Join us in California May 3-6, 2017!

All the World’s a Stage: Growing Theatre at Your Local Garden

Breakout Session
04 May 2017
Freight & Salvage Theater

All the World’s a Stage: Growing Theatre at Your Local Garden


Interested in an innovative way to connect your theater with a local cultural institution? Join representatives from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the U.S. Botanic Garden to delve into the worlds of “Flowers Stink,” by Debra Buonacorsi and Steven McWilliams, and “The Cerulean Time Capsule,” by Jonathan Shmidt Chapman and Drew Petersen: two theater productions that had their world-premieres at the U.S. Botanic Garden in September 2015. Learn about this collaborative process and the logistics of melding live theater with living collections at a Botanic Garden. During this workshop, participants will:

  • Gain access to excerpts from the scripts of both “Flowers Stink” and “The Cerulean Time Capsule”
  • Hear from representatives from the Kennedy Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden about the process of going from plant to page and back again
  • Learn from a garden program manager, TYA manager, theater director, and playwrights about the on-the-ground implementation of a theater production in a botanic garden setting; and
  • Work with the production playwrights and other key artistic players to brainstorm ideas for adapting these productions to their own gardens and communities.
  • Leave the workshop with possible script edits to make two plays site specific to their own gardens or community cultural institutions.

It’s plant production like you’ve never seen it before!

The workshop will begin with a panel discussion and viewing of five-minute videos of each production, followed by time with playwrights, directors and other production staff both at the Kennedy Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden. This is a perfect session for those seeking a model for how TYA producing theaters can find and connect with local non-theater institutions to produce new work and/or extend their season out into their community.


The Ideal Participant

Artistic and education staff from producing theaters who are interested in finding local partners. This collaboration between The Kennedy Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) resulted in the addition of two new commissions/productions offsite at the Garden – one an immersive site-specific adventure for audiences of 8-12 people at a time; the other a more traditional 45-minute play with live music performed outside in the USBG’s Amphitheater for school and public audiences. It is a great examination of a successful partnership and could be modeled in other communities between TYA companies and cultural organizations.