James Magruder

Old Wine into New Bottles

A Maisha Film Lab Adaptation Workshop by James Magruder

Join James Magruder for a four-week workshop in taking stories from the page to the stage. Emphasis will be placed on the roots of comedy; distilling character through action; establishing and building conflict; and creating compelling dialogue that carries the plot forward. Participants will be expected to complete classroom exercises as well as adapt a folkloric or Old Testament story (e.g. Esther, Job, Samson & Delilah) to a contemporary context.

Application open for both playwrights and screenwriters

Application Requirements:

Submit a Ugandan, or East African fairy tale/folk tale/legend or two to info@maishafilmlab.org .

Please include your half page bio and cell number.

We will only be accepting fifteen applicants for this course.


Four full days in November – November 4, November 13, November 18, and November 26.


The classes will be 8am to 5.00 pm with one tea break at 10.00am to 10.30 am 7& a one hour lunch break at 1.00pm to 2.00pm. We will provide the break tea and lunch.


Maisha Film Lab, Makerere University Institute of Social Research, Annex Block, Makerere University ,Wandegeya, Kampala.

Application closing date:

October 20

James Magruder Bio

James MagruderJames Magruder’s translations and adaptations of Marivaux, Molière, Dancourt, Gozzi, Labiche, Lesage, Giraudoux, and Dickens have been produced on and off-Broadway, across the United States, and in Germany and Japan.
His fiction has appeared in New England Review, The Gettysburg Review, Subtropics, The Normal School, New Stories from the Midwest, and elsewhere.
His debut novel Sugarless was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the 2010 William Saroyan International Writing Prize.
His story collection, Let Me See It, will be published in May 2014 by Northwestern University Press.
His work has been supported by the New Harmony Project, MacDowell, VCCA, Ucross, the Blue Mountain Center, the Jerome Foundation, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
He has taught at the Yale School of Drama, Swarthmore College, the University of Baltimore, and Swarthmore College. He is spending the year in Kampala.