LAUNCH PAD: New Plays in Process

Actors reading at a LAUNCH PAD event

Please click this link for details about our 2019 Summer Reading Series

The LAUNCH PAD Summer Reading Series: New Plays In Process invites three professional playwrights to join the UC Santa Barbara community as artists-in-residence as the main component of a summer course (THTR 146). The collaboration between LAUNCH PAD Artistic Director Risa Brainin, a team of undergraduate students, and the playwrights provides the experiential ground for professionals and students alike to participate in the creative process as it's happening. In addition to acting, students explore stage management and dramaturgy as well as lighting, costume, sounds, and scenic design, offering ideas to the playwright as the script evolves. The week-long collaboration culminates in a public staged reading and reception. Students learn the vital and specialized skills of working on plays in the earliest of stages of their development and as staged readings.

THTR 146 is for actors, designers, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and stage managers. Actors read the roles, playwrights work closely with the professional writers shadowing their process, directors shadow the professional director and work as assistants in the process, designers bring ideas to the writers in the form of sketches, research, and models. And stage managers work with the whole team to facilitate scheduling and run rehearsals. which often means integrating new pages into the process each day. This course expands the reach of the Theater/Dance program to include more students and provides another kind of incubator for plays and playwrights in the pipeline for LAUNCH PAD preview productions. 

UCSB Summer Sessions produced a short film about the Reading Series in 2014:

Photo by David Bazemore

This program is supported by the UCSB Summer Sessions Cultural and Enrichment Grant.