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Upcoming Classes 

Are you new to writing?

  • Artists new to play writing should start with Essentials 1 and complete Essentials 3 before taking other play writing courses.
  • Artists new to screenwriting should start with Screenwriting 1.0 before taking other screenwriting courses.
  • Artists new to solo show & storytelling should start with Solo Show & Storytelling Fundamentals before taking other solo courses.
  • Artists new to Chicago Dramatists get $50 OFF their first class!
  • Ongoing classes will be listed on the Calendar
Scholarships for classes are available through the M.E.H. Lewis Memorial Fund.

Fundamentals:

Essentials 1: The Core Online   
with
Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

In this fundamentals course, you will learn the core principles of dramatic writing, such as the major dramatic question, conflict, and rising action. Using these tools as a guide, you will write and respond to each others' work.

6 Sundays, May 27th - July 8th


Live Storytelling     NEW WORKSHOP!     
with Instructor Janna Sobel

Focusing on the 5-10 minute format of popular live storytelling events, this workshop empowers writers, performers, comedians, public speakers...everyone!...to tell compelling, entertaining live personal stories.

8 Mondays, June 4th - July 23rd

Script Analysis - The Blueprint   
with
Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

Taking an in-depth look into the dramatic elements of four plays, you'll examine the building blocks of these plays,  how to make a scene work, and follow it through to encompass the complete arc of a story. Prerequisite: Essentials 1, Essentials Bootcamp Weekend, or permission of instructor.

6 Thursdays, June 21st - July 26th

Advanced:

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

This is a workshop for writers who want to continue developing a script (one act to full-length) with the goal of being ready for production.  You will explore the skills and qualities of effective dramatic writing by reading and discussing participants' scripts in a supportive and challenging environment.  

7 Wednesdays, June 6th - July 18th

Writing the 10-Minute Play        
with
 Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble Douglas Post 

This class is specifically designed for writers seeking to hone their skills in writing ten-minute plays. At the end of the session, you will have acquired a better understanding of how to write a short play that is precise, playable, and has a solid sense of beginning, middle and end.

7 Saturdays, June 9th - July 21st

Solo Show & Storytelling Development Intensive   
with Resident Playwright MT Cozzola

This workshop is for playwrights, actors, and storytellers with some story experience, who want to develop a solo show or long-form narrative; with the goal being to advance to production readiness.

4 Tuesdays, June 19th - July 17th. 


Screenwriting Lab 3.0     JUST ADDED!
with Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

Moving on from Screenwriting 1.0 and 2.0, this lab will discuss how every story is at its essence a mystery, set ups and pay offs, secondary story lines,  rewrites, killer titles, and the nuts & bolts/tips & tricks of getting your screenplay out in the world.


6 Sundays, June 24th - September 23 

"Scene Shop" Thursday Afternoons   
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting.

7 Thursdays, June 28th - August 23rd

"Scene Shop" Thursday Evenings      2 SPOTS LEFT!
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting.

7 Thursdays, June 28th - August 23rd

"Scene Shop" Saturday Mornings     1 SPOT LEFT!
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting.

7 Saturdays, June 30th - August 25th

Weekend:

Screenwriting for Playwrights Workshop    
with Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

This weekend workshop offers an intensive, nuts and bolts study of the essentials of writing for film. You'll tackle the exacting demands of correct screenplay formatting, which often mystifies playwrights; and  discuss common mistakes playwrights make when writing for the screen. 

1 Weekend, June 2nd - June 3rd

New Play Dramaturgy Bootcamp         NEW BOOTCAMP!
with Resident Playwright Kristin Idaszak

During this two day intensive, participants will examine three different approaches for talking about new plays at every stage of development.

1 Weekend, June 2nd - June 3rd

Master Class in Story Structure     NEW MASTER CLASS!
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

A three-hour intensive focused on basic principles of dramatic storytelling that are reflected in the award-winning play Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley and that can be adapted in different ways to the scripts you develop. For playwrights at any level of experience.

1 Saturday, June 23rd

Writing the Adaptation Workshop       
with Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios     

This workshop is for those curious about creating a play adaption based on original source material, such as folktales, short stories, children's books or even songs. Come learn to adapt source material into a play, brainstorm adaptation ideas, and create a scene or two for your new adaptation idea.

1 Sunday, June 24th

What is It? A Play? A Move? A TV show? Bootcamp     NEW BOOTCAMP!
with Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

This weekend workshop is a deep dive into the groundwork of what constitutes all drama, with an exploration into the mechanics and strengths of each discipline. You'll analyze and ascertain what your idea would look like in each disciple, and find the best fit for where it would shine.

1 Weekend, July 7th - July 8th

Essentials Bootcamp Weekend          
with The Tutterow Fellowship Program Director Marsha Estell

In this fundamentals course, you will learn the core principles of dramatic writing, such as the major dramatic question, conflict, and rising action. Using these tools as a guide, you will write and respond to each others' work. It's the six-week Essentials 1: The Core condensed!

1 Weekend, July 14th - July 15th

Working Backwards Bootcamp     NEW BOOTCAMP!
with Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

Through discussion and exercises, you'll learn how to reverse engineer your story as a way to unearth the essential and dismiss unnecessary details, avoiding those wrong turns. You'll also explore why writing the ending first is a technique some successful writers swear by.

1 Weekend, August 4th - August 5th

Solo Show & Storytelling Foundations Workshop   
with Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

This "weekend warrior" class is designed for actors, playwrights, solo artists, and storytellers of all levels – from those who are thinking about writing a one-person show or narrative story to those who are in the final stages of polishing one.

1 Weekend, August 11th - August 12th


Writers' Groups  ENROLL NOW FOR SUMMER!

A complement to coursework, Writers' Groups provide the structure, community, and accountability necessary to keep momentum in rewriting.  Writers' Groups are recommended for early career playwrights who have at least completed Essentials 3.

For more information on Writers' Groups, click here.

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.
  • Failure to pay fee within 48 hours of registration will result in cancellation of registration.
  • Classes that fail to meet the 50% minimum registrant requirement within 48 hours of class start time will be cancelled. In this case, registrants will receive a 100% refund.


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