Alumna, author of fiction novel leads workshops for student playwrights

Lindsey Rosin ’03 spoke to students interested in submitting plays to this year’s Playwrights Festival the writing and editing process of plays and the importance of being passionate about one’s work.

In order to be eligible to enter the festival, writers were required to come to at least one of the workshops, which were held Sept. 22, 24 and 25.

As a student, Rosin had three plays produced in the Playwrights Festival. She has since published a young adult novel, “Cherry,” that is based on her experiences at Harvard-Westlake, and she is currently working as a television pilot writer.

Rosin led the playwrights in several activities, including writing monologues in less than five minutes and dialogue-writing exercises. The main lesson Rosin said she wanted students to learn from the workshops is that a rough draft does not have to be perfect.

“Being a Harvard-Westlake graduate, I know there’s a lot of emphasis on the product,” Rosin said. “We all want A’s, and we all want things to be great, but if we’re worried about the final draft before we even start the rough draft, it’s really hard to get there.”

Playwrights Festival Director Christopher Moore said he wanted to have a workshop hosted by a female playwright this year. He chose Rosin because of her experience with the festival and her ability to connect with students.

A group of students interested in getting involved with the Playwrights Festival takes notes and listen as alumna author Lindsay Rosin '03 gives them advice about the creative process that goes into successfully writing and producing a one-act play.  Photo by Sarah Lee/Chronicle
A group of students interested in getting involved with the Playwrights Festival takes notes and listen as alumna author Lindsay Rosin ’03 gives them advice about the creative process that goes into successfully writing and producing a one-act play. Credit: Sarah Lee/Chronicle

“Just given [Rosin’s] energy, her age and the kind of things that she writes, she can automatically relate to teenage writers,” Moore said. “I think that’s her strongest point, this ability to relate to students of high school age.”

Sophie Kim ’19, who attended one of the workshops, said that the lesson she will take with her is the idea that writing is a process, and what matters most is the journey and being proud of the final product.

“If you push through it, you’ll have a really incredible final product,” Kim said. “It made me realize that writing is not as difficult or as stressful as it seems to be, and with hard work and fun you can create something that’s fun and important.”

Kim said that her favorite thing she did at the workshop was an activity where students had to collaborate and come up with a plot and characters for a play based on a song.

“It was really out of the box,” Kim said. “I think it helped people who were nervous or already stressing out about how they were going to write a play to relax a little and just have fun.”

Rosin said she wants students involved in the festival not to worry about the competition but to take their time and enjoy the writing process.

“You’re just trying to write the best play that you as a writer can write, and nobody else can do that, which is kind of cool and liberating,” Rosin said.

 

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