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From fables and myths to contemporary surrealism, playwrights have asked animals to help tell our stories. What can we learn from talking animals? In this seminar, Paul Kruse will explore talking animals in creative work, how vital their role can be in storytelling, and how they can come to life on the page and stage.

This class is for you if you:

  • Want to incorporate talking animals in your play.
  • Have an interest in fables and myths.
  • Are looking for new source material for your next play.
  • Are interested in learning more about Paul Kruse’s work and approach to writing.

What to expect:

  • In-class writing exercises.
  • In-class reading and discussion of excerpts of plays.
  • Brief sharing and discussing work.
  • Students will leave with two short scenes, each featuring a talking animal of their choosing.
From Paul

The tools we’ll play with during this workshop have helped me break out of ruts in my own writing. I find that thinking about the perspective of animals is a way to consider your work—and even our world—in new and interesting ways.

Paul Kruse

The playwright he, him, his
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based inMinneapolis, MN
Paul William Kruse tells Queer love stories. As a playwright and media artist from Western Wisconsin, his work flows from his Catholic roots and ever-evolving experience of family. Paul often writes collaboratively, drawing from his years of experience as a videographer and documentarian. He is a 2023–2025 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and a cohort member of Audible’s third Emerging Playwrights Fund. His audio play Once Removed was an official selection at the 2022 Tribeca Festival. Paul’s plays have been produced by Adjusted Realists in Brooklyn, NY; Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA; the Vortex Theater in Austin, TX; and in high schools around the country. Paul has developed work at The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Yaddo, the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and Middlebury College. Paul completed his MFA at UT Austin in 2020, where he was a fellow with the Michener Center for Writers. From 2012–2022, Paul was resident playwright with Pittsburgh’s Hatch Arts Collective, which he co-founded with Adil Mansoor and Nicole Shero.