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Upcoming events

    • 24 Jan 2019
    • 28 Mar 2019
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre (TBD)
    • 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 Jan 24 - Mar 28
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Does not meet 1/31, 2/28 or 3/21

    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.

    • 26 Jan 2019
    • 30 Mar 2019
    • 7 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 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 Jan 26 - Mar 30
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 2/2,  3/2 or 3/23

    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.

    • 26 Jan 2019
    • 30 Mar 2019
    • 7 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 2
    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 Jan 26 - Mar 30
    Time Slot 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 2/2,  3/2 or 3/23

    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.

    • 03 Feb 2019
    • 31 Mar 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 7
    Register

    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 Feb 3 - Mar 31
    Time Slot  9:00AM - 12:00PM
    Notes Prerequisites: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp and Structure Intensive. Does not meet 2/24, 3/10 or 3/24.

    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
    • 26 Feb 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    2 Short Plays by James B. Smith

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

    "Weekdays with Wendy", a satire of daytime television where a hostess interviews various guests, and "Casey's Bar:  3 Old Maids and a Grifter" wherein 3 small town girls working in The Big City have a life pattern that is interrupted when one of them starts behaving strangely.


    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 Mar 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    Wells and Welles by Amy Crider

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

    It’s October of 1940, two years after Orson Welles’ famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast.  While both are on a lecture tour, Orson happens to be in San Antonio, Texas on the same day as HG Wells.  So he comes to HG’s motel room to ask a favor on a rainy night.  Two geniuses collide.  Inspired by a true story.


    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!


    • 06 Mar 2019
    • 17 Apr 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 4
    Registration is closed

    Character Workshop
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    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


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Mar 6 - Apr 17 (no class on Apr 3)
    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.

    • 09 Mar 2019
    • 10 Mar 2019
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 5
    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 Mar 9 - Mar 10
    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.

    • 11 Mar 2019
    • 29 Apr 2019
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 5
    Register

    Live Storytelling Workshop
    with Instructor Janna Sobel 

    Live Storytelling is a trendy new form of spoken-word performance, occurring in theaters, bars, house events and all over public radio. But it is also the oldest form of performance there is. Storytelling belongs to all of us, and it lives in our DNA. This class helps you remember how to do it brilliantly. The 8-week workshop empowers writers, stand-up comedians, leaders, public speakers - everyone! - to tell compelling, entertaining personal stories. We use the 5-10 minute format of popular live storytelling events, and give you tools to bring your truth and presence to the stage with confidence, skill, and joy. 

    In a dynamic, supportive environment, you will learn to:

    • apply narrative structure to personal stories
    • use dramatic elements to heighten tension and raise stakes
    • use sensory and descriptive detail to bring listeners into a moment
    • theatricalize stories with character, humor and staging
    • hone your unique voice
    • be emotionally honest
    • tell the (sometimes challenging, always important!) truth
    • interact beautifully with an audience
    • honor time limits, and accomplish what you want within any venue's parameters
    • start and end strong

      Classes consist of playful games and exercises that are skill-building and generative, followed by inquiry and discussion. Students will also perform and receive feedback each week. Each student will craft and revise three different stories over the course of the term. Through the process of revision, students hone their work and witness the unique perspective that each teller brings to the stage. The class will culminate with a Chicago-style Live Storytelling event!

      Prerequisite: None

      For more information on Janna, please click here.

      Sessions/Weekday 8 Mondays
      Start/End Date Mar 11 - Apr 29
      Time Slot 6:30pm-9:30pm
      Notes
      • 12 Mar 2019
      • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
      • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

      TBD by Pat Kelly

      Moderator: TBD, 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!


      • 16 Mar 2019
      • 04 May 2019
      • 8 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 4
      Register

      Connections 1 Workshop
      Instructors: 2 New Work Directors (TBD)

      You’ve 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’re 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 - after a table reading of your work.


      Prerequisite: Professional Development plus all Tier 2 coursework up to this point

      Sessions/Weekday 8 Saturdays
      Start/End Date Mar 16 - May 4
      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 Mar 2019
      • 20 Apr 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 6
      Register

      Developing the Full-length 2 
      Instructor: Douglas Post - Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble 

      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 Instructor


      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 Mar 16 - Apr 20  (6 sessions) 
      Time Slot 1:30pm - 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.

      • 19 Mar 2019
      • 23 Apr 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 6
      Register

      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 Series 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 Mar 19 - Apr 23, rehearsal & final performance May 11
      Time Slot 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
      Notes May 11 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.

      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
      • 19 Mar 2019
      • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
      • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

      "A Sheltered Life" by Dennis Fisher

      Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

      Jack takes his teenage daughter Sara camping in Southern Illinois. An idyllic weekend is interrupted by discovering swastikas carved in limestone cliffs, a terrible thunderstorm, the sounds of a pick axe reverberating throughout the storm, and a stranger who never seems to sleep. The stranger will seek them 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!


      • 20 Mar 2019
      • 17 Apr 2019
      • 4 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 10
      Register

      Script Analysis Intensive
      Instructor: Playwright Kristin Idaszak

      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


      Sessions/Weekday 4 Wednesdays
      Start/End Date Mar 20 - Apr 17 (4 sessions)
      Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
      Notes Does not meet 4/3

      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.

      • 21 Mar 2019
      • 25 Apr 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 8
      Register

      The Rewrite 
      Instructor: Instructor: Resident Playwright Kristin Idaszak

      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


      Sessions/Weekday 6 Thursdays
      Start/End Date Mar 21 - Apr 25  (6 sessions) 
      Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
      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.

      • 23 Mar 2019
      • 24 Mar 2019
      • 2 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists, Classroom B (Saturday), Theatre (Sunday)
      • 8
      Register

      It Happened One Weekend
      Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

      This unique, weekend intensive offers step-by-step instinctual 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 into the blank page.  By Sunday afternoon, you will have not only written a new play but also seen it performed by professional actors!

      Perfect for out-of-town playwrights, this workshop is designed for writers with some playwriting experience or confident beginners. It also offers a boost for those who feel blocked, rusty, or just want a writing change of pace.

      Prerequisties: Essentials Bootcamp or Essentials 1

      Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & 1 Sunday
      Start/End Date Mar 23 - Mar 24
      Time Slot Mar 23, 10:00am - 5:00pm
      Mar 24, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
      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.

      • 24 Mar 2019
      • 28 Apr 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 6
      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 Mar 24 - Apr 28  (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.

      • 24 Mar 2019
      • 28 Apr 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 9
      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 Mar 24 - Apr 28  (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.

      • 24 Mar 2019
      • 28 Apr 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 7
      Register

      Essentials 3
      Instructor: Playwright Douglas Post

      In the third (and final) of the Essentials series, you will expand your 10-minute play talents to write a one-act utilizing the components of dramatic structure and action. By the course’s end you will be ready to pitch your one-act play to peers PLUS advance to Tier 2!

      Note: Essentials 2 must be taken as prerequisite for Essentials.

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

      Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
      Start/End Date Mar 24 - Apr 28 (6 sessions) 
      Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
      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.

      • 26 Mar 2019
      • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
      • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

      Coal by Nina Dellaria

      Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

      Love, death, and Mary Kay in an Illinois coal mining town on the brink.


      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!


      • 31 Mar 2019
      • 05 May 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 7
      Register

      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 Mar 31 - May 5
      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.

      • 03 Apr 2019
      • 08 May 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 9
      Register

      Writing the Political or Social Play
      Instructor: Douglas Post - Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble 

      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


      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 Apr 3 - May 8  (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.

      • 11 Apr 2019
      • 13 Jun 2019
      • 7 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
      • 9
      Register
      "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 Apr 11 - Jun 13
      Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
      Notes Does not meet 4/2, 5/23, or 5/30

      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 Apr 2019
      • 15 Jun 2019
      • 7 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
      • 7
      Register
      "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 Apr 13 - Jun 15
      Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
      Notes Does not meet 4/4, 5/25, or 6/1

      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 Apr 2019
      • 15 Jun 2019
      • 7 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
      • 7
      Register
      "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 Apr 13 - Jun 15
      Time Slot 2:00pm - 5:00pm
      Notes Does not meet 5/4, 5/25, or 6/1

      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.

      • 24 Apr 2019
      • 05 Jun 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 10
      Register

      Screenwriting Essentials 1

      Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke—Original Screenwriter of Meet the Parents

      Have a story idea for a great Hollywood movie? Or a script you’ve begun to write? Or a play you want to adapt into a motion picture?

      This six-week class teaches the realities of how Hollywood evaluates screenplays. It’s not a marketing class, but a deep dive into bringing ideas to life for the Hollywood mindset. It will help you unearth that great hook that will cause a producer to shout, “That’s a movie!”

      The class emphasizes visual storytelling and the ever-important logline. We will analyze and map out the classic story structure of a screenplay that went on to be made into an Oscar-winning movie.

      There will be ample time allotted to discuss participants’ ideas, stories, structures, and scenes. This class is applicable to any movie genre.

      Sessions/Weekday 6 Wednesdays
      Start/End Date Apr 24 - Jun 5
      Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
      Notes Does not meet on May 8
      • 28 Apr 2019
      • 23 Jun 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 10
      Register

      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 Apr 28 - June 23
      Time Slot  9:00AM - 12:00PM
      Notes Prerequisites: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp and Structure Intensive. Does not meet 5/19, 6/2, 6/16.

      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
      • 30 Apr 2019
      • 14 May 2019
      • 3 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 9
      Register

      Marketing and Producing your Solo Show Intensive
      Instructor: Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

      This 3-day intensive is designed for actors, playwrights, solo artists, and storytellers of all levels who want to self-produce a solo show, play or story event. You will learn how to create a visible presence in your city, use social media advertising, vlogging and blogging, buzz-building, writing press releases, and so much more!

      Prerequisite: None

      Sessions/Weekday 3 Tuesdays
      Start/End Date Apr 30 - May 14
      Time Slot 6:30 pm - 9:45 pm
      Notes N/A

      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
      • 04 May 2019
      • 05 May 2019
      • 2 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 9
      Register

      Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp  
      Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

      Do you have a play that might work well as a movie? Or perhaps your story idea does not fit the play mold?  This two-day bootcamp offers an intense, nuts and bolts study of the essentials of writing for film. You will explore the similarities and differences between the mediums of stage, film, and TV. Then you will dive into action lines, hooks, loglines, visual thinking, plus much more! Make sure to come ready with a play or idea you want to cinematically bring to life.

      Prerequisite: None


      Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
      Start/End Date May 4 - May 5
      Time Slot  Sat 10:00am - 5:00pm; Sun 2:00pm - 6:00pm
      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
      • 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
      • 20 May 2019
      • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 75
      Register
      MONDAY NIGHT DRAMA

      Time to add more drama to your Monday nights! The Saturday Series, Dramatists’ longest-running program, has moved to Monday nights. This off night for the theatre industry allows us greater access to in-demand directors, actors, artistic directors, and producers PLUS attracts newer audiences already primed to attend evening performances over afternoons.

      Monday night events will consist of public readings of plays-in-progress from our Resident Playwrights as well as other exciting additions, panel discussions, fireside chats with visiting artists, and more!


      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.

      • 01 Jun 2019
      • 02 Jun 2019
      • 2 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 10
      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 Jun 1 - Jun 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 Jun 2019
      • 02 Jun 2019
      • 2 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
      • 10
      Register

      Writing the Adaptation Bootcamp
      Instructor: Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios

      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


      Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
      Start/End Date Jun 1- Jun 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 Jun 2019
      • 02 Jun 2019
      • 2 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 10
      Register

      Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp 
      Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

      Do you have a play that might work well as a movie? Or perhaps your story idea does not fit the play mold?  This two-day bootcamp offers an intense, nuts and bolts study of the essentials of writing for film. You will explore the similarities and differences between the mediums of stage, film, and TV. Then you will dive into action lines, hooks, loglines, visual thinking, plus much more! Make sure to come ready with a play or idea you want to cinematically bring to life.

      Prerequisite: None


      Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
      Start/End Date June 1 - Jun 2
      Time Slot  Sat 10:00am - 5:00pm; Sun 2:00pm - 6:00pm
      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
      • 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
      • 03 Jun 2019
      • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 75
      Register
      MONDAY NIGHT DRAMA

      Time to add more drama to your Monday nights! The Saturday Series, Dramatists’ longest-running program, has moved to Monday nights. This off night for the theatre industry allows us greater access to in-demand directors, actors, artistic directors, and producers PLUS attracts newer audiences already primed to attend evening performances over afternoons.

      Monday night events will consist of public readings of plays-in-progress from our Resident Playwrights as well as other exciting additions, panel discussions, fireside chats with visiting artists, and more!


      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.

      • 05 Jun 2019
      • 10 Jul 2019
      • 6 sessions
      • Chicago Dramatists
      • 9
      Register