With this edict in mind, our Colony 20 intensive workshop will explore the very heart of playwriting and storytelling. Read our brochure (PDF).

When creating structure for a scene, one of the first questions a playwright must ask is, "What does my character want?"

Too often, we start with a clever setup, backstory, or setting—or we focus on how the character feels—without asking this crucial question.

What does my character want and what is s/he going to do to get it?

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We will explore the basic types of conflict:

Domestic (family, romance)

Economic (getting a bigger piece of the pie)

Societal (battling against accepted morality/normality)

We will engage in a variety of exercises over the course of the four-day intensive, with an overall focus on creating and developing characters who are in conflict.

Preliminary schedule (PDF).

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This year we are celebrating 20 amazing years of the Missoula Colony. In this momentous year, we are newly committed to offering both new and experienced playwrights an experience that is fascinating, challenging, productive, enlightening, and FUN! We hope you will join us!

To learn more, please contact Salina Chatlain at (406) 243-6809 or by e-mail.

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ANGNES RANJO CAPPS SCHOLARSHIP


From left, recipients of this award are Elizabeth Dement (2015), Francine Volpe (2014), Vickie Ramirez (2013), Melissa Ross (2012), Diane Glancy (2011), Deborah Zoe Laufer (2010), Lauren Feldman (2009), Nicole Burdette (2008), and Molly Rice (2007). Recipient bios (PDF)

Dr. Cathy Capps established the Agnes Ranjo Capps Endowment in Playwriting in 2007 in memory of her mother, for whom the award is named. Since Colony 12, this scholarship has been awarded annually to emerging female playwrights.

Agnes Ranjo Capps, born in 1919, was the second of eleven children and the first in her family to attend college. Her dream of being a Hollywood actress was interrupted by WWII, but after the war she found success both on stage and backstage. In the 1950s, Agnes and her husband, Charles, moved across the nation as Charles designed numerous CBS stations. They ultimately settled in Las Vegas with their three children and were both very active in local community theatre.

Agnes especially loved writing musicals. In her later years, she became extremely involved in the Senior Theatre Project at UNLV. Charles and Agnes instilled their love of the theatre and creative artistic endeavors in their children, and it was in this spirit that Cathy created the award.


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OUR MISSION

The mission of the Missoula Colony is to foster great writing for the next generation of theatre and film in an atmosphere of generosity, creative fervor, breathtaking beauty, and laughter.

Founded in 1996 by Michael Murphy, Marsha Norman, and Montana Rep Artistic Director Greg Johnson, the Missoula Colony is both a place and an idea. The Colony convenes at the University of Montana in Missoula, where five gorgeous Rocky Mountain valleys and three stunning rivers converge. Missoula is a place blessed with incredible natural beauty—a place where writers from all over the world gather to celebrate the art and craft of writing for the stage and screen.

For the past eighteen summers, new and emerging writers have worked alongside experienced professional writers whose work has earned Pulitzer Prizes and Emmy and Tony awards. This mix has proven to be an excellent model for the creative process. Professional writers see their works read in a supportive atmosphere, away from the bright lights and cynical eye of the big cities. They are refreshed and renewed by their time in the mountains—walking amid the splendor of the landscape, floating the rivers, or talking into the wee hours of the morning with fellow writers. Newer writers have the opportunity, in an informal, relaxed setting, to benefit from the knowledge of more experienced writers in an atmosphere of mutual assistance and generosity.

Our idea is to support writers and writing. We do this by encouraging collaboration, creation, risk-taking, and having fun. It is this combination of ingredients that makes the Missoula Colony special.

Montana Rep is delighted to announce the nineteenth annual Missoula Colony: A Gathering of Artists in Support of the Writer's Craft!

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STORIES FROM PAST GATHERINGS

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COLONY 18 | JULY 2013
Sally Mauk's interview with television writer Ron Fitzgerald
Montana Public Radio | 7.15.13 | Listen to audio (11:51) >

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COLONY 15 | JULY 2010
Colony playwrights, actors, directors take break on Blackfoot River
Missoulian | 7.21.10 | Story and video >

15th annual Colony feels like a reunion
Missoulian | 7.16.10 | Read story >


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To learn more about Colony 19, please contact Salina Chatlain, assistant to the Rep's artistic director, at (406) 243-6809 or by e-mail.