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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 3: The Journey    SOLD OUT! Join the waitlist.
with
Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

Use the core principles of dramatic structure to outline, write, and develop a new full-length play in 10 weeks. The process will emphasize the play’s journey and structural touch points through writing scenes out of order.

10 Sundays, May 13th - July 22nd

Essentials 1: The Core Online    JUST ADDED! 
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!      (Open enrollment begins May 1st)
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    (Open enrollment begins May 1st)
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:

Solo Show & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage    SOLD OUT! Join the waitlist.
with Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

This is an ADVANCED-level class designed for actors, storytellers, solo artists, and playwrights who have material written and are ready to take it to the next level.

6 Tuesdays, April 24th - May 29th. Final presentation June 16th.

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

This class is specifically designed for writers seeking to sharpen their skills in writing political and social theatre. At the end of the class, writers will have a better sense of how to write provocative theatre that is powerful and producible.


7 Saturdays, April 28th - June 23rd

Acting for Writers   
with Resident Alum and Actor John Green

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

6 Wednesdays, May 2nd - June 6th

Solo Show & Storytelling Development Intensive   (Open enrollment begins May 1st)
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. 


Weekend:

Character Intensive Workshop     ONLY 4 SPOTS LEFT!
with Resident Playwright Emma Stanton

This weekend workshop welcomes playwrights and theater artists to explore the voice and point of view of the character and how the character behaves in space and in relation to others. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate and revise their work with professional actors for a final presentation at the end of the second day.

1 Weekend, Saturday April 21st - Sunday April 22nd

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

Writing the Adaptation Workshop        (Open enrollment begins May 1st)
with Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios    
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

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

Essentials Bootcamp Weekend           (Open enrollment begins May 1st)
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

Writers' Groups

A compliment 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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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