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 Lynn Nottage, Annie Baker, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Ayad Akhtar, and Dominique Morisseau, then respond with short dramatic pieces—monologues, scenes, one-minute plays, and ten-minute plays—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 will include a trip to an Off-Broadway show and/or visits from some of the assigned playwrights. Additional readings will include Sarah Ruhl’s 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write , August Wilson’s The Ground on Which I Stand , and Jose Rivera’s 36 Assumptions About Playwriting .