Lauren M. Gunderson is the Playwright-in-Residence at Marian Theater Company through the National Playwright Residency Program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Find out more about her residency experience here, and learn about the impact of the program at large here

I consider a large part of my National Playwright Residency Program residency at Marin Theatre Company to be the continual asking and answering of this question: Why theatreThis series of videos will be a collection of asking and answering that question in myriad ways. I will ask myself, my fellow theatre artists, social scientists, and community leaders.  Sometimes the answer will be cultural (because art is good for you!), sometimes technical (because story has universal dramatic structure!), sometimes biological (because narrative is an ancient element of our human evolution!). I believe that it is the energetic and open asking and answering that keeps our art form relevant, responsive, and inspired. 

Person standing in front of a board with lists

In this class, I delve into the essential heart of what makes theatre so distinct and powerful as a storytelling art form: Why is theatre so different from television or filmed storytelling, how can those distinctions help us create unforgettable drama, how do we turn those limitations into strengths, and why does live storytelling still matter in the age of screens in mobility?

Video editing by Jeff Berlin.