July 23-28

MIND THE GAP: A Playwright’s Connection to the Empty Space


Creating a text for performance is about forging a connection to presence. Habits of mind send us in the same circles again and again, cutting us off from new creative paths and an experience of Now, including the Theatrical Now.

In this workshop, we will learn to short-circuit our habits of writing and thinking. In that gap, we can reconnect with the stillness, silence and spaciousness that is the natural home of creativity.  Participants will learn specific contemplative and energetic practices (from the Tibetan Bön Buddhist tradition) that can serve as an anchor for creating a daily writing practice in their own lives. The workshop will include structured writing periods as well as times to share our writing with each other.


Juanita Rockwell is a is a playwright, librettist, lyricist and director with over 25 years experience developing new works for theatre, opera, radio and multi-media. She is is a Fulbright Scholar and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and Dramatists Guild. Juanita is also co-proprietor of Dogtooth Productions with Sound and Video Artist Chas Marsh.

As a writer and director she specializes in the development of new work at such venues as The Ontological, Mabou Mines/Suite, Culture Project, Blue Heron (NYC); Theatre of the First Amendment, Source, Everyman, Theatre Project, Single Carrot, (DC/Baltimore); Gas & Electric Arts (Philadelphia); Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford); City Theatre (Pittsburgh); Teatro Municipal (São Paolo); Teatro Abya Yala (San José, CR); RS9 (Budapest); and broadcast on NPR.

Produced writing includes The World is Round, Waterwalk* (operas); Cave in the Sky (puppets/multimedia); Lunar Pantoum* (dance-theatre); Upstream (radio); Across the Void, Packing/Pecking*, Language Monkey, Quantum Soup (short plays); Playing Dead* (translation from Presnyakovs w/Yury Urnov); Between Trains, What’s a Little Death* (plays with songs).     *Signifies a commissioned work.

As Artistic Director of Hartford’s Company One for six years, Juanita directed early premieres by such playwrights as Paula Vogel, Suzan-Lori Parks and Rachel Sheinkin, as well as her own work. She was then founding artistic director of Towson University’s experimental MFA in Theatre, directing the program for twelve years. She continues to teach in the grad program at Towson, as well as in the MA/MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University.

Past project support includes NEA, TCG, ITI, MD State Arts Council; and as writer-in-residence for the Ko Festival, O’Neill National Theatre Institute, and the Visual Playwriting Conference at Gallaudet.

For more information visit www.juanitarockwell.com


Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85.

Workshops will meet from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, in Studio II of Webster Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA.

Driving Instructions to Amherst College

Amherst College campus map.

Workshops cost $399. There is a $50 discount for registration by May 1.

NOTE: Contact us to apply for limited pool of financial aid, or for discounts for ATHE, NET (Network of Ensemble Theaters) members or staff/artists from TCG member theatres.

Optional room and board are available on the Amherst College campus for an additional fee.
Workshop housing is $210, for a single with a shared bath in an Amherst College dorm. A meal ticket for the Dining Commons (healthy food, much of it local) is $182.

Email us, if you are interested in alternative housing. There are a number of hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts in the area.

Studios, theatre, dining commons and dorms are all within walking distance.

To register, download the registration form and mail it with your deposit to:

The Ko Festival of Performance
498 South Gulf Road
Belchertown, MA 01007

OR, if you go to our “Buy Tickets” page you can pay by credit card or PayPal.

Questions? For further information email us or call (413) 427-6147.

NOTE: Some people have been having trouble downloading the MS-WORD. Click HERE to download the form as a PDF. If that also fails, either email or call us (see above), and we will send you a registration form via email or post.