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Upcoming events

    • 24 Jun 2018
    • 23 Sep 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 6
    Registration is closed

    Screenwriting Lab 3.0 
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    For students who have completed the Screenwriting Lab 1.0 and 2.0, or are advanced in their writing and understanding of screenwriting. There will be ample time allotted for participants to bring in their works in progress.  We will discuss how every story is at its essence a mystery, set ups and pay offs, secondary story lines,  rewrites, killer titles, and the nuts & bolts/tips & tricks of getting your screenplay out in the world.

    This class meets every other week in order to give participants breathing space to work on their scripts.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Class Dates 6/24; 7/15; 7/29; 8/19; 9/9; 9/23
    Time Slot 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Notes N/A

     Pre-requisite: Screenwriting 1.0, 2.0 or permission of instructor

    • 28 Jun 2018
    • 23 Aug 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Afternoons
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    SOLD OUT! GET ON THE WAIT LIST!

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country.

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date June 28th - August 23rd
    Time Slot 1:30 - 4:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet 7/5 or 8/2


    • 28 Jun 2018
    • 23 Aug 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Evenings
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    SOLD OUT! GET ON THE WAIT LIST!

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country,

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date June 28th - August 23rd
    Time Slot 6:30 - 9:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet 7/5 or 8/2


    • 30 Jun 2018
    • 25 Aug 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed
    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Saturday Mornings

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    SOLD OUT! GET ON THE WAIT LIST!

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one. Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country. 

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date  June 30th - August 25th
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet on 7/7 or 8/4


    • 01 Jul 2018
    • 30 Sep 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 2
    Registration is closed

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

    This is a private invitation only course.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Class Dates 7/1; 7/22; 8/12; 8/26; 9/16; 9/30
    Time Slot 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Notes N/A

     

    • 19 Aug 2018
    • 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 75
    Register
    INTERN SHOWCASE

    Come support our interns! This event features readings of six 10-minute plays by current and former interns of Chicago Dramatists. The event is also completely produced by the current interns and is a culminating point of the internship. This is a great way to see new work by up and coming playwrights and celebrate theatre. Afterwards, there will be some light refreshments offered and a chance to talk with everyone. 

    We look forward to seeing you there. 



    Poster created by Anusha Bansal.

    • 28 Aug 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    99th & Nowhere by Gary McGowan

    Moderator: Jeremy Wechsler


    Nothing exciting ever happens at 99th & Nowhere. That is, until a healer named Willow shakes up the lives of her two south side Chicago cousins. Folly meets courage and fear invites desperation in this eccentric tale of painful secrets and lost souls.


    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!


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

    TBD by Fouad Teymour

    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!


    • 05 Sep 2018
    • 24 Oct 2018
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 8
    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 Sep 5 - Oct 24
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Writers will be contacted in advance to arrange who will bring pages to the first session.
    • 08 Sep 2018
    • 09 Sep 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 7
    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 Sep 8 - Sep 9
    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.

    • 08 Sep 2018
    • 09 Sep 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 8
    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 Sep 8 - Sep 9
    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
    • 10 Sep 2018
    • 29 Oct 2018
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    Register

    Live Storytelling Workshop
    with Instructor Janna Sobel 

    Live Storytelling empowers writers, performers, comedians, public speakers...everyone!...to tell compelling, entertaining live personal stories. Focusing on the 5-10 minute format of popular live storytelling events, we give you narrative tools to illuminate personal experience, and bring your truth and presence to the stage with comfort, skill and joy. 

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

    • to apply narrative structure to personal stories
    • to use dramatic elements to heighten tension and raise stakes
    • to use sensory and descriptive detail to bring listeners into a moment
    • to develop and hone your unique voice
    • to be emotionally honest
    • to tell the (sometimes challenging, always important) truth
    • to enhance stories with character, humor and movement
    • to start and end strong
    • to interact well with an audience
    • to honor time limits, and accomplish what you want within any venue's parameters
    Classes consist of playful games and exercises that are both skill-building and generative, followed by inquiry and discussion. There is also a development and feedback component. Each student will craft and perform three different stories over the course of eight weeks, and will receive personal feedback from the instructor, and from the class as test-audience. 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 (and there is a lot) on Janna please click here.

    Sessions/Weekday 8 Mondays
    Start/End Date Sep 10 - Oct 29
    Time Slot 6:30pm-9:30pm
    Notes
    • 11 Sep 2018
    • 16 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 9
    Register

    Essentials 1 ONLINE 
    Instructor:
     Playwright Cassandra Rose

    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. 

    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 Sep 11 - Oct 16  (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.

    • 11 Sep 2018
    • 16 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 9
    Register

    Essentials 2 ONLINE 
    Instructor:
     Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

    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 Sep 11 - Oct 16  (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.

    • 11 Sep 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    Shrimp and Crab by Donna Gay Anderson

    Moderator: Steven Peterson, Resident Playwright

    Deep in New Orleans, Charlie needs to sell a shipyard and the sooner the better. Between hurricanes, the EPA and politics, he needs to unload it. Finally, Charlie has a potential buyer, so he and his wife Liz invite him over for dinner to woo him. Liz is unenthused, for she is angry at Charlie for boycotting their son’s wedding to another man. Still, she plays the good wife and prepares a homecooked dinner for the potential buyer, Bob, and his current boyfriend, Bruce. Undeniably, having a lovely gay couple at her dinner table is salt in the wound. Throughout the evening, Liz takes solace in Bruce’s company as temptations to attend her son’s wedding and possibly sabotage the sale of the shipyard loom.

    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.



    • 12 Sep 2018
    • 17 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    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


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Sep 12 - Oct 17  (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.

    • 13 Sep 2018
    • 27 Sep 2018
    • 3 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 8
    Register
    "Scene Shop" Sampler Thursday Evenings 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

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

    Prerequisites: Essentials Bootcamp or Essentials 1


    Sessions/Weekday 3 Thursdays
    Start/End Date  Sep 13 - Sep 27
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    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.

    • 13 Sep 2018
    • 18 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 3
    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 Sep 13 - Oct 18  (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.

    • 15 Sep 2018
    • 29 Sep 2018
    • 3 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 7
    Register
    "Scene Shop" Sampler Saturday Mornings

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

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

    Prerequisites: Essentials Bootcamp or Essentials 1


    Sessions/Weekday 3 Saturdays
    Start/End Date  Sep 15 - Sep 29
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    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.

    • 15 Sep 2018
    • 13 Oct 2018
    • 4 sessions
    • Online
    • 8
    Register

    Script Analysis Intensive ONLINE
    Instructor: Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

    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


    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 Google Docs 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 4 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Sep 15 - Oct 13 (4 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 9/29

    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.

    • 15 Sep 2018
    • 20 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 8
    Register

    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


    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.

    • 15 Sep 2018
    • 20 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 8
    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 Sep 15 - Oct 20
    Time Slot  11:00AM - 2:00PM
    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
    • 15 Sep 2018
    • 20 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Register

    Developing the Full-length 1 
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Kristin Idaszak

    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
    Sessions/Weekday 6 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Sep 15 - Oct 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.

    • 16 Sep 2018
    • 21 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Register

    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
    • 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 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
    • 6
    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. 

    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.

    • 16 Sep 2018
    • 21 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 10
    Register

    Essentials 3 
    Instructor:
     Playwright Calamity West

    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 3. 

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Sep 16 - Oct 21 (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.

    • 18 Sep 2018
    • 30 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    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 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
    • 18 Sep 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Rehearsal Room A

    TBD by Neill Shanahan

    Moderator: Scott Woldman, 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!


    • 22 Sep 2018
    • 20 Oct 2018
    • 4 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 10
    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 Sep 22 - Oct 20
    Time Slot  10:00AM - 1:00PM
    Notes Prerequisite is Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp. Does not meet 10/6.

    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
    • 25 Sep 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre
    Survivors by Conrad Lawrence

    Moderator: TBD


    A peer-to-peer group designed to help people who are survivors of eco-disasters isn't always about being supportive. A study in what happens when people who by their traumatic experience find it hard to trust others they have to support and rely on for support.


    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!

    • 26 Sep 2018
    • 31 Oct 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 10
    Register

    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
    • 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
    • 02 Oct 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre
    Secret Formula by Andy Mayo

    Moderator: Scott Woldman, Resident Playwright


    A hospice chaplain secretly administers euthanasia. Sutton, who believes in a purposeful life distinguished by rewards, wants to keep her aunt alive for her own reasons and enlists the chaplain's help, despite the failure of palliative medicine to ease her aunt's suffering.



    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!

    • 07 Oct 2018
    • 11 Nov 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    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 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
    • 09 Oct 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre
    The Eiger by Dennis Fisher

    Moderator: Scott Woldman, Resident Playwright


    Fred and Eileen, after years of financial struggles, are able to take a vacation in the Swiss Alps. Fred's old friend Terry is visiting Europe and shows up on their doorstep with a friend. Eileen is not pleased. Local folklore about an Ogre comes to life on the side of the mountain.



    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!

    • 11 Oct 2018
    • 13 Dec 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Join waitlist
    "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
    • 1
    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  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
    • 7
    Register