Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.

Classes & Workshops

Words That Speak, a Playwriting Workshop

Begin and finish a one-act play (or half of a full-length play) as you follow your characters to arrive at what motivates them, what conflicts them, and what comprises their deeper truth. Weekly feedback in a friendly and supportive environment. Guest directors and actors will stage final drafts. Led by award-winning playwright and director Lee Wochner, co-founder of Moving Arts theatre and lecturer in playwriting at the University of Southern California.

In its 23-year history, the Words That Speak workshop has assisted in the development of many, many plays that have gone on to production in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, San Diego, and all around the country. Many of these plays were by first-time playwrights. This workshop focuses on helping playwrights write the play they want to write, while helping ensure that the play is production-oriented if that is the writer’s goal.

$345 per eight-week workshop; enrollment is limited to eight.

Time and location:

  • WTS Sat: Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    • Meets at Moving Arts, 1822 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles 90027

To sign up: call 818-848-1700 or email lee@leewochner.com

Sign Up For The Workshop

“Lee has an instinctual and intelligent way of letting the heart hear the words and the mind perceive what suggestions could make it a better experience. The breadth of Lee's experience and understanding of theatre allow the workshop's usefulness to lend itself to a variety of genres and styles, be it farce, poltical drama, absurdism, science-fiction, or even subtext-driven realism. Lee is fearless in offering help. He facilitates feedback in ways that support and clarify. Without making a big deal about it, Lee takes you on as a mentor would, guiding you through a wholistic play development process.”
Tom Diggs

Read more participant kudos!

The Process

Every week (including the first week), playwrights bring nine sets of 5-7 pages from their play in progress. They pass these around, cast the reading from among the other playwrights, and listen to their work-in-progress — and the feedback that results. Feedback is honest but friendly, and intended to help the playwright meet his or her own goals. (Generally, of being understood, and of getting produced.)

Previous workshop participants (several of them first-timers) have had plays produced in Los Angeles, New York, Florida, San Diego, and elsewhere for all I know. The focus of the workshop is on what works — i.e., writing plays that work on stage and will get produced (if that is your goal).

What participating playwrights have said

“I have had eight plays produced -- from Los Angeles, California to Boston, Massachusetts -- since I started taking Lee Wochner's ‘Words That Speak’ Playwriting Workshop.  He is a wonderful teacher -- great at analyzing pages and helping you get to what works.  The atmosphere he creates in his workshop is an excellent mixture of creative criticism and support.  I can't wait for Saturday mornings, for the opportunity to talk about the plays all of us have seen and the plays we are working to write! Lee has given me the support I needed (and the courage) to seriously pursue playwriting.  Since I met him, he's told me, ‘You can do this.’  He has supported my writing process.  He's given me the tools I needed to work on my craft, and showed me the doors I need to walk through to achieve success.  I couldn't ask for anything more.”
EM Lewis

“The Words that Speak workshop was an indispensable part of my development as a playwright. I began my play "But Can He Dance?" there, and it eventually went on to a full production at Asian American Rep in San Diego. Another, "(Dis)graceful(l) Conduct," won Mixed Blood Theater's national comedy playwriting award in 2000. The workshop provided congenial colleagues, constructive feedback, and an environment that fostered creativity--as well as that all-important deadline! Without Words that speak, my writing would surely have languished.”
Dorinne Kondo

“Lee Wochner's "Words that Speak" workshop is a fantastic experience for playwrights of all levels.  Lee has a big heart and a big mouth, and he really knows his stuff.  The feedback discussions are insightful, supportive, and razor-sharp, fueled by Lee's passion for great theatre and honest storytelling. 
Trey Nichols

“Lee Wochner’s ‘Words That Speak’ playwrights workshop taught me about theater and how to write for the stage.  I was in the workshop for three and a half years, accumulating theatrical knowledge and realizing the strength and weaknesses in my work.  Because of the workshop, I now write better dialogue, think outside of the box and push my storytelling beyond the limit. I thank Mr. Wochner for making me the writer I am today.
Maria Soriano

To sign up: call 818-848-1700 or email lee@leewochner.com