This arts workshop combines the academic study of some of the most important recent dramatic works in the United States with an interdisciplinary approach to the artistic adventure of writing new short plays. Students will read work from ten prominent contemporary playwrights (among them Annie Baker, Charise Castro Smith, Rajiv Joseph, and Robert O'Hara), then respond with short dramatic pieces inspired by those texts. Significant focus will be placed on drawing connections with great books and concepts being discussed in students’ other coursework and how those texts may inform the plays we are reading. The class may include a trip to an Off-Broadway show and/or visits from some of the assigned playwrights. Additional readings may include non-play texts by Sarah Ruhl, Jose Rivera, and Anne Bogart.