Scott Horstein, Director of Theater Studies Program, develops plays online

February 4, 2021

The theaters may be closed, but theater artists continue to find new and innovative ways to create theater during these pandemic times.  Prof. Scott Horstein’s current and recent projects highlight this range of theatrical activity.  He is currently dramaturging the development of the new play The Great Khan; published a contribution in the volume Theater Artists Making Theater with No Theater; and recently served as dramaturg on the world premiere If I Should Wake, a hybrid work of theater and film.

Prof. Horstein works professionally as a dramaturg, or story consultant, for directors, playwrights, and theaters developing and producing new plays.  His current project is dramaturging the development of The Great Khan by Michael Gene Sullivan (known in part as longtime writer for the San Francisco Mime Troupe) through the Rough Reading Series at Playwrights Foundation, one of the Bay Area’s leading play development centers.  The Great Khan is a comedy that explores the unusual connection between a Black teenage boy struggling to grow up neither too fast nor too slow, and his historical hero, Genghis Khan.  The Rough Readings stream Sat. Feb. 6 at 2pm and Mon Feb. 8 at 7:30 pm, more information at the Playwrights Foundation website.


Prof. Horstein’s contribution “no set meeting time,” a meditation on academic theater during the pandemic, was included in Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater:  Spring 2020 from boutique press Tripwire Harlot Press, published in October 2020.  The volume was featured in American Theater magazine.  Its editors include prominent playwright and television producer Sheila Callaghan.

In summer and fall 2020, Prof. Horstein completed his sabbatical project, dramaturging the conception, development, and production of a new hybrid theater/film work If I Should Wake for Greenway Court Theater in Los Angeles, which streamed Nov. 20 – Dec. 10, 2020.  If I Should Wake is series of monologues fusing theater and film, featuring a collective of 8 commissioned prominent playwrights and spoken word poets.  Caught in the rupture between past and future, an ensemble of characters search desperately for rebirth: in dreams, in hash tags, in childhood diaries, in sidewalks that lead to nowhere.  Greenway Court Theater began its existence in the year 2000 with the world premiere of Sonnets for an Old Century by José Rivera, a series of monologues set in the afterlife which, on the verge of the new millennium, asked us to look backwards and make our case about the lives we had led. For Greenway Court Theatre's 20th anniversary, If I Should Wake fuses theater and film to continue that exploration and reframe it for the tectonic shifts of the present moment.  Find out more about the show at the Greenway Court website and in this Spectrum News video feature.