Last Thursday five students converged in The Crooked Frame Coffee shop at the corner of 26th and Brown streets for the first meeting of the Temple Play and Screenwriter’s Alliance.
Before, Temple did not have a venue for students to discuss the writing process. Amy Freeman and Wes Bernstein recently collaborated to create a writing organization to meet students’ creative writing needs.
The two met last spring in a creative writing plays class taught by Camilla Feelings, a veteran professor at Temple. Over the summer, Feelings had informal workshops for his students who wanted to continue learning during the summer months.
It was during that time Bernstein and Freeman began to brainstorm for the start of a playwright’s group, but it was not until this fall that the organization was official.
“[We] wanted to form a group to help people write,” Freeman said. “Through this organization, Wes and I are helping to spread the word to people who don’t know where to begin.”
Journalism major Kusuma Brawly was one of those writers. At last week’s meeting she expressed how frustrated she felt with the writing process and the lack of support Temple provided.
“I was always interested in writing screenplays and plays,” Brawly said. “But it’s really hard to join a club at Temple when they don’t have clubs formed for people like me. I might have an idea I think would make an interesting story, but I am not sure how to put that idea into a story.”
The club is not affiliated with Temple, therefore meetings are not held on campus. Freeman said the reason for this was the inevitable delay the school would mandate before beginning the club.
“[We] felt that this alliance was needed immediately in order to help students get feedback on plays, network with the local theater community and support and encourage one another in their writing,” Freeman said.
Freeman wanted to ease the transition for writers from novice to professional. Freeman understands the difficulty in getting her work exposed, although she has done quite well for herself.
Freeman was the writer of several plays performed at The Brick Play House and The Thieves Theater. Freeman’s first play, “What’s that smell?” was written when Freeman was a freshman. Subsequent plays like “Subway,” a satire of Septa and “Cake,” performed at The Fringe, motivated Freeman to extend her veteran status as a local playwright in Philadelphia to Temple students.
For Freeman, Crooked Frame is the perfect place for the group to begin. Every Thursday members will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss the craft of play and screen writing.
Freeman and Bernstein hope to perform the work of the organization at Temple and around Philadelphia. In order to reach this goal, students will bring their own writing and get feedback from one another before working on a master play.
For more information, contact Amy Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend one of the weekly meetings.
Alexis K. Morgan can be reached at email@example.com.