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TOPIC: playwritingClear

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Paul D'Andrea

Robinson Professor of Theater and English

Expertise: Renaissance time period, English and American literature, playwriting, screenwriting

D'Andrea is a Robinson Professor of Theater and English who helped found the Theater of the First Amendment, the professional theater company at George Mason University.

D'Andrea is a Shakespearean scholar and playwright who began his career as a physics major at Harvard. He can discuss topics such as Renaissance art, philosophy and literature, views of gender from Aristophanes through "Much Ado about Nothing" to "Sex and the City," the moral vision of contemporary drama and Shakespeare.

His prize-winning plays include "The Trouble with Europe," "A Full Length Portrait of America" and "The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay" are widely produced. His adaptation of "Nathan the Wise" was broadcast by PBS television in 2002 and produced in Rome in 2003. He has written screenplays and is interested in linking the humanities and the arts through contemporary media.

Heather McDonald

Associate Professor of Theater

Expertise: Dramatic writing, playwriting, screenplays

Heather McDonald is an associate professor of Theater in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the co-artistic director for the Theater of the First Amendment, the professional theater company at George Mason University.

McDonald is an accomplished playwright whose works include "An Almost Holy Picture," "The End of the Affair," "When Grace Comes In" and "Dream of a Common Language." She can discuss the principles of dramatic writing for plays and screenplays, including character, plot, dramatic structure, dialogue, exposition and setting.

McDonald has been awarded four Helen Hayes Awards including Outstanding Resident Production. Her work features many other productions including Off Broadway, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Yale Repertory Theater, Rivendell in Chicago and New Playwrights Theater. She has written and sold two screenplays and has been awarded the NEA Playwriting Fellowship three times.