Pataphysics West Playwriting Workshop

On the weekend of May 25-26, 2013, Circle X Theatre Co. will be holding the first Pataphysics workshop on the West Coast, led by playwrights/TV writers Sheila Callaghan and Jason Grote.

Begun in 2001, the Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at New York's Flea Theater are intimate workshops for new work and new ways of working. Named after Alfred Jarry's science of rule breaking, the workshops, taught by game changing writers (including Mac Wellman, Paula Vogel, Lisa D'Amour, Maria Irene Fornes, Erik Ehn, Will Eno). They are designed to jimmy open your writing brain.



The Pataphysical TV:

An investigation into the television of today, and tomorrow.

Playwrights Sheila Callaghan and Jason Grote bring their experience of writing for television (“Mad Men,” ”United States of Tara,” “Smash,” “Shameless”) to this exploration of both what it is and what it could be to write for television, in a class which combines the practical and the pataphysical.

Classes will center around discussion, and in-class and out-of-class writing exercises. Writers will leave the class with a proposal for a pilot, a working knowledge of what it is to write collaboratively, and an idea of the unique formal possibilities of TV.

Dates: May 25-26, 2013
Times: 10am-3pm
Place: Circle X Theatre Co. @ Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., LA, CA 90039
Price: $325
Application Deadline: May 5, 2013

Application Information

Applications are being accepted electronically: Email your cover letter, Bio or CV and ten-page sample to Deron Bos at If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours that we received your application, please email again. Be sure to mention if you have attended a Pataphysics Workshop in the past.

This Pataphysics Workshop is being produced at-cost by Circle X Theatre Co.


What people said about the 2012 Pataphysical TV workshop at The Flea:

“[Sheila and Jason] made me realize that my stories and life experiences can be of value in the medium— and I left feeling extremely inspired.” -Leah Nanako Winkler

“…really wonderful, incredibly inspiring workshop... There was so much you did that had me in awe, from the depth, acuity, and generosity of your feedback , to the openness with which you shared your own experiences in TV, and, perhaps above all, the way your energy, focus, and wit never seemed to flag over two long, demanding days.” -N.L.

“…a fantastic, grueling time, and I continue to feel inspired by it.” -Beth Drenning


About Sheila and Jason

Sheila Callaghan in a restaurant on Smith Street near her home in Brooklyn. Photo by Sophocles Papavasilopoulos.Sheila Callaghan's plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright's Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, Woolly Mammoth, and Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre, among others. Sheila is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. These include SCAB, CRAWL FADE TO WHITE, CRUMBLE (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS, DEAD CITY, LASCIVIOUS SOMETHING, KATE CRACKERNUTS, THAT PRETTY PRETTY; OR, THE RAPE PLAY, FEVER/DREAM, EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH, ROADKILL CONFIDENTIAL, and WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD. She is published with and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University, and Spalding University. Sheila is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie winning playwright's organization 13P. Sheila is also a resident of New Dramatists. Her collaborative play PORT OUT, STARBOARD HOME received its New York production at LaMama this November. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World." She was also named one of Variety magazine's "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010.



photo credit Lisa Jane Persky
Jason Grote's plays have been produced and developed at Sundance, The O'Neill, Soho Rep, The Lark, The Denver Center, Woolly Mammoth, Clubbed Thumb, PS122, Playwrights' Horizons, Portland Center Stage, ACT, Watermill, Mass MOCA, The Flea, The Civilians, New York Theater Workshop, Theater @ Boston Court, and elsewhere. He was the 2006 P73 Playwriting Fellow. Plays include 1001, Maria/Stuart, Civilization (all you can eat), Hamilton Township, Box Americana, and This Storm is What We Call Progress. His plays are published by Samuel French and Playscripts Inc. He has taught at Rutgers University, The National Theater Institute, The New School, The University of Rochester, Whitman College, Queens College/CUNY, The Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, LAByrinth Theater, Hollins University, and elsewhere. He is a resident of New Dramatists. TV credits include Smash season one and Mad Men season six.





About Pataphysics


New Work and New Ways of Working

The Pataphysics Playwriting Workshops at are intimate intensives for new work and new ways of working. Named for Alfred Jarry’s science of imaginary solutions, the workshops are a gymnasium for the writing brain—curious, particular, and rigorous. Students enter with blank sheets of paper, and leave with pages of notes, fragments, scenes, even entire plays unlike anything they would have written on their own.


The Playwrights

The Pataphysics workshops are led by master playwrights who are known not only for a distinct and groundbreaking body of work, but also for their ability as teachers. Each workshop, led by a master playwright pursuing his or her own train of thought, is geared to generate new material and new ideas through writing experiments, readings, and interesting talk.


Workshop Structure

The workshops are structured around the idea that whatever is most immediately interesting to a teacher will make for the most engaging class. They’re an opportunity for writers, emerging and experienced, to challenge their own assumptions using strange muscles and surprising parts of the brain.


About Our Participants

Pataphysics workshops are for both developing and experienced writers of any age or aesthetic inclination. Pataphysics students have been produced or developed by, and have received awards from: Humana, The Public Theater, The Flea, Princess Grace Award, Little Theater, SOHO Rep, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Manhattan Theater Club, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Lucille Lortel Playwrighting Fellowship, Printer’s Devil, Horla Theater (London), BRIC Studios, New Dramatists, NYFA, Whitfield Award, Portland Center Stage, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, HERE, Playwrights Horizons, LaMama, The Cherry Lane Alternative, Annex Theater, Dixon Place, Empty Space Theater, McArthur Foundation Award, The Ontological, Ensemble Studio Theater.