SpeakEasy University

SpeakEasy University

September 10, 2020

For our second semester of SpeakEasy University, we will explore an in-depth analysis of theatre producing and arts administration by walking through the production process of a specific show, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Each week, a different part of the theatre industry will be covered, illustrated through the lens of Curious Incident

Offered every Tuesday from 5:00 – 6:15pm, SpeakEasy University will be accessible via Zoom. All sessions are Pay What You Can!

SpeakEasy University is sponsored by the Boston law firm Bove & Langa – a respected innovator in the Trusts & Estates Field and a supporter of Boston artists for over twenty years.

To sign up for any of the sessions below, please fill out the following form:

And check out our FAQ below for more information!

Week 1: Tuesday, February 9 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
Selecting a Show for the SpeakEasy Season

The first session will begin with information about how SpeakEasy selects its season and how we procure rights (the legal permissions of producing a show). We will then explore why The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was originally selected and why it is considered “SpeakEasy material”. Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault and Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati will then lead a short play analysis of the script, reminiscent of the work our literary team would have completed prior to its selection.

Week 2: Tuesday, February 16 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
The What and the How: Directing and Dramaturgy

Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault will return, but this time as the director of Curious Incident. He will walk through the entire artistic process, from meeting with designers, casting, rehearsals, and tech. He will then be joined by the production’s dramaturg to explore the importance of research, particularly for this production, and to share how Paul used that dramaturgy in the rehearsal room.

Week 3: Tuesday, February 23 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
Engaging the Audience: Community Outreach & Access

How do you make sure your production is not only being seen by the most people, but is accessible to the most people? Join Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati and Artistic Fellow Dwayne P. Mitchell for an exploration into outreach and community engagement, as they ask who a play like Curious Incident is for and how to reach the right people. They will also share examples of how to enrich the experience with supplementary programming, and how to tailor the piece so that all audiences feel welcome.

Week 4: Tuesday, March 2 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
Exploring the Production Process

SpeakEasy’s production team, Paul Melone and Dominique Burford, will walk us through the production process at SpeakEasy Stage, specifically through the lens of Curious Incident. They will then be joined by the design team and Production Stage Manager of Curious Incident, who will share their processes, inspiration, and ultimate designs.

Week 5: Tuesday, March 9 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
How to Market Curious Incident

SpeakEasy’s Marketing Director, Jim Torres, will join us to share what a marketing campaign looks like at SpeakEasy Stage, using Curious Incident as the model. Creative Services Manager Evan Turissini will then describe the graphic design process, and will provide insights as to how SpeakEasy defines its aesthetics. And finally, Artistic Fellow Dwayne P. Mitchell will explore a sample social media campaign, highlighting SpeakEasy’s use of Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Week 6: Tuesday, March 16 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
Funding the Production & Building the Support

SpeakEasy’s Development team will take a three prong approach to explore ways of funding a production and building donor loyalty. Director of Development Cathi Ianno will explain how she might speak to a potential donor about Curious Incident, Development Coordinator Frankie Concepcion will walk us through a standard grant application, and Events Manager Alex Lonati will share the most effective ways of hosting a donor-centric event.

Week 7: Tuesday, March 23 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
Performing the Play

Now that we have learned about all aspects of behind the scenes, it is time to hear from the performers. We will reunite the actors who originally performed in our production of Curious Incident, will begin with a reading of a scene from the show, and then will host a Q&A to learn more about their experiences throughout the production process.

Week 8: Tuesday, March 30 – 5:00 – 6:15pm
Now For the Job Search: All You Need to Know about Job Hunting

To end our professional development series, SpeakEasy’s Production team Paul Melone and Dominique Burford will return for an in-depth look at the job application and hiring process for all of the production positions for Curious Incident. From the director and designers to the install/strike and run crews, this session will explore how to get a job in the arts!



Am I expected to attend all 8 sessions? Or can I just come to those that interest me?
While you are welcome to join us for the entire program, SpeakEasy University can be experienced completely “A LA CARTE”. That means you can pick and choose which sessions interest you, or which fit into your schedule! The sessions all stand alone and can be experienced independent of one another.

Should I be familiar with Curious Incident before I join?
It is not required that you be familiar with the play, though we suspect it will make your experience even better if you are! If you saw our 2017 production, you have as much knowledge as you need. But if you are interested in reading the piece, you can purchase a copy of the script (either a hard copy or an e-play) at this link, or a copy of the book (on which the play is based) at this link

If you are interested in reading the play, but are unable to purchase it at this time, we have a number of underwritten copies available. Please email Alex Lonati at alexlonati@speakeasystage.com for a copy.

I am not a student, but I’m interested in learning more. Can I still join?
Absolutely! SpeakEasy University is for everyone – current students studying the arts, early career arts administrators, artists looking to diversify their skillsets, and lifelong learners interested in theatre!

I want to sign up, but I’m not sure how many sessions I’ll be able to attend. Can I wait to pay until afterwards? 
Definitely. The entire program is Pay What You Can, so no purchase is required in advance. We have suggested price points ($5/session for students, $20/session for general admission), so if you are able to make a purchase, you can do so any time before or after the sessions. But you should feel free to pay any amount that feels right for you. 

You can pay for any of the sessions through this link.

How can I join a session? Will I get a link?
Please sign up for any and all sessions in which you are interested by filling out this form (https://forms.gle/awKh843J8xDx2CLSA). Once you complete the form, you are officially registered for the session! A SpeakEasy staff member will be in touch with you a few days before the session with a Zoom link and instructions on how to access the meeting.

I didn’t get to join SpeakEasy University’s first semester of seminars this fall. Can I still join this spring? Is there a way that I can catch up? 
All are welcome to join our spring semester of SpeakEasy University, regardless of whether you attended the sessions offered this fall. The material will still be fairly introductory, though we will be considering the work through a new lens (and real world examples), so there will be plenty of new material for those who did join us previously. If you would like to review what we learned this fall, recordings of the sessions are available upon request. For access, please email Alex Lonati at alexlonati@speakeasystage.com

Any other questions?
Please contact Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati at alexlonati@speakeasystage.com or 617-440-3934. 

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