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Special Topics

Comprising the Writer's Studio’s focused content, students choose their areas of concentration to hone, polish, refine, develop, and improve their writing in order to advance through the tiered program. A scholarship and fellowship are available to assist with program cost.

 Fall QuarterWinter Quarter  Spring Quarter Summer Quarter

Bootcamps & Intensives:


Essentials Bootcamp

Want to learn the core principles of the six-week Essentials 1 but in a weekend? Designed for writers of all levels seeking a foundation for their craft, this two-day bootcamp will provide the tools of dramatic writing so you can write and respond to another’s work. A great option if you live out-of-town or just want to advance quickly to Essentials 2.        

Prerequisite: None


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Loud and Clear: Strengthening Your Writer’s Voice Bootcamp

This two-day bootcamp is designed to hone your writer’s voice and create work that is grounded in your unique aesthetic and experience. Through writing exercises designed to explore and define your voice, create work based in your impulses. Use this clarity of individual voice to write stronger scripts and even a sharper artist statement.

Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp

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“Scene Shop” Sampler

A special three-class intensive of the popular “Scene Shop” where you will be guided through various writing exercises to explore character and story ideas, develop scenes, have the opportunity to hear your scenes read by professional actors, and then discuss the work in a supportive group setting. Come hear your characters lift off the page and get input from other writers. Taught by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story.

Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp

Thursday Evenings

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Saturday Mornings

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Character Bootcamp

Take a concentrated dive into character development in this two-day bootcamp. Through introduction to certain exercises, you will explore the voice and point of view of the character, how the character behaves in space and in relation to others, and also, have the opportunity to create, collaborate and then revise your work with professional actors for a final presentation at the end of the second day. Walk away with not only a broader perspective of your characters, but helpful tools to approach your future work.

Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp

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It Happened One Weekend Bootcamp

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. Arrive on Saturday morning with absolutely nothing prepared and take a creative leap. By Sunday afternoon, writers will have not only written a new play but will hear it performed by professional actors!

Prerequisties: Essentials Bootcamp or Essentials 1

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Writing the Adaptation Bootcamp

Do you have a favorite short story or folktale you have always wanted to turn into a play? Are you curious about how to adapt original source material, such as folktales, short stories, children’s books or even songs? Then this two-day bootcamp is for you. Learn to brainstorm adaptation ideas, how to adapt source material, create a scene or two, plus much more!

Prerequisite: None

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Workshops:

Writing the Political or Social Play

Are you looking to sharpen your skill in writing political or social theatre? In challenging times theatre has always played an impactful role in raising issues and rousing communities to take action. Through analysis of works by playwrights who have spoken to the tenor of their times, you will build on your own work each week, making it much more provocative and powerful.

Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp

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Acting for Writers 1

As a writer, have you ever wondered what it is like to step inside an actor’s shoes? Want to know how actors bring a character to life, speaking your words as a character’s? In this introductory course, you will access an actor’s toolbox to break a scene down into beats and action verbs, make use of subtext beneath the surface of words, embody the writing with the active needs of the characters, plus much more! The course is designed for absolute beginners and experienced actors who want to review the basics as they apply them to writing. 

Prerequisite: None

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Character Workshop

Over six weeks, you will deeply explore the voice, behavior, and point of view of your characters to better understand how they impact the world of your play. Through various exercises, scene work, and even collaboration with professional actors, you will get view through a multi-faceted lens to track the development of your characters plus helpful tools to approach your future work.

 Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp

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“Inspired by Actual Events” Workshop

If you are inspired to write about actual events, then this six-week course is intended for you. Before entry you’ll need a well-researched and ready to be interpreted to the page inspiration in mind. Then strap in, because that idea will grow to a one-act play through converting original and secondary resources, feedback and weekly scene deadlines.

Prerequisites: Essentials 3

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Writing the 10-Minute Play

Are you specifically looking to hone your skills in writing 10-minute plays? Interested in bettering your 10-minute play for submission to contests and festivals? Then this seven-week class is for you. Learn tools to improve economy, skill, and craft in condensed story form. At the end you will have acquired an understanding of how to write a precise and playable story that has a solid beginning, middle, and end.

Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp

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Acting for Writers 2

In part two of this course, you will build upon part 1 to create dramatic scenes for specific actors, learn how to communicate effectively with actors and directors in terms they understand, explore what does and does not work once a scene is on its feet, and how to translate a character from page to stage.

Prerequisite: Acting for Writers 1

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