Fall 2021 Classes Are Now Open!

Register now with our Early Bird Special to get 20% off select classes! Offer ends Sept. 24.

Head back to school this Fall to create your next great work! We happily accept students from all around the world and invite you to study with us. Take the leap and join us here at Chicago Dramatists.

Teachers will send out Zoom Meeting to students enrolled in classes within 24hours before class begins.

Click one of these buttons to look at what classes we have in Playwriting, Screenwriting, Musical Writing, and Performance or you can look through our Fall Courses, listed out in chronological order below! Also, check out our new class series Theatre & New Media, which helps artists integrate technology into their work. We also have a few Summer classes left with seats available that can be found at the bottom of the page, so grab your seat quickly!

Fall Classes

Writing, Performance & Collaboration for the Internet (Online)
7 Wednesdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Sep 08 – Oct 20
Instructor: Olivia Lilley

Learn how to collaboratively create new work for Internet platforms such as Zoom, Tik Tok, Instagram, Youtube, Twitch, etc. We will explore devising techniques from theatre, filmmaking, screenwriting, playwriting, and how to collaborate with other people virtually. This class is for writers, actors, and directors who are looking to gain confidence in their talent and ability to make things happen. My classes are always about getting you to consider how you think or feel about what we’re learning, with a strong emphasis on creating community and growing together.

This class is ideal for students of all levels.

“Scene Shop” Sampler (Thurs.)
3 Thursdays 6:30pm – 9:30pm Sep 09 – Sep 23
“Scene Shop” Sampler (Sat.)
3 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm Sep 11 – Sep 25
Instructor: Will Dunne

Want to see how “Scene Shop” Play Development works? This special three-session sampler series lets you experience our longest-running playwriting workshop without having to commit to full-quarter enrollment and cost. Come on in and give it a try.

The Early Bird Registration Discount is not applicable for this course. Network Discounts still apply.

This class is ideal for students with experience ranging from intermediate to advanced.

Framing the World (Online)
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CT
Sep 18 – Oct 23
Instructor: Katherine Tanner Silverman

Framing the World is a virtual hybrid course where we create narratives based on the way we frame objects, landscapes, and ourselves in the camera. Stories, memories, and imagination emerge as a flipbook of images is collected. We then take these images and turn them into a piece of art you can share with the world. Make in nature, meet in cyberspace.

This class is ideal for students of all levels.

Producing for Playwrights (Online)
7 Mondays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Sep 20 – Oct 25
Instructor: Jacob Janssen

In this class we will explore the path from page to stage, and how to navigate it, so that your next project can be the success you want. The feeling of a project coming together is like no other, and playwrights are at their best when empowered to be their own best advocates when working with producers or institutions. This class will help writers clearly see the landscape on which they are working, and to provide playwrights with the tools to better navigate relationships in the world of self producing.

This class is ideal for students with Intermediate experience.

Writing Music for Musical Theatre (Online)
7 Mondays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Sept 27 – Nov 22
Instructor: Diana Lawrence

This 7-week course offers composers and songwriters an exploration of the craft of composition for musical theatre. Participants will gain creative and structural tools for dramatic songwriting by both studying existing work and developing work of their own.

This class is ideal for students at any level.

Playwriting Fundamentals (Online)
7 Wednesdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Oct 06 – Nov 17
Instructor: Marsha Estell

Study the core essentials of writing your first play, and cover everything from dramatic structure, to character development, to writing realistic and vibrant dialogue.  Led by Marsha Estell, this course is dedicated to helping you find your unique voice as a dramatist.

This class is ideal for students who consider themselves beginners.

Intermediate Playwriting (Online)
7 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Oct 07 – Nov 18
Instructor: Nina Morrison

In this course, we will focus on generating new work and discovering the processes and methods that best support your ongoing writing practice. Each week, writing prompts and page count goals will be given. Everyone will share their work out loud and receive structured feedback from the instructor and fellow students. Students can expect to leave the class with at least 40 pages of new work.

This class is ideal for students with Intermediate experience.

“Scene Shop” Play Development (Thurs.)
7 Thursdays 6:30pm – 9:30pm CT
Oct 14 – Dec 16
“Scene Shop” Play Development (Sat.)
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CT
Oct 16 – Dec 18
SOLD OUT!!! (Thursday Night Still Has Seats Available)
Instructor: Will Dunne

Self-contained weekly sessions offer character, scene, and story tools to help you write and revise your script, professional actors to read the work you bring from home, and constructive group feedback in a supportive setting. If you ever need to miss a session, you can always make it up in the other Scene Shop section that week. Workshop members are eligible to participate in the Scene Shop Showcase, a night of staged readings presented twice yearly in the Russ Tutterow Theatre.

The Early Bird Registration Discount is not applicable for this course. Network Discounts still apply.

This class is ideal for students with experience ranging from intermediate to advanced.

Writing for the Small Screen (Online)
6 Saturdays 1:00pm – 4:00pm CT
Oct 16 – Dec 11
Instructor: Mary Ruth Clarke

The third Golden Age of Television is upon us and the opportunities have never been greater. This class is for anyone who has an idea (any genre) that could make a great series and who wants to learn the crucial basics of how to write it.  We will study and analyze successful pilots to learn the form and craft of writing for television.

This class is ideal for writers at any level.

Solo Show & Storytelling: Fire & Ice
7 Tuesdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Oct 26 – Dec 07
Instructor: Arlene Malinowski

This hands-on workshop is for writers, actors & storytellers at all levels who want to work on the development of a solo show or story for the stage. This can include work at any stage of development from an idea to a finished piece. The class will focus on finding your unique voice and the voice of your story, plot, structure, character development, and techniques to manipulate storyteller/audience relationship.

This class is ideal for students with experience ranging from beginner to advanced.

Telling Your Truth
7 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Nov. 4 – Dec. 23
Instructor: Dionna Griffin-Irons

Telling Your Truth is an immersive online experience that allows writers to experiment with low stakes improvisation and guided peer discussion, to reveal the high stakes truth on the page. Taught by one of Second City’s best mentors, Dionna Griffin-Irons’ TYT delves into simple scenic exposition, 4 W’s (Who, What, Where and Why), as writers share their creative impulses with a variety of fun, creative risks – including impromptu scenes, creating unforgettable characters, and crafting unapologetic rants from the comfort of their home!

This free class is being offered as a part of our Anti-Racism & Inequality Free Class Series, and is part of our continued commitment to stand alongside those fighting for social justice, and against inequality.

In accordance with the instructors vision for this course, this class will be open to students of diverse, multicultural backgrounds, including students who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, those who are Deaf/disabled, and folks who are committed as white allies, with top preference given to underrepresented voices.

Advanced Playwriting (Online)
7 Sundays 1:00pm – 4:00pm CST
Nov. 07 – Jan. 02
Instructor: Marisela Orta

In this class students will write or revise a full length play. Using a workshop class approach, students will have multiple opportunities to share their work for in-class feedback facilitated by the instructor. Students are welcome to bring plays at any stage of development.

This class is ideal for students with Advanced experience.

Toolbox for the Digital Performer Workshop (Online)
1 Saturday & 1 Sunday 1:00pm – 4:00pm CT
Nov 13 – Nov 14
Instructors: Glenn B. Rust & Kory Weimer

Digital performance has given artists around the world opportunities to develop their craft regardless of access to a theatre or performer pool. But it can be daunting to take advantage of these opportunities when you don’t know where to start. How do I self-produce a reading of my play online? What should my setup look like as a digital performer? Is the tech something I’d be able to learn even with no experience? Together, we’ll develop your toolbox whether you’re a writer, performer, producer, or whatever so you can workshop and perform from anywhere so long as you’ve got an internet connection.

Come develop the necessary skills to work as a digital writer, performer, or producer!

This class is ideal for students of all levels.

Chicago Dramatists Class Fee Policies 

  • If you cancel your registration more than three weeks in advance of the class start date, you will be entitled to either a full refund of your money or a full credit applied to your account for future CD classes. 
  • If you cancel your registration less than than three weeks but more than ten days before the class start date, you will be entitled to a full credit applied to your account (minus a $20 administrative fee). However, there will be no refunds. 
  • If you cancel your registration fewer than ten days but more than three days before the class start date, you will be entitled to 50% of your class fee (minus a $20 administrative fee) applied to your account as a credit. 
  • If you cancel your registration less than three days before the class start date, there is unfortunately neither a credit nor refund option available.
  • Failure to pay fee or arrange payment schedule within 48 hours of registration will result in cancellation of registration.
  • Classes that fail to meet the 50% minimum registrant requirement within 48 hours of class start time will be cancelled. In this case, registrants will receive a 100% refund.
  • Separate discounts cannot be combined.