Such Stuff as Dreams: The Anatomy of Literature

Participation in a 13 week study on the anatomy of literature led by Daved Driscoll and inclusion into an optional, supplemental private Facebook Group.  This study will be academic and transcript-worthy as well as hands-on and creative. 

Participation is free.

Cost for text and journal: $39.99 (Scroll down to bottom of page to add to cart and register) 

We never want finances to prohibit participation. Scholarships available. Contact Charis at

Such Stuff as Dreams:
The Anatomy of Literature

The Collaborative Development
Of an Original Literature Study Guide

What does Art do?

How does it do it?

Why does Art matter? 

How do we study Art?

Our primary text will be:
Anatomy of Criticism by Northrop Frye

Northrop Frye’s 1957 classic details the underlying mythical and biblical structures of all stories.  It outlines the connection between the divine source and the universal human loves and fears which make those stories essential life-and-death components of human existence.

In the process, we will:

Learn and practice ways of reading and comprehending in complex detail, even when much of the text and the ideas are “beyond” our current level of comprehension.

You’re supposed to be.  The reading is difficult, the discussion is complex.
And yet --
An essential part of what we will discover is that all of us already have a far more sophisticated understanding of literature than we dream.
If you like stories at all -- but don’t think you’re “bookish” or “intellectual,” then this is absolutely for you.
The bookish and intellectual will also find enormous challenge and valuable insights that will expand and strengthen their experience.
Anyone anticipating a college education, or any of the careers that result from a college degree, will find this approach to studying empowering and invaluable.
All college education necessitates reading, comprehending and synthesizing written material.  This course individually coaches participants to do so independently and confidently.  And to produce their own original work based on that.
This group is most suited for high schoolers and the literary-curious middle schooler, age 12ish and up.  

Tuesdays, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
February 13, 20, 27
March 6, 13, 20, 27
April 3, 10, 17, 24
May 1, 8

3625 10th Lane NW, Rochester
(Handy Andy Real Estate Office Building)



T (507) 216-6431

Register Here

Daved Driscoll

Daved Driscoll, BA, MFA, has been selected three times to receive teaching and study awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  He was honored with an “Outstanding Achievement in Directing” award by the American Association of Community Theatres and was selected locally as “Arts Educator of the Year.”  He is President of the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres and served for six years as Board Member and Vice President of the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.  Daved is active with the Minnesota Theatre Alliance and the Managing Directors’ Conference of the American Association of Community Theatres, through both of which he has taught at national and statewide conferences.  He has done graduate work in Philosophy and the Arts at Oxford University, the University of Wisconsin, Middlebury College and the University of Kansas.

For more than thirty years, he has taught Music, Theatre and Literature in college and preparatory school, and, for the last fifteen years, through Northland Words, the Arts and Education organization he founded and directs.  Branches of Northland Words include Words Players, which has been the largest and most active youth theatre in Minnesota, and SkyVault, which has recently received half a dozen national, regional and statewide awards, as well as honors as the “Best New Act” at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, where SkyVault is the largest entertainment entity and where, beyond SkyVault, Daved is a key trainer for nearly a hundred new adult Festival performers each year.


workshops on our creative process

   Workshop participants will explore the creation/performance process in which both cast and audience are collaborative partners, taking active roles in shaping stories.  We will delve into an improvisational approach to developing a fully collaborative ensemble show --musically and dramatically— to genuinely partner with the audience to tell stories.


  • On Their Imaginary Forces:  Engage audiences as collaborative partners.  This includes using social media to empower audience members to engage in creating stories by telling the actors on stage what their character is, what happens next, what the villain's motivation is or anything else that they care to throw out.  


  • Lord, What Fools:  Using Improvisation to Develop New Material.  We lead actors to collaborate improvisationally to develop characters for both traditional scripted and innovative original work.  We particularly explore how this process is at the core of ensemble development and how it extends to the performance of fully fledged original productions.


  • Your Own Show:  We develop an original show with workshop participants, with or without music. We have done one- and two-day versions of this workshop, and have done it in as little as an hour.  (We have also done, locally, week-long and two-week versions of this workshop.)