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Writing: Telling Your Story On Stage--A Workshop in Solo Performance  

Roberta D’Alois Participants will learn about the history of dramatic monologues including modern solo performance. We’ll also complete writing exercises in class, and participants will choose one of these exercises to develop into a short (5-8 minutes) solo performance monologue. Students will work collaboratively -- get loads of support -- and learn a variety of writing and performance techniques. Past monologues have included leaving the priesthood, first sexual encounters, and leaving San Francisco. This will be a celebration of For the final class, class participants or local actors will read some of these scenes and exercises. Students will learn techniques for developing character and story, read and view examples of compelling solo performance, share personal perspectives, create solo work that is engaging and dramatic, and enjoy ourselves and celebrate the writer in all of us. Week 1 Introduction to Solo Performance Stories vs. monologues Videos - Mike Daisey, W. Kamau Bell, others Brief writing exercises Volunteers read writing exercises to class Week 2 Videos – Anna Deavere Smith, Ann Randolph, others In-class writing exercise Volunteers read writing exercises to class Week 3 In-class writing exercise Volunteers read writing exercises to class Week 4 The personal becomes performance Writing exercise Volunteers read writing exercises to class Week 5 Round-robin - participants exchange monologues and provide feedback Choose selections to read at final class Week 6 Celebration, reading of participants’ work (with actors?) No books required; assigned readings will be posted to class site. There will also be videos to watch in class that students will have access to online. Roberta is a published poet and fiction writer and has received several awards for academic excellence in Creative Writing. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing San Francisco State University, an MA in Psychology JFK University Orinda, CA, and her BA in Theatre Arts Brandeis University, Waltham MA. She is currently Adjunct Faculty in SF State's Rhetoric and Composition Department.


  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University
    835 Market Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Phone: (415) 817-4243 Website: