As playwrights, we usually draw from real-life stories to create narrative plays. However, we can also do extensive research and interviews with people on which to build purely documentary theater pieces about dynamic individuals or particular groups of people, say veterans or victims of domestic violence. We have the option to create characters based on those interviewees or use a subject’s exact words from an interview transcript verbatim. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the techniques necessary to research a topic and get comprehensive interviews from which to draw material or language for a play. We’ll also develop a short piece that can stand on its own or be developed into a one-act or full-length play.
Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,000 articles in numerous publications, including American Theatre, Balanced Living, Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Magazine, Crain’s Cleveland Business, History Magazine, The Plain Dealer, Scientific American, and Time.com. His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice was published by Skyhorse Publishers in May 2018.