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Upcoming events

    • 15 Sep 2018
    • 20 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 2
    Registration is closed

    The Rewrite 
    Instructor: Douglas Post - Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble 

    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

    NOTE: Writers should bring 11 copies of a 10-page scene from your play to the first session.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Sep 15 - Oct 20  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will 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.

    • 16 Sep 2018
    • 21 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 6
    Registration is closed

    Essentials 1
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Alumni Marsha Estell

    In the first of the Essentials series, you will become familiar with the components of dramatic structure and format, receive tools to explore your unique voice and how to give and receive usable feedback, grasp the difference between dialog and conversation, plus will write and workshop a 10-minute play applying what you have learned.

    Note: Either Essentials 1 or Essentials Weekend Bootcamp must be taken as prerequisites for the other Essentials courses—Essentials 2  and Essentials 3. 

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Sep 16 - Oct 21  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 1 Essentials Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s Essentials 1 through 3 fundamentals sequence, students will explore their unique voice and theatricality, be able to describe and apply dramatic structure, write dialogue, stage direction, construct characters, arrange work in the correct industry format, and employ methods to give and receive feedback.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 16 Sep 2018
    • 21 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    Musical Theatre: The Secret Life of the American Musical
    Instructor: Dramatists Guild Chicago Regional Representative Cheryl Coons

    Based on Jack Viertel’s landmark book, The Secret Life of the American Musical, this 6-week class offers participants a chance to tune up their musicals-in-progress, as well as gain insight into what makes great musicals work. Participants share work for feedback in a supportive class atmosphere, and study examples from musical theatre masterworks from Gypsy to Hamilton. Each class session includes a balance of course content and presentation of participants’ work. Flexible weekly assignments allow participants to use the class presentation time in the way that is most valuable for them, by sharing work from existing projects, creating new work based on optional suggested exercises, or presenting revisions of previous work for response. Experienced writers gain new tools for refining their musicals, and newcomers to musical theatre writing gain a “big picture” perspective.


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Sep 16 - Oct 21
    Timeslot 1:30pm - 4:30pm
    Notes

    About the Musicals Track


    The Musicals track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for writing musical theatre. It consists of four courses:

    • Musical Theatre Writing: The Secret Life of the American Musical
    • Musicals in Process
    • Musical Theatre Bootcamp
    • Lyric Lab

    Musical Theatre Writing is a prerequisite for Musicals in Process. Musical Theatre Bootcamp and Lyric Lab may be taken out of sequence with the other two courses.

    • 16 Sep 2018
    • 21 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 5
    Registration is closed

    Essentials 2
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Alumni Marsha Estell

    In the second of the Essentials series, you will delve deeper into the components of dramatic structure, evaluate conflict, identify and discriminate theatricality, differentiate use of stage direction, and articulate how you use plasticity of the stage within format—applying it all by writing a new 10-minute play and evaluating your peer’s work.

    This course culminates in a campus presentation of the classes’ 10-minute plays (not available for online students).

    Note: Either Essentials 1 or Essentials Weekend Bootcamp must be taken as prerequisites for the other Essentials courses—Essentials 2  and Essentials 3. 

    For Students: For the first day of class, please bring in a 4 page, 2 character play, There must be an object (onstage manifestation) being negotiated between 2 people. Think about the core principles, when writing your play.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Sep 16 - Oct 21  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 2:30pm-5:30pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 1 Essentials Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s Essentials 1 through 3 fundamentals sequence, students will explore their unique voice and theatricality, be able to describe and apply dramatic structure, write dialogue, stage direction, construct characters, arrange work in the correct industry format, and employ methods to give and receive feedback.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 18 Sep 2018
    • 30 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    Solo Show & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage
    Instructor: 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. This hands-on workshop will focus on finding your voice, the voice of your story, and refining your performing skills.  A completed play is not necessary; an excerpt or story is welcome.  

    Four Tuesday classes will be devoted to the writing process and script. One Tuesday class will develop performance skills for the stage.  After the class work is complete, you will be assigned a director for two 90-minute rehearsals to prepare for the public staged reading in Chicago Dramatists’ Saturday Showcase on Nov 17th. You can perform your piece or request that an actor be hired.

    This class offers supportive feedback, structure, and cheerleading. It is designed to serve you and your personal creative goals. We will have big fun!

    Prerequisite: Any Arlene Malinowski solo class or permission of the instructor.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Tuesdays plus 1 Saturday rehearsal and final performance
    Start/End Date Sep 18 - Oct 30, rehearsal & final performance Nov 17
    Time Slot 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Notes Nov 17 rehearsal 9:30am-12:30pm; performance 2:30pm-4:30pm
    There will also be a rehearsal the week before the performance.
    P
    rerequisite: Any Arlene Malinowski solo class or permission of the instructor. Does not meet 10/9.

    About the Solo Show & Storytelling Track

    The Solo Show track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for developing and performing solo shows and long-form narratives. The courses include:

    • Solo & Storytelling Bootcamp
    • Solo & Storytelling Fundamentals
    • Solo & Storytelling Intensive
    • Marketing and Producing Your Solo Show
    • Solo & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage
    • Live Storytelling
    • 26 Sep 2018
    • 31 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 1
    Registration is closed

    The About - Screenwriting Workshop  
    Instructors: Neal Howard & Ian Streicher

    The About is a deep and entertaining dive into learning the single most important principle of effective scriptwriting for film & TV. You will learn to identify the intellectual and emotional heart of a script, its point of view and its truth, which is the indispensable foundation for all other script elements.  It is scriptwriting “from the content up” and will have you looking at scripts and writing in a whole new way.

    Prerequisite: None


    Instructors:


    Neal Howard is a member of the Writers Guild. Credits include "Coach" and "King of Queens" as well as other pilots, series and assignments for NBC, ABC, CBS, Universal, SONY and other production companies. He was also contributing writer on episodes of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm". He has had two screenplays optioned. His entertainment career segued from the writers room to the courtroom when he played a pivotal role in the prosecution of the KK members convicted in the infamous Birmingham Church Bombing case and the Mississippi Burning murders. He is now developing several scripts while working from Chicago as a nationally recognized trial consultant.


    Ian Streicher is a theatre director with Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway as well as several Chicago credits. In New York, Ian studied playwriting with Tina Howe and Arthur Kopit as well as directing and acting with Amy Wright and Salem Ludwig.


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Sep 26 - Oct 31
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes

    About the Screenwriting & TV Track

    The Screenwriting & TV track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for writing for film and TV. It consists of the following courses:

    • Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp
    • The About - Screenwriting Workshop
    • Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    • Screenwriting in Progress

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp and The About is a prerequisite for the Structure Intensive, which in turn is a prerequisite for Screenwriting in Progress.  The About has no prerequisite.

    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 1 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 2 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 3 ONLINE
    • 07 Oct 2018
    • 11 Nov 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 5
    Registration is closed

    Screenwriting in Progress  
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    Designed to support writers who have a screenplay(s) already underway, this advanced on-going course will build on the fundamentals and structure principles taught before. Over six weeks you will build community, sharpen skills, revise, and receive tailored feedback on your screenplay-in-progress.

    Prerequisites: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp and Structure Intensive


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Oct 7 - Nov 11
    Time Slot  10:00AM - 1:00PM
    Notes Prerequisites: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp and Structure Intensive.

    About the Screenwriting & TV Track

    The Screenwriting & TV track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for writing for film and TV. It consists of the following courses:

    • Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp
    • Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    • Screenwriting in Progress
    • The About - Screenwriting Workshop

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp is a prerequisite for the Structure Intensive, which in turn is a prerequisite for Screenwriting in Progress.  The About has no prerequisite.

    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 1 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 2 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 3 ONLINE
    • 11 Oct 2018
    • 13 Dec 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed
    "Scene Shop" Play Development Thursday Evenings 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    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

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date  Oct 11 - Dec 13
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Does not meet 11/1, 11/22, or 11/29

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will 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.

    • 13 Oct 2018
    • 15 Dec 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed
    "Scene Shop" Play Development  Saturday Mornings 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    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

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date  Oct 13 - Dec 15
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 11/3, 11/24, or 12/1

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will 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.

    • 13 Oct 2018
    • 15 Dec 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 1
    Registration is closed
    "Scene Shop" Play Development  Saturday Afternoons 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    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

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date  Oct 13 - Dec 15
    Time Slot 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 11/3, 11/24, or 12/1

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will 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.

    • 23 Oct 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    The God Who Drowned in the River by Amy Crider

    Moderator: Adam Webster

    The story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian's relationship with his young male lover Antinous.

    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 03 Nov 2018
    • 04 Nov 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 9
    Register

    Loud & Clear Voice  Bootcamp
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Jenni Lamb

    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

    Writers should be familiar with the following plays:

    • Ruined by Lynn Nottage
    • A Number by Caryl Churchill (*subject to change)
    • Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht
    Writers should also bring a five-page dialogue sample that they feel is representative of their voice.
    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
    Start/End Date Nov 3 - Nov 4
    Time Slot 10:00am - 4:30pm
    Notes This is a Tier 1 Special Topic

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 05 Nov 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 74
    Register

    suspension by Kristiana Rae Colón, Resident Playwright

    For the students of Climb & Succeed Charter Academy, a high school in a dystopian near future, the slightest defiance is met with riot-gear-clad security who patrol the halls informed by an AI bot. Armed and ready with each student’s protocols, she deploys harrowing new disciplinary codes that take ‘in-school suspension’ (ISS) to a haunting extreme. In search of their mysteriously missing sister and guided by a mystic teaching artist, Voltaire & Yansa learn to wield their ancestral magic and black girl badassery to combat the harrowing militarization of public education.


    About Kristiana Rae Colón

    Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Cave Canem Fellow, creator of #BlackSexMatters and co-director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective. She was awarded 2017 Best Black Playwright by The Black Mall. In 2016, her plays good friday had its world premiere at Oracle Productions, Octagon its American premiere at Jackalope Theater in Chicago, and but i cd only whisper had its American premiere at The Flea in New York. Octagon was the winner of Arizona Theater Company's 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and Polarity Ensemble Theater's Dionysos Festival of New Work, and had its 2015 world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London. In 2013, she toured the UK for two months with her collection of poems promised instruments, winner of the inaugural Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize and published by Northwestern University Press. Kristiana is an alum of the Goodman Theater's Playwrights Unit where she developed florissant & canfield, an epic reimagining of the Ferguson protests, which was featured in the 2016 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Kristiana’s writing, producing, and organizing work to radically reimagine power structures, our complicity in them, and visions for liberation. 

    About the Monday Night Series


    On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.

    All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    Ticket revenue only covers 10% of the total cost for the Monday Night Series. Please consider giving a gift to Chicago Dramatists today to support these public play readings.


    • 06 Nov 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD 

    Moderator: Emmi Higler


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 13 Nov 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    I Know You Are, But What Am I? by Ken Kaye

    Moderator: Steven Peterson, Resident Playwright

    In midlife, progressive and politically correct Rob has trouble assimilating the news of his brother's coming out.

    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 14 Nov 2018
    • 19 Dec 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Register

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

    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


    NOTE: Writers should bring 11 copies of a 10-page scene from your play to the first session.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Nov 14 - Dec 19  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes This is an all Tier special topic

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 17 Nov 2018
    • 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    • Theater
    • 10
    Register

    OFF THE PAGE EVENT

    Come "off the page" at this unique behind-the-workings introduction to Chicago Dramatists--meeting the playwrights and the staff. Hear the how, why, and impact of what we do by the people who live it.

    For almost 40 years, Chicago Dramatists has provided writers with the training, space, and connections necessary to realize new work for the stage and screen, developing some of America's best playwrights.

    We can't wait to tell you more about us at this event!

    (Free coffee and beverage for just learning more about us. Don't worry we aren't selling or asking you for anything here.)

    • 19 Nov 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 74
    Register

    Where All of It Is True and None of It Is Real by Arlene Malinowski, Resident Playwright

    Whampo" is a TV Reality show described as “Survivor meets Big Brother meets Shark Tank meets Project Runway meets Hunger Games without the killing”. Hope formerly of NPR takes an internship to break into TV under the tutelage of director/producer Thom- (with a TH) who will do anything to make good TV. Four contestants are left to vie for the grand prize- (or could there be a plot twist?) Alliances are forged and broken for short term strategy and long term gain. Whampo is where lies and subterfuge are daily fare, everyone has something to hide and we are reminded that race is not a part of the show. Whampo is a exploration of what people are willing to lose in order to win. 


    About Arlene Malinowski

    As actor and playwright Arlene views her solo work as an artistic extension of the social justice work she has been committed to for the last twenty-five years. She has been performing her five critically acclaimed solo shows across the country: including “What Does the Sun Sound Like”. Aiming for Sainthood” and “Kicking the Habit” at Millennium Park, Pritizker Pavilion, St Louis Center of Contemporary Art, National Center on Deafness, Minneapolis Arts Center, Palmdale Arts Centre, Ojai Solo Series, HBO Workspace, Victory Gardens, and colleges nationwide. These works are an exploration of disability in our culture through the lens of her family’s and her own disability. She believes that these experiences have allowed her a view of a culture and ethnocentrism from a unique perspective. Her short plays have been produced at the United Kingdom’s UK-60 Festival, NY Playsmiths Theater, and Chicago One Minute Play Festival several years years running. Silenced was produced by Collaboration 2016.

    About the Monday Night Series


    On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.

    All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    Ticket revenue only covers 10% of the total cost for the Monday Night Series. Please consider giving a gift to Chicago Dramatists today to support these public play readings.


    • 20 Nov 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD by Andy Mayo

    Moderator: Mary Ruth Clarke, Resident Playwright

    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 27 Nov 2018
    • 15 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    Essentials 2 ONLINE 
    Instructor:
     Playwright Jenni Lamb

    In the second of the Essentials series, you will delve deeper into the components of dramatic structure, evaluate conflict, identify and discriminate theatricality, differentiate use of stage direction, and articulate how you use plasticity of the stage within format—applying it all by writing a new 10-minute play and evaluating your peer’s work.

    Note: Either Essentials 1 or Essentials Weekend Bootcamp must be taken as prerequisites for the other Essentials courses—Essentials 2  and Essentials 3. 

    Where: On-line using Zoom or Google Hangouts. You will receive instructions on how to access the meeting site prior to class. You must have a solid internet connection along with a computer with working speakers so you can hear and a microphone so that the class and instructor can hear you.  A working camera is a bonus, but not 100% necessary. Pdfs will be shared via email or GoogleDocs prior to class, and some scenes will be read during class. You are expected to access class from a quiet place with limited interruptions and distractions. The instructor will contact you in the week before the class to do a "tech check" and make sure everyone can connect.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Tuesdays
    Start/End Date Nov 27 - Jan 15  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Does not meet 12/25 or 1/1

    About the Tier 1 Essentials Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s Essentials 1 through 3 fundamentals sequence, students will explore their unique voice and theatricality, be able to describe and apply dramatic structure, write dialogue, stage direction, construct characters, arrange work in the correct industry format, and employ methods to give and receive feedback.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 01 Dec 2018
    • 02 Dec 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 5
    Register

    Professional Development Bootcamp
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Emma Stanton

    This 2-day bootcamp 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 in condensed form.

    If you are looking for a full six weeks of Professional Development, see Summer 2019.

     Prerequisites: The Rewrite or “Scene Shop” or Script Analysis Intensive


    Sessions/Weekday 1 Weekend
    Start/End Date Dec 1 - Dec 2
    Time Slot 10:00am - 4:30pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will 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.

    • 01 Dec 2018
    • 02 Dec 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 4
    Register

    Essentials Bootcamp
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Alumna Marsha Estell

    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


    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
    Start/End Date Dec 1 - Dec 2
    Time Slot 10:00am - 4:30pm
    Notes This is a Tier 1 Special Topic

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 01 Dec 2018
    • 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    • Theater
    • 15
    Register

    OFF THE PAGE EVENT

    Come "off the page" at this unique behind-the-workings introduction to Chicago Dramatists--meeting the playwrights and the staff. Hear the how, why, and impact of what we do by the people who live it.

    For almost 40 years, Chicago Dramatists has provided writers with the training, space, and connections necessary to realize new work for the stage and screen, developing some of America's best playwrights.

    We can't wait to tell you more about us at this event!

    Ambassador Host: Becca Hartman

    (Free coffee and beverage for just learning more about us. Don't worry we aren't selling or asking you for anything here.)

    • 02 Dec 2018
    • 13 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 10
    Register

    Inspired by Actual Events Workshop
    Instructor: Playwright Calamity West

    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 or permission of Instructor

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Dec 2 - Jan 13  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Notes This is Tier 2 special topic. Does not meet 12/23.

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 04 Dec 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    We Are All Foreigners Here by Helen Valenta

    Moderator: Mary Ruth Clarke, Resident Playwright

    When two disparate men-- a wired slacker and an urbane European immigrant-- get trapped in an elevator, they start to wonder which is worse: the fear of death or the time they are forced to spend together.


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 05 Dec 2018
    • 23 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Register

    Acting for Writers 1
    Instructor: Playwright & Actor John S. Green

    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


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Dec 5 - Jan 23  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes This is an all Tier special topic. Does not meet 12/26 or 1/2.

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 05 Dec 2018
    • 30 Jan 2019
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    Register

    Writers Group Wednesday Evenings

    Are you looking for a writers group that provides structure, community, and accountability? Then these 8-session weekly writers groups are 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. 

    There is a Resident Playwright moderator for this group (no outside industry guests) and participants are expected to work out a schedule for presentation of work. Hard copies of the script pages for workshop – with enough notice – can be printed - though please utilize electronic means to avoid printing.

    Writers Groups are considered a compliment to Tier 2 coursework.

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

    Sessions/Weekday 8 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Dec 5 - Jan 30
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Writers will be contacted in advance to arrange who will bring pages to the first session. Does not meet 12/26.
    • 06 Dec 2018
    • 24 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 6
    Register

    The Rewrite 
    Instructor: Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

    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


    Where: On-line using Zoom or Google Hangouts. You will receive instructions on how to access the meeting site prior to class. You must have a solid internet connection along with a computer with working speakers so you can hear and a microphone so that the class and instructor can hear you.  A working camera is a bonus, but not 100% necessary. Pdfs will be shared via email or GoogleDocs prior to class, and some scenes will be read during class. You are expected to access class from a quiet place with limited interruptions and distractions. The instructor will contact you in the week before the class to do a "tech check" and make sure everyone can connect.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Thursdays
    Start/End Date Dec 6 - Jan 24  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Does not meet 12/27 or 1/3

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will 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.

    • 08 Dec 2018
    • 26 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 10
    Register

    Developing the Full-length 1 
    Instructor: Douglas Post - Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble 

    Kicking off Tier 2 advanced coursework, you will build on fundamental skill sets 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


    NOTE: Writers should bring 11 copies of a 10-page scene from your play to the first session.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Dec 8 - Jan 19  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 12/22 or 12/29

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will 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.

    • 08 Dec 2018
    • 19 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 7
    Register

    Writing the Half-Hour Comedy Pilot 1 ONLINE 
    Instructor: Resident Playwright & TV writer Zina Camblin

    If you desire being in a writers’ room in half-hour comedy, then this starter course is for you. Learn to analyze and identify types, create loglines and premise, explore ideas that fit your unique voice, analyze and draft ideas about your own show premise, plus more. By the end of this course, you will pitch a 3-minute version of your show idea!

    Prerequisite: None


    Where: On-line using Zoom or Google Hangouts. You will receive instructions on how to access the meeting site prior to class. You must have a solid internet connection along with a computer with working speakers so you can hear and a microphone so that the class and instructor can hear you.  A working camera is a bonus, but not 100% necessary. Pdfs will be shared via email or GoogleDocs prior to class, and some scenes will be read during class. You are expected to access class from a quiet place with limited interruptions and distractions. The instructor will contact you in the week before the class to do a "tech check" and make sure everyone can connect.


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Dec 8 - Jan 19
    Time Slot  11:00AM - 2:00PM
    Notes Does not meet 12/22.

    About the Screenwriting & TV Track

    The Screenwriting & TV track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for writing for film and TV. It consists of the following courses:

    • Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp
    • Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    • Screenwriting in Progress
    • The About - Screenwriting Workshop

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp is a prerequisite for the Structure Intensive, which in turn is a prerequisite for Screenwriting in Progress.  The About has no prerequisite.

    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 1 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 2 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 3 ONLINE
    • 09 Dec 2018
    • 20 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 5
    Register

    Essentials 1 
    Instructor:
     Playwright Calamity West

    In the first of the Essentials series, you will become familiar with the components of dramatic structure and format, receive tools to explore your unique voice and how to give and receive usable feedback, grasp the difference between dialog and conversation, plus will write and workshop a 10-minute play applying what you have learned.

    Note: Either Essentials 1 or Essentials Weekend Bootcamp must be taken as prerequisites for the other Essentials courses—Essentials 2  and Essentials 3. 

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Dec 9 - Jan 20  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 1 Essentials Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s Essentials 1 through 3 fundamentals sequence, students will explore their unique voice and theatricality, be able to describe and apply dramatic structure, write dialogue, stage direction, construct characters, arrange work in the correct industry format, and employ methods to give and receive feedback.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 09 Dec 2018
    • 20 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 8
    Register

    Essentials 2
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Alumni Marsha Estell

    In the second of the Essentials series, you will delve deeper into the components of dramatic structure, evaluate conflict, identify and discriminate theatricality, differentiate use of stage direction, and articulate how you use plasticity of the stage within format—applying it all by writing a new 10-minute play and evaluating your peer’s work.

    This course culminates in a campus presentation of the classes’ 10-minute plays (not available for online students).

    Note: Either Essentials 1 or Essentials Weekend Bootcamp must be taken as prerequisites for the other Essentials courses—Essentials 2  and Essentials 3. 

    For Students: For the first day of class, please bring in a 4 page, 2 character play, There must be an object (onstage manifestation) being negotiated between 2 people. Think about the core principles, when writing your play.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Dec 9 - Jan 20  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 2:30pm-5:30pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 1 Essentials Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s Essentials 1 through 3 fundamentals sequence, students will explore their unique voice and theatricality, be able to describe and apply dramatic structure, write dialogue, stage direction, construct characters, arrange work in the correct industry format, and employ methods to give and receive feedback.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 10 Dec 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 75
    Register

    Blue Bullets by Alvaro Saar Rios, Resident Playwright

    Set in 1970’s Houston, a Mexican bakery owner’s attempts to save her business is impeded as her sole employee becomes involved in local protests concerning rampant police brutality.


    About Alvaro Saar Rios

    Alvaro Saar Rios' plays have been performed in Chicago, New York City, Hawaii, St. Louis, Milwaukee and all over Texas. Rios has received commissions from various organizations, including The Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, and Honolulu Theatre for Youth. His award-winning play Luchadora! is published by Dramatic Publishing Inc. He is also the co-founder of The Royal Mexican Players, a national touring performance troupe. Mr. Rios holds an MFA in Writing for the Stage and Screen from Northwestern University. Alvaro lives in Chicago and teaches playwriting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

    About the Monday Night Series


    On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.

    All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    Ticket revenue only covers 10% of the total cost for the Monday Night Series. Please consider giving a gift to Chicago Dramatists today to support these public play readings.


    • 10 Dec 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 75
    Register

    North Star by Georgette Kelly, Resident Playwright

    Summer in the north woods of Minnesota. The days are long. The stars are bright. But when it gets dark, it gets really dark—like when someone opens fire at camp. NORTH STAR is a new play that centers around an all-female group of campers and counselors coping with violence that leaves them utterly vulnerable. At the crux of this play is the question: what happens when social contracts are broken, when gun violence breaks through places that should feel safe, and when young people lose trust in the adults in their lives? Their stories are entwined with the French Canadian myth of La Chasse Galerie, in which a group of voyageurs made a deal with the devil to journey home in a flying canoe in order to see their lost loved ones.


    About Georgette Kelly

    Georgette Kelly is a playwright with one foot in Chicago and the other in New York. Her work has been produced across the country, and she has participated in numerous artistic residencies. Her play I CARRY YOUR HEART received the inaugural Hope on Stage Playwriting Award, accompanied by a rolling world premiere, and BALLAST was featured on The Kilroys List and received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play. Other plays include: NORTH STAR, FAITH IN A FALLEN WORLD, IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE, F*CK LA VIE D’ARTISTE, HOW TO HERO, and an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson’s LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING. Georgette’s work has been developed with The Kennedy Center, The National New Play Network, The DC Source Festival, The Alliance Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, and Chicago’s DCASE. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and she has participated in residencies at the Tofte Lake Center, the National Winter Playwrights Retreat, and terraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group. She has been chosen as a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, the Lark Playwrights Week, the Playwrights’ Center CORE Writer Program, the BPP Woodward/Newman Drama Award, the Stage Left Playwright Residency, and the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Georgette holds a B.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, and Mark Bly.

    About the Monday Night Series


    On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.

    All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    Ticket revenue only covers 10% of the total cost for the Monday Night Series. Please consider giving a gift to Chicago Dramatists today to support these public play readings.


    • 11 Dec 2018
    • 29 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 7
    Register

    Solo Show & Storytelling Foundations Online
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

    This  class is designed for storytellers, solo artists, actors, stand-ups, and playwrights of all levels- from those who are thinking about writing a one-person play or long form-story to those who are in the final stages of polishing one.

    We will focus on developing the tools and techniques for:

    1. finding your voice and the voice of the story
    2. designing the Story/Solo plot structure;
    3. Techniques to manipulate the storyteller/audience relationship
    4. Character development and writing multiple character scenes; 
    5.  The 14 styles of Solo & Story pieces. 
    6. Creative and nontraditional use of timelines, plot lines, and stories.
    7. Most importantly this workshop will focus on developing your unique style. In class exercises, one on one coaching.  
    This class is designed to serve you and your personal creative goals. We will have big fun!


    Prerequisite: None

    Where: On-line using Zoom or Google Hangouts. You will receive instructions on how to access the meeting site prior to class. You must have a solid internet connection along with a computer with working speakers so you can hear and a microphone so that the class and instructor can hear you.  A working camera is a bonus, but not 100% necessary. Pdfs will be shared via email or GoogleDocs prior to class, and some scenes will be read during class. You are expected to access class from a quiet place with limited interruptions and distractions. The instructor will contact you in the week before the class to do a "tech check" and make sure everyone can connect.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Tuesdays
    Start/End Date Dec 11 - Jan 29
    Time Slot 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet 12/25 or 1/1.


    About the Solo Show & Storytelling Track

    The Solo Show track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for developing and performing solo shows and long-form narratives. The courses include:

    • Solo & Storytelling Bootcamp
    • Solo & Storytelling Fundamentals
    • Solo & Storytelling Intensive
    • Marketing and Producing Your Solo Show
    • Solo & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage
    • Live Storytelling
    • 11 Dec 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD by Mike McGeever

    Moderator: Steven Peterson, Resident Playwright



    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 12 Dec 2018
    • 7:30 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 75
    Register


    Scene Shop Play Development Showcase

    Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 at 7:30pm

    Join us at Chicago Dramatists for a 90-minute showcase of selected scenes from plays-in-progress developed in our Scene Shop Play Development class, facilitated by author, Resident Playwright, and teacher Will Dunne.

    The program is followed by a pizza and wine reception.

    All are welcome. Seating is first-come, first-served.

    Scene Shop Members: Free. General Public: Pay-What-You-Can or Sponsor to help cover the costs.

    ***

    • 15 Dec 2018
    • 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    • Theater
    • 15
    Register

    OFF THE PAGE EVENT

    Come "off the page" at this unique behind-the-workings introduction to Chicago Dramatists--meeting the playwrights and the staff. Hear the how, why, and impact of what we do by the people who live it.

    For almost 40 years, Chicago Dramatists has provided writers with the training, space, and connections necessary to realize new work for the stage and screen, developing some of America's best playwrights.

    We can't wait to tell you more about us at this event!

    (Free coffee and beverage for just learning more about us. Don't worry we aren't selling or asking you for anything here.)

    • 18 Dec 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre
    A Night of Ten-Minute Plays

    Moderator: TBD


    This evening we will hear short plays by First Draft Members!

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.



    • 05 Jan 2019
    • 09 Feb 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Register

    Screenwriting Structure Intensive  
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    Structure is crucial to visual storytelling, but are you able to explain why? In this four-part intensive you will learn how to articulate how audiences are subconsciously engaged by good structure, how structure is about content and form, even how to change perspective and view structure through the lens of the audience receiving the story rather than on you as storyteller, plus much more.

    Prerequisite: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp


    Sessions/Weekday 4 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Jan 5 - Feb 9
    Time Slot  10:00AM - 1:00PM
    Notes Prerequisite is Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp. Does not meet 1/19 or 1/26.

    About the Screenwriting & TV Track

    The Screenwriting & TV track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for writing for film and TV. It consists of the following courses:

    • Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp
    • Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    • Screenwriting in Progress
    • The About - Screenwriting Workshop

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp is a prerequisite for the Structure Intensive, which in turn is a prerequisite for Screenwriting in Progress.  The About has no prerequisite.

    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 1 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 2 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 3 ONLINE
    • 06 Jan 2019
    • 10 Feb 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 6
    Register