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Spring Classes: New Students $50 Off

 Writers new to play writing should start with the Essentials 1 2 3 Track. Aspiring Screenwriters can start with Screenwriting 1.0 or Writing for the Small Screen. 

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.) 


Writing the Adaptation Workshop   REGISTER TODAY!
with Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios

Do you have a favorite short story or folktale you have always wanted to turn into a play? This workshop is for you. 
(No writing experience necessary.)


1 Saturday, March 3rd

Essentials Weekend Bootcamp    REGISTER TODAY!
with Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

Essentials Core Weekend Bootcamp is an alternative to Essentials 1 for those who want to learn the core principles in a
condensed format. Perfect for out-of-towners or writers who want to advance quickly to Essentials 2.


1 Weekend,  Saturday March 24th - Sunday March 25th

Essentials 1: The Core   (Open enrollment starts Feb 19th)
with Resident Playwright Alumna
Marsha Estell

Our foundations class for those new to play writing 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, March 31st - May 19th


Essentials 2: Strengthen the Core   (Open enrollment starts Feb 19th)
with Resident Playwright Alumna
Marsha Estell

The second in our three-class Essentials series, Essentials 2 is about the process rather than the product. You will write a short play every week, then see one of those plays performed by professional actors.

6 Tuesdays including a final presentation, April 3rd - May 8th. Final presentation TBD.

Essentials 2: Strengthen the Core - Online   (Open enrollment starts Feb 19th)
with
Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

The second in our three-class Essentials series, Essentials 2 is about the process rather than the product. You will write a short play every week. No performance as a part of this class.

5 Mondays, April 5th - May 3rd

Developing a Play-in-Progress   (Open enrollment starts Feb 25th)
with
 Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble Douglas Post 

This is a workshop for writers who want to develop a script on which they have already begun work. Particular attention to how your play will be received by producers, directors and literary managers, plus how it will be received by designers and, most importantly, actors will be made.

7 Wednesdays, April 11th - May 23rd

"Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Afternoons (Open enrollment starts Feb 25th)
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! An ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one. Weekly writing tools and actors plus a public staged reading showcase of selected work.

7 Thursdays, April 12th - June 14th

"Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Evenings (Open enrollment starts Feb 25th)
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

An ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one. Weekly writing tools and actors plus a public staged reading showcase of selected work.

7 Thursdays, April 12th - June 14th


"Scene Shop" Play Development - Saturday Mornings (Open enrollment starts Feb 25th)
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

An ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one. Weekly writing tools and actors plus a public staged reading showcase of selected work.

7  Saturdays,  April 14th - June 16th

Screenwriting 1.0 - Online     (Open enrollment starts Mar 3rd)
with Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

This class offers a boot camp into the realities of how Hollywood thinks about screenplays (although this is not a marketing class). Participants will deep dive into some “Ways In,” to bring their ideas to life, such as unearthing that great hook that will cause a producer to shout, “That’s a movie!”

6 Sundays, April 15th - June 10th

Character Intensive Workshop     (Open enrollment starts Mar 3rd)
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

Solo Show & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage     (Open enrollment starts Mar 3rd)
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 TBD.

Writing the Political and Social Play     (Open enrollment starts Mar 17th)
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     (Open enrollment starts Mar 17th) 
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, May 2nd - June 6th


Essentials 3: The Journey    (Open enrollment starts Mar 17th)
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

Screenwriting for Playwrights Workshop     (Open enrollment starts Mar 17th)
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

It Happened One Weekend    (Open enrollment starts Mar 17th)
with Resident Playwright Will Dunne

This unique, weekend intensive offers step-by-step writing exercises, group feedback, and actor support to trigger and guide the development of a new short play. 

1  Weekend,  June 23rd - June 24th

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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