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Pictured is award-winning playwright David Caudle. Photo | Laura Marie Duncan
Playwright David Caudle

Conservatory of Performing Arts students had the unique opportunity spring semester to learn how to develop a new play with award-winning playwright and screenwriter David Caudle.

"Working with David was wonderful, he was very interested in what questions we had about our characters and the play," said M.F.A. in acting candidate Curtis Jackson. "David was very kind and appreciative toward our struggles as actors when dealing with rewrites."

Caudle hosted a workshop on his new play, Leg Man, with eight theatre students, Feb. 11-17 on campus. Adjunct faculty member Tammy Ryan served as the director.

"This workshop was about collaboration in the development process. Most plays students come across are finished, published and out of the writer's hands," said Caudle. "This experience highlights the importance of being 'present' in the room, developing strong cold reading skills, asking thoughtful questions and phrasing feedback in the most productive way to the writer."

The topics Caudle discussed resonated with the theatre students participating in the workshop.

"Working with David was an amazing experience and an incredible opportunity because we were able to talk about the characters in detail and really bring them to life," said junior acting major Tess DeStefano. "I learned how to approach a staged reading workshop with confidence."

Theatre students attend a workshop with award-winning playwright David Caudle during his visit to campus. Photo | Sheila McKenna
Theatre students work with David Caudle.

Junior musical theatre major James Frost commented, "We learned the basic process of a collaborative workshop for a new play. It was interesting to focus on the text, letting the words tell the story instead of trying to act it out by adding things in our performance, which is something I tend to do when I act."

Caudle said his best advice to students considering a career in the arts is to love what you do.

"Do what you love, work with people you're drawn to, and don't compare yourself or your career trajectory to anyone else," he said. "We are all unique, and there is no one right path. Boost your friend's spirits and share their joys."

Learn more

Learn more about auditioning or interviewing for the theatre program at Point Park University.