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Tier 2 – Advanced

Comprising the Writer's Studio’s advanced sequence, students will begin by writing a full-length play, move forward to develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work. A scholarship and fellowship are available to assist with program cost.

 Fall QuarterWinter Quarter  Spring Quarter Summer Quarter


Developing the Full-length 1

Kicking off Tier 2 advanced coursework, you will build on fundamental skillsets to start writing that full-length play.  Within you will map out a visual storyboard of a play, identify key elements in the dramatic arc, explain what your imagery means in the minds of audiences, write scenes that escalate, plus much more.

Prerequisites: Essentials 3, prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play or permission of Artistic Director


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Developing the Full-length 2

In part 2 of this course, you will build scene by scene to a full-length play. Discover dramatic action through character decisions, describe in what way story/plot/time unfold in the work, build the world of the play, apply dramaturgy techniques, learn to give and receive feedback that speaks best to a writer, plus much more. 

Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 1 or permission of Artistic Director

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Join a Writers' Group!

Are you looking for a writers' group that provides structure, community, and accountability? Then this 8-session weekly writers group is the for you. Up to 8 writers will present anywhere from 30 pages to a full-length piece twice during the 8-week session, providing feedback for their cohort and honing their projects.  Each group is moderated by a Resident Playwright. Designed as a compliment to Tier 2 courses.

Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play

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If you have completed prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play, start with one of the next three.

“Scene Shop” Play Development

Through development exercises, you will analyze characters to assess whether they are distinct and essential, develop a story scene by scene that sustains audience interest through those characters, demonstrate the ability to adapt dramatic storytelling principles to your individual writing process, plus much more. This workshop utilizes actors each week in the reading of students’ work. Taught by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story. 

Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play

Thursdays Evenings

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Saturday Mornings

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Saturday Afternoons

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The Rewrite

In this course, you will learn the best practices of rewriting. Create both a tracking document and an image tracker to detail your story, answer in detail the universal vs specific aspects of your work, show how your choices translate in the mind of the audience, journal your writing process to discover patterns and show growth, plus much more. 

Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play

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Script Analysis Intensive

Ask any playwright what a necessary skill is, and they say, “script analysis.” In this intensive, you will analyze full-length plays to identify decisions characters make and how the consequences of those decisions shape the character, translate subtext, identify differing process, learn to articulate what “The Big Idea” is, plus much more. 

Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play

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If you have completed the above three and think the play is ready for a table reading, then time to advance on.

Professional Development

This workshop is all about professionally developing you. Learn strategies for submitting and networking with producing institutions, how to pitch your work, write an artist’s statement, resume, bio and plan for the next year, plus much more. 

Prerequisites: The Rewrite or “Scene Shop”

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Connections 1 Workshop

You have written that first draft or story, meticulously developed it scene by scene, done rewrites, refined your work, created a plan for the next year, and now you are ready to have your work critiqued. In this rare opportunity you will receive feedback from two professional directors—each giving unique insight and advice to advance your work forward. 

Prerequisite: Professional Development

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On Its Feet Theatre Lab

Time to experiment and have some fun! In this workshop you will not only write a new short play but also produce it—securing both actors and a director—before a live audience. Afterwards enter an online forum where you will discuss how components forwarded the dramatic arc, where patterns and novelties appeared from page to stage, how the audience received the work, plus much more!

Prerequisite: Connections 1

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Connections Workshop 2 (coming Fall 2019)

You have written multiple drafts, meticulously refined it scene by scene, done rewrites, been critiqued, and now you are ready to have a table reading with professional actors and a director. In this extraordinary opportunity you will receive feedback from these professionals and your peers—each giving unique insight and advice to advance your work forward to the next step, the public reading.

Prerequisites: Connections 1 and recommendation by a reading panel

Public Reading (coming Winter 2019)

In this Tier 2 capstone course, you’ll get a public reading of your work. You’ve put in all the work, now learn through the reading process—make recommendations on casting, work alongside a director, invite potential theatre collaborators, create customized audience feedback, plus much more!

Prerequisites: Connections 2 and recommendation by a reading panel


If you are interested in registering for more than one Tier 2 class and want to save up to $100 at the same time, consider purchasing a bundle. Click for more information!


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