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Upcoming Classes: New Students $50 Off

 Writers new to playwriting should start with the Essentials 1 2 3 Track. Aspiring Screenwriters can start with Screenwriting 1.0 or Writing for the Small Screen. 
Click on the offerings below to learn more about them. 
If you're looking for a Writers' Group click here.
Scholarships for our classes are available through the M.E.H. Lewis Memorial Fund. Chicago-area writers are eligible. 


Screenwriting 1.0 on-line NEW!

with original screenwriter of Meet the Parents Mary Ruth Clarke

Learn the fundamentals of screenwriting, and start writing your first screenplay. Any genre, any idea. 

6 Sundays from December 10th until January 17th (skipping the holidays, and with the final class date to be determined)

Marketing and Producing Your Solo Show or Story Event
with Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski 

A three day class for those who want to learn to self-produce a solo show, play, or story event.

3 Tuesdays, January 16th, 23rd, and 30th

Writing for the Small Screen: from Network to Streaming

with original screenwriter of Meet the Parents Mary Ruth Clarke

Study and analyze successful pilots and begin work on your own original TV or web series script.

7 alternate Saturdays, January 13th - April 7th


Acting for Writers  

with Resident Alum and Actor John Green

An introductory acting course exploring the basic language and techniques of acting: character --  given circumstances, motivation, and intent -- as they apply to writing a play.

6 Wednesdays, January 17th - February 28th


"Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursdays 
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

An ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.

7 Thursdays, starting January 18th

SOLD OUT. GET ON WAITLIST!

The Blueprint  
with Resident Playwright Dana Lynn Formby

Break scripts down to the nuts and bolts of writing. Learn structural tools that will help you turn a blank page into a first draft, and then successfully assess that draft for further revisions. 

7 Thursdays,  January 18th - March 1st


Essentials 1: The Core 
with Resident Playwright Alumna Marsha Estell

Our foundations class for those new to playwriting or those wanting to go back to the fundamentals. Students learn the core principles of dramatic writing. Using these tools as a guide, students writer and respond to each other's work.
6 Saturdays, January 20th - March 3rd



"Scene Shop" Play Development - Saturdays 
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

An ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.

7  Saturdays, starting January 20th

SOLD OUT. GET ON WAITLIST!

Essentials 2: Strengthen the Core 
with Resident Playwright Alumna Marsha Estell

Write a short play every week to unleash your creativity, then see one of those plays performed by professional actors.

6 Mondays including a final presentation, January 22th - February 26th, presentation on March 12th


Essentials 2: Strengthen the Core - On-Line
with Resident Playwright Alum Dana Lynn Formby

Write a short play every week in order to unleash your creativity and incorporate the core principles taught in Essentials 1.

5 Mondays, January 22nd - February 19th

SOLD OUT

Developing a Play-in-Progress
with Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble -- Douglas Post 

A workshop for writers who want to continue developing a piece on which they have already begun work. 

7 Wednesdays, January 24th - March 14th 

Screenwriting 2.0

with original screenwriter of Meet the Parents Mary Ruth Clarke

Work on screenplays-in-progress while focusing on structural analysis, secondary story lines, and rewrites.

Alternate Saturdays, February 3rd - April 14th 

Writing the Political and Social Play
with Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble -- Douglas Post 

Sharpen your skills in writing social and political theatre.

7 Saturdays, February 3rd - March 17th 


Solo Show and Storytelling Fundamentals 
with Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

With in-class exercises and one-on-one coaching, this class is for storytellers, playwrights, solo artists, actors, and stand-up comedians of all levels who are just embarking on their one-person show journey or who are in the final, polishing stages

8 Tuesdays, February 2nd - March 27th


Chicago Dramatists Class Fee Policies 

If you cancel your registration more than three weeks in advance of the class start date, you will be entitled to either a full refund of your money or a full credit applied to your account for future CD classes. 

If you cancel your registration less than than three weeks but more than ten days before the class start date, you will be entitled to a full credit applied to your account (minus a $20 administrative fee). However, there will be no refunds. 

If you cancel your registration fewer than ten days but more than three days before the class start date, you will be entitled to 50% of your class fee (minus a $20 administrative fee) applied to your account as a credit. 

If you cancel your registration less than three days before the class start date, there is unfortunately neither a credit nor refund option available.

Early Bird Discount policy:  If you reserve a spot in a class under the early bird discount price but you do not pay for the class during that early bird time window, we will convert your fee to the "public" price. 


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1105 W. Chicago Avenue | Chicago, Illinois 60642 | (312) 633-0630
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