiest job in the world: “all you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until blood comes out of your forehead.” Dispel the myth of writer’s block. We will silence the critic within, and write in a safe and comfortable environment. This class is for those who have always wanted to write, but lacked the courage–or who used to write, but have stopped making time to do so. Give me your best, and you will come away a better writer. You’ll also find out what the title means.

12 sessions, Sept. 15-Dec. 8, Thursdays 10:00am-1:00pm

The Creative Spark

Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about el duende–“the goblin wind” within us which can breathe our creative spark into creative fire. The ember may be a poem, a story, a confession, a play. It may not even know what it is, or wants to be–but it’s there. So we’ll experiment. The goal of this creative writing class is to fan your ideas and inspirations into flame. We’ll use timed writing, dream journals, guided imagery, Active Imagination, and anything else we can think of to get in touch with the stories you want or need to tell–and those needing or wanting you to tell them. Come with an open mind. Be honest and brave.

12 sessions, Sept 15-Dec. 8, Thursdays 7:00-10:00pm

For more information or to sign up, go to http://vmfa.museum/studio-school/registration/ or call (804) 340-1405.

 

The Visual Arts Center

From The Page to The Stage

If a playwright writes plays, why isn’t the word spelled “playwrite”? “Wright” comes from Old (via Middle) English, meaning “worker” or “maker.” A playwright doesn’t simply write a play: he or she drafts it, crafts it, builds it–and the nuts and bolts that hold it together are scenes and monologues. In this class we’ll explore structure, treatment, conflict, character development, setting, and plot. We’ll talk about differences between writing for the stage and writing for film or television. We’ll look at some scenes and monologues to see how they work, and then we’ll write several of our own.

6 sessions, Sept. 14-Oct. 19, Wednesdays 10:00am-12:30pm

Writing the Memoir–NEW!

Thomas Larson writes that “memoir is most successful when it is not the ‘story of a life,’ but a focused part of that life—a dozen summers spent working on a grandfather’s farm; a long relationship with a dying relative; the first year of law school.” This course will help students explore and focus on the most meaningful and memorable parts of their lives. The instructor will guide students through the stories of their lives with specific prompts, timed writing and constructive feedback.

6 sessions, Oct. 26-Nov. 30, Wednesdays 10:00am-12:30pm

For more information or to sign up, go to http://www.visarts.org or call (804) 353-0094.

 

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