To Be an American

Character, Conflict, Action! – A Playwriting Workshop

Reading and writing plays is motivating to students of all abilities.  Writing and performing your own play not only gives students experience with dialogue and action but also develops reading and writing fluency and confidence. Play writing also helps students break out of the habit of writing fast summaries of their stories instead of real “showing writing,”  including scene and character development. Students will learn how character and conflict interact to create drama in a short play. LEI will lead students through the writing process, from developing a main character and dramatic conflict, through complicating the conflict with other obstacles, to resolving the play as a tragedy or comedy.  Students will learn the basic elements of play writing including dialogue and stage directions and may perform their play at the end of the project.

Lake Erie Ink also offers play writing adaptation workshops of fairy tales, folk tales, and myths or can create a customized program to provide experience and understanding of a variety of fictional genres.

Robin Pease


Dramatic Activities to Facilitate the Pre-Writing Process: This workshop provides theatrical tools to help all kinds of learners write. Examine ways to physicalize literary structure, bring it to life, and translate that physicality onto the page with graphic organizers to help students play, then write!

Gesture Communication

This workshop is designed to improve non-verbal communication skills. Students participate in exercises that increase the use of body language and facial expressions when communicating thoughts and feelings through gesture, mime, and improvisation techniques.

Dramatic Movement

Students focus on the creative process and generate an atmosphere of cooperation and tolerance. In small groups, students learn to develop a movement piece based on prepositional words and phrases.

Instant Theater

Learn the fundamentals of theater with Bill Morgan from SignStage, including stage/acting vocabulary and directions. Students join in the creation of a theater performance as characters in a fairy tale. This program can be presented as a workshop or a performance.

Ready, Set, Action! (Out of school time program)

In this invigorating drama and literacy program, professional actor Bill Morgan from SignStage works with groups of students to create a story or play. Students focus on the fundamentals of stories: who, what, where, when and why, characters, setting, conflict, etc., and understand how to put their ideas in a story format. The students work together to create a script, then rehearse and act out their play. Depending on how much time is available, the play may be video-taped, and students can even learn how a major motion picture is created! DVDs may be made for students.