2011/2012

Research/Creative Work

Contribution of Research/Creative Work Appropriate to the Disciplines of Playwriting and Dramaturgy

Scholarly Review Equivalencies

Specific scholarly review equivalencies for Books, Refereed Articles and General Articles have been created for promotion/tenure portfolio review for the Department of Theatre Arts. The description of the equivalent Research/Creative Work that support the promotion/tenure portfolio review for the Department of Theatre Arts are outlined in the 2018 Department of Theatre Arts Guidelines and Criteria for Promotion and Tenure. Click here for the specific scholarly review equivalencies for the Department of Theatre Arts. To aide in the review process, beneath the heading for each Creative Work documented below the scholarly equivalency is noted.

Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Playwright & Director
    • Play: Mysterious Case of Classroom #459
    • Producer: The Children's Theatre Workshop
    • Location: Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: June 18 - July 19, 2012
    • Production Dates: July 20 & 21, 2012

Production Synopsis

The Mysterious Case of Classroom #459 unfolds at the 'Make it Right' Public Charter School, where the 8th grade class is reluctant to graduate and move on to the senior high school across town. Fearful of the unknown, they want to stay at the school where they have so many fond memories. The day before graduation, on a dare from a 1st grader, the 8th graders enter the forbidden classroom #459 and something goes terribly awfully wrong. When the 8th graders come out of classroom, #459, they are now 1st graders and the 1st graders are proud rising 9th graders. What was once safe and familiar has become topsy turvy and completely turned on its head. Can anything be done to set things right side up again?

Go on a journey of growth, maturity, curiosity and exploration of how to overcome our greatest fears.

Production Materials

Creative Work: Playwright & Production Director

Scholarly Equivalency - Refereed Article

Hart's Contribution as Playwright & Production Director

The role of a playwright is to tell relatable entertaining stories that fit inside a theatrical structure and have artistic and commercial merit.

With a 22 year career as a playwright and director of plays written for child actors performing for family audiences, the production of "The Mysterious Case of Classroom #459" was inspired by the hilarious comedy "Freaky Friday." I wanted to give the student campers a vehicle to discuss and expunge some of the fears they experience as they mature. While developing the play I was mindful to consider the varying ages of the audience members when constructing the story, creating the characters and music lyrics.

With regard to process, in the initial stages I collaborated with the musical director to create the lyrics and musical story structure. Thereafter I developed a draft of the script prior to the production and once the cast was selected I was able to make edits and incorporate ideas from the child actors. Once the final 90 minute full length script was completed a full cast read through was held and thereafter the rehearsal process began.

In my role as the production director I created the rehearsal schedule and conducted daily rehearsals with the actors. In addition, I held production meetings with the design team to make decisions regarding how to best capture the look, tone and mood of the play. Lastly, in collaboration with the design team I managed the tech process in preparation for the public event.

As playwright my contributions made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "The Mysterious Case of Classroom #459" include:

    • Conduct ethnological and anthropological research to support the developing story line and character development
    • Write music lyrics
    • Write and edit multiple drafts of the play script
    • Collaborate with music director on the flow and structure of the story as told through music
    • Produce final script for production execution

My directorial contributions made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "The Mysterious Case of Classroom #459" include:

    • Train students in fundamental theatre/directing techniques
    • Guidance and instruction that reflect high standards and industry protocol
    • In collaboration with the set designer determine the best use of the theatre space
    • Collaborate with the musical director
    • Guide and collaborate with the artistic/design team (set/costume/lighting and sound scape) to visually actualize the physical environment and atmosphere of the play
    • Analyze the script for its structure, themes and socio/political arguments
    • Assess, interpret and actualize the physical and verbal action of the play
    • Cast the play
    • Plan for and manage rehearsals that provide adequate time for actors and the design and production teams to achieve their individual goals
    • Conduct rehearsals to construct blocking that reflect the plays tempo and help actors to discover and reveal a characters psychological truth
    • In collaboration with the design team, manage technical rehearsals to solidify and clarify all light and sound cues and final design decisions
    • Collaborate with the marketing and PR team

camp group photo

step practice

music rehearsal

ready to go on stage:

Creative Work: Playwright

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Playwright

The role of a playwright is to tell relatable entertaining stories that fit inside a theatrical structure and have artistic and commercial merit.

This developmental staged reading was produced as part of the African Continuum Theatre Company Fresah Flavas Series.

With regard to process, over several months I developed multiple drafts of the script and met with a writing group to facilitate readings and further develop the play throughout the rewrite process. For the staged reading a production director was selected and auditions were held to cast the reading with a combination of professional (SAG/AFTRA) actors and students from the Department of Theatre Arts.

My contribution as playwright made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "Uncanny Resemblance" include:

      • Conduct ethnological and anthropological research to support the developing story line and character development
      • Write and edit multiple drafts of the play script
      • Participate in writing group to facilitate play development
      • Dialogue with the director and cast during the rehearsal process
      • Continue editing/rewrite process during rehearsals
      • Produce final script for production execution


Play Synopsis

Family. Love. Betrayal. Honor...

Set in Omaha Nebraska six months after Hurricane Katrina, the full-length drama "Nothing to Lose" tells the story of black FOX newscaster Stephen Campbell as he attempts to become a mentor to black youth in his community and his efforts to shape the representation of black images via the news.

After two 13-year-old black male cousins shoot each other during a gang initiation gone awry, Campbell struggles to come to terms with his inability to prevent the deaths. The tragic deaths reveal conflicting intra-racial views that threaten to tear apart Campbell's Buppie lifestyle and his very own family.




Photos Below: Rehearsal process

Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Playwright
    • Play: Nothing to Lose written by Denise J. Hart
    • Producer: African Continuum Theatre Company
    • Director: Otis Ramsey Zoe
    • Event: Staged reading
    • Location: Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: March 20 - 26, 2012
    • Production Date: March 26, 2012

Productions Materials

Rehearsal: Director and stage manager
Rehearsal
Rehearsal

Rehearsal

Production Details

    • Hart's Contribution as Playwright
    • Hart's Role: Playwright
    • Play: Nothing to Lose
    • Producer: Playwrights Forum
    • Director: Brandon White
    • Event: Developmental staged reading
    • Location: Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: November 10 - 28, 2011
    • Production Date: November 29, 2011

Play Synopsis

Family. Love. Betrayal. Honor...

Set in Omaha Nebraska six months after Hurricane Katrina, the full-length drama "Nothing to Lose" tells the story of black FOX newscaster Stephen Campbell as he attempts to become a mentor to black youth in his community and his efforts to shape the representation of black images via the news.

After two 13-year-old black male cousins shoot each other during a gang initiation gone awry, Campbell struggles to come to terms with his inability to prevent the deaths. The tragic deaths reveal conflicting intra-racial views that threaten to tear apart Campbell's Buppie lifestyle and his very own family.

Creative Work: Playwright

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Playwright

"Denise, your play, Nothing to Lose, is just brilliant. Your words so crafted and hard hitting at the same time. Characterization, conversation so convincing - I couldn't maintain intellectual distance, I kept thinking I was eavesdropping. And I wanted to know more and more. Congratulations!" ~ Dr. Carolivia Heron, International Author & Professor of Afro American Studies

The role of a playwright is to tell relatable entertaining stories that fit inside a theatrical structure and have artistic and commercial merit.

With regard to process, over several months I developed multiple drafts of the script and met with a writing group to facilitate readings and further develop the play throughout the rewrite process. For the staged reading a production director was selected and auditions were held to cast the reading with a combination of professional (SAG/AFTRA) actors and students from the Department of Theatre Arts.

My contribution as playwright made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "Uncanny Resemblance" include:

      • Conduct ethnological and anthropological research to support the developing story line and character development
      • Write and edit multiple drafts of the play script
      • Participate in writing group to facilitate play development
      • Dialogue with the director and cast during the rehearsal process
      • Continue editing/rewrite process during rehearsals
      • Produce final script for production execution






Photos Below: Rehearsal process

"Nothing to Lose" Rehearsal

"Nothing to Lose" Talkback with Playwright & Director
"Nothing to Lose" Actor prepares

"Nothing to Lose" Rehearsal

Creative Work: Production Dramaturge/Director

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Production Dramaturge/Director

In my role as theatre director I led the project by creating an environment where professional artists in collaboration with a production team can implement the concept/vision set forth by the director and create a production that has artistic and commercial merit. In my role as the production director I created the rehearsal schedule and conducted daily rehearsals with the actors. In addition, I held production meetings with the design team to make decisions regarding how to best capture the look, tone and mood of the play. Lastly, in collaboration with the design team I managed the tech process in preparation for the public event. My directing approach is discovery and process focused while achieving necessary milestones that result in a production worthy of public viewing.

Typically, early in the rehearsal phase the dramaturge supports the production team by presenting an overview of process and materials approved by the director, regarding how to best use the production resource book for a specific production. However, in this situation since I was also the production director, I spent the early rehearsals presenting the dramaturgical research to the actors to share my concept and to explore the 'drivers' in the play - images, events, patterns, words, memories, ritual, etc. Ultimately, the contributions of the dramaturge function to contextualize and offer frameworks for interpretation to deepen all of the collaborators understanding of the world of the play and enhances the presentation of a production worthy of public viewing.

My directorial and dramaturgical contributions contributions made to achieve the goals of creating a production reflecting artistic and commercial merit for "Secret Mist of Blue" include:

      • Using advanced theatre/directing techniques help actors articulate and execute the inner structure of a play
      • Adherence to professional industry standards and protocols
      • Interview the playwright to gain an an understanding of their vision and impetus for writing the play and learn any other relevant information
      • Ethnological and Anthropological research
      • Dialogue with playwright regarding making edits to the play
      • Determine the best use of the theatre space
      • Analyze the script for its structure, themes and socio/political arguments
      • Assess, interpret and actualize the physical and verbal action of the play
      • Casting that implements industry standard professional protocols
      • Plan for and manage rehearsals that provide adequate time for actors to achieve their individual goals
      • Conduct rehearsals to construct blocking that reflect the plays tempo and help actors to discover and reveal a characters psychological truth
      • In collaboration with the design team, manage technical rehearsals to solidify and clarify all light and sound cues and final design decisions
      • Collaborate with the marketing and PR team

Production Details

    • Hart's Role: Dramaturge/Director
    • Play: Secret Mist of Blue - One Act Play written by Barbara K. Asare-Bediako
    • Producer: DC Queer Theatre Festival
    • Location: Washington DC
    • Rehearsal Dates: May 1 - 17, 2012
    • Production Dates: May 18 & 19, 2012

Production Materials

    • Play Script Secret Mist of Blue - Click Here
    • Click here to read an article about the DC Queer Theatre festival

Creative Work: Masterclass Facilitator

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Master Class Facilitator

    • "Understanding the Playwriting Process" masterclass facilitated for African Continuum Theatre Company in WDC 3/22/12

Creative Work: Improv Trainer

Scholarly Equivalency: General Article

Hart's Contribution as Improv Trainer

      • "Improvisational Practice Skills Lab - Drama Based Learning" Facilitated Staff development training for DC Department of Rehabilitative Services Juvenile Justice Case Management. 11/18 & 11/21, 2011 (Washington DC)

Creative Work: Workshops Facilitated

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Workshop Facilitator

      • "Mastering the Courage to Create" workshop facilitated for The Actor's Center of WDC. 10/16/2011 (Washington DC)
      • "Audition Techniques - Monologue Workshop" facilitated for The Actors Center of WDC. 11/1/2011 (Washington DC)
      • "Playwright's Posse - plays in development workshop presentation. 5/20/2012 (Washington DC)
      • "Define Your 2012 Vision Workshop" at The Performing Arts Training Studio. 12/18/2011 (Washington DC)
      • "Creativity in Practice" workshop facilitation for National Association of Social Workers. 10/21/2011 (Washington DC)

Creative Work: Panelist

Scholarly Equivalency - General Article

Hart's Contribution as Panelist Participant

      • Presenter: Raising the Roof on Performing Arts and Arts Education conference. 1/6/2012 (Washington DC)