Echo Theater Co launches 'Playwrights' Studio' with Boni B. Alvarez & Erik Patterson

Ashley Steed

Non-Registered Critics, Writer

Echo Theater Company launches
Playwrights' Studio' in May

LOS ANGELES (April 20, 2017) — The Echo Theater Company, anointed "Best Bet for Ballsy Original Plays" by the LA Weekly, introduces “Playwrights' Studio,” a training center for playwrights, directors and actors creating new work in Los Angeles. Two six-week writing classes taught by prominent Los Angeles-based playwrights launch the program in May.
Beginning May 14 and continuing through June 25, Boni B. Alvarez will lead a six-week playwriting workshop titled “You Already Know What to Write.” Sessions will incorporate writing exercises to unearth stories, characters and drama that already exist in a playwright's life. Participants will mine their lives and “what they already know” in the writing of new pages, with the goal of completing the first draft of a new play by workshop's end. Classes take place every Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (no class May 28). Alvarez's plays, including Bloodletting, Dallas Non-Stop, Ruby, Tragically Rotund, Dusty De Los Santos, Dolls of America, Marabella and The Special Education of Miss Lorna Cambonga, have been produced/developed at Playwrights' Arena, Center Theatre Group, Chalk Rep, Skylight Theatre Co, The Vagrancy, Second Generation (2g, NYC), InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia) and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has been a semi-finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and a finalist for both the PEN Center USA Literary Award and Clubbed Thumb's Biennial Commission. With a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA from American Repertory Theatre/MXAT Institute at Harvard University and an MFA from USC, Alvarez is an alumnus of the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, Skylight Theatre's Play Lab, CTG Writers' Workshop, Moving Arts' MADlab, and Humanitas/CTG Play LA Workshop. His play Nicky (Chekhov's Ivanov) will be produced by Coeurage Theatre Company. The Echo will produce the world premiere of Fixed (Calderon's The Physician of His Own Honor) this fall.
Beginning May 16 and continuing through June 20, Erik Patterson will teach a six week intensive called “Losing It: Writing Your First Play at the Echo,” geared to anyone who has always wanted to write a play — but some inner voice told them they couldn't do it. Patterson will help tell that voice to shut up! Class time will be divided between in-class writing exercises and reading/discussing each other's work. By the end of six weeks, participants will have the first draft of a play. Classes take place on Tuesdays from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., and first time writers are encouraged to attend. Patterson recently won the Los Angeles Drama Critic's Circle Award for One of the Nice Ones, which had its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company in 2016. His plays have been nominated for Ovation, Stage Raw, LA Weekly and GLAAD Media awards. His writing for TV has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and has garnered both the Humanitas Prize and the Writer's Guild Award. Erik is a graduate of Occidental College and the British American Drama Academy.
Registration for each class is $300, with a $25  “Early Bird” discount before May 4. Payment plans are available: contact Jesse Cannady at prior to purchasing.
All classes take place at Atwater Village Theater, located at 3269 Casitas Ave. in Los Angeles.
For registration and more information about the Echo Theater Company, visit

Ashley Steed is a theatre maker, creative producer and writer. In Los Angeles, she's started a company that devises new works called The Visceral City Project and is also a member of Son of Semele Ensemble. She's worked on numerous projects as a director, performer or producer here in LA as well as London. She began her writing career with LA Stage Magazine under the mentorship of the late Lee Melville. Ashley holds a BA in Theatre from USC and an MA in Theatre and Performance from Queen Mary, University of London.