February 21, 2024   by Corey Bravo Sloan, NYTW Development Fellow

It’s the best time of year – Casebook season! If you don’t already know about Casebook, you’re in luck – because this post is all about it!

Casebook is one of our show-specific education offerings. Through Casebook, audience members are given a behind-the-scenes look at how a production comes together at NYTW. NYTW designates one show per season as a case study and hosts a 7-week class designed to provide theatre lovers with a true insider’s view of the development process, including insights into budgeting, artistic and design decisions, and how a show might change from the final dress rehearsal to opening night.

Sessions include in-depth discussion and exploration of the theatre-making process, conversations with the artists and staff responsible for bringing each production to life, the opportunity to observe tech rehearsal, engage with the collaborators, and tour the stage and set up close, as well as attendance at two performances and the opportunity to celebrate the production with the collaborators at our Casebook closing reception!

Casebook has been running since Spring 2012 with The Making of Food and Fadwa. A full list of past shows is available on our website, but highlights include Hadestown (you can watch this video for more!), Hurricane Diane, Sing Street, and most recently, How to Defend Yourself.

And you don’t have to just trust us on our love for Casebook – because we constantly get told how much the participants love it! Below are some testimonials from The Making of How To Defend Yourself:

“LOVED the breadth of questions posed to each member of the company each week. They were unique, insightful, and carefully curated that enabled us to learn about their roles and approach first and then helped level up the audience questions.” – Will

“Hell yes. All the guests were fabulous from Rachel, Steph, Lilian, actors, theater directors, set design on. I loved the week when some of the actors came through and gave a really micro/detailed discussion about their art and this was followed by the awesome artist director and executive director big picture dreams and harsh realities of the political economy.” – Jeff

“Casebook discussions were exactly in the right order, we had opportunities to ask all our questions which were answered honestly and fully by the writer, directors, actors and stage manager. Access to the technical and rehearsal process were fascinating.” – Carolyn

This season’s Casebook focus is a particularly exciting show with which to engage. It will focus on the development and production of Tectonic Theater Project’s Here There Are Blueberries by Moisés Kaufman and Amanda Gronich, conceived and directed by Moisés Kaufman.

Because this show isn’t a world premiere, part of the development process will be in redefining it and sharpening it for specifically New York Theatre Workshop and NYC at large. By coming to a powerhouse in generative theatre like the Workshop, this development process will allow the artists and staff involved to engage with this show in new and exciting ways – building on both the recent history of the show as well as the real history, artifacts, and experiences that the show is based on.

In every way, engaging with Here There Are Blueberries is going to be different than any other play. Not only is it a piece based on and rooted in historical events, but it is also a co-production between New York Theatre Workshop and Tectonic Theater Project (The Laramie Project). Having in-depth conversations around the process of staging an existing piece, of staging a piece with historical roots, and staging a piece alongside another theatre company is unique, exciting, and hard to find anywhere other than through Casebook. It’s going to be extra special this year, and we hope you can take part.

Casebook runs March 12 – April 30, 2024, on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30pm in the 3rd Floor Rehearsal Room at New York Theatre Workshop (83 E. 4th St, New York, NY). To register, and to find more details on the content of each session, please click here. For any questions, please call NYTW’s Education Department at 646-957-9575 or email classes@nytw.org.

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Categories: 2023/24 Season and Casebook. Tags: Here There Are Blueberries and How To Defend Yourself.