Classes

Summer 2021 Classes Are Now Open!






Register now with our Early Bird Special to get 20% off select classes! Offer ends Jun 30.

Summer Classes at Chicago Dramatists are here and will remain online! Use your Summer Staycation to develop your next great work with Chicago Dramatists. We happily accept students from all around the world and invite you stay in with us and create your next great work. 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 Winter Courses, listed out in chronological order below! We also have a few winter classes left with seats available that can be found at the bottom of the page, so grab your seat quickly!

Please Note: Network Playwrights receive $25 off all class registrations, but you must be logged into your account for the discount to be applied. This also includes discounts for Resident Playwrights and Tutterow Fellows. You will be prompted to login when attempting to register. If you do not know how to get into your account, enter the email associated with your account under “Forgot Your Password” and an account reset will be sent.


Summer Classes

Sound & Fury Solo Show & Storytelling Development (Online)

7 Tuesdays 6:00pm – 9:15pm Central
Jun 15 – Jul 27
Instructor. Arlene Malinowski

This fast, furious, hands-on workshop is for playwrights, actors, and storytellers of all levels who want to work on the development of a one-person show or long-form narrative/story. Each week offers an opportunity to work and develop your piece with the goal being to advance to production readiness. The 8-week class offers supportive feedback, structure, and cheerleading. It is designed to serve you and your personal creative goals. You will write hard and have big fun – we promise. The course culminates with a live presentation of student work on July 27.

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

Playwriting Fundamentals (Online)
7 Wednesdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Jun 30 – Aug 11
Instructor: Marsha Estell

Looking to kick off your playwriting career?  Get started with “Playwriting Fundamentals,” at Chicago Dramatists!  Study the core essentials of writing your first play, and cover everything from dramatic structure, to character development, to writing realistic and vibrant dialogue.

This class is ideal for students who consider themselves beginners.

“Scene Shop” Play Development (Thurs.)
7 Thursdays 6:30pm – 9:30pm July 08 – Aug 26
Sold out! Sign up now for the waitlist
OR
“Scene Shop” Play Development (Sat.)
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm July 10 – Aug 28
1 spot left!
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.

The Power of Our Stories
An LGBTQIA+ Workshop (Online)

3 Saturdays 1:00pm – 4:00pm CST
Jul 10 – Jul 24
Instructor: Kurt Jolly

In the course, we will be learning writing tricks to help harness the power of inspiration and the muse of creativity, have great conversations about the challenges, common truths, and some of the misconceptions about media involving the LGBTQIA+ community, and most importantly we will be working on crafting individual pieces to share and expand on within the course. This will be a perfect mixture of process and production that will have you wanting to share your powerful stories with others once we have worked together on cultivating a creativity filled shared space.

This free class is being offered as a part of our Racism and Inequality Free Class Series, and is open to all who identify as being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This class is by application; please click the link above to apply.

Inspired by Actual Events – Master Class (Online)
7 Mondays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Jul 12 – Aug 23
Instructor: Calamity West

In the master class, “Inspired by Actual Events…” playwright Calamity West supports writers as they discover their own perspectives in actual, historical events in an attempt to dramatize them for the stage.  This course is designed specifically for advanced playwrights, interested in developing full-length plays through a robust and collaborative workshop process.

Writers will be selected by application process; please click the link above to apply.  There is no cost to apply.

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

Screen Talk: Say it Cinematically (Online)
6 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Jul 15 – Aug 19
Instructor: Francine J. Sanders

Strong, effective dialogue is a critical component of great screenplays and the best films. A film’s dialogue can be the deal-breaker when it comes to the audience engaging with your story’s characters and their world. Through exercises and activities, we’ll explore how dialogue functions as a dynamic storytelling tool—from building character, to revealing theme, to advancing story and plot. Learn when and where to use dialogue in harmony with strong actions and visuals, how to create a distinctive voice for each of your characters, and the power of subtext. Our workshop-based class will focus on process as you write and revise a dialogue-driven short script, while also honing your chops in giving constructive, meaningful feedback to fellow writers.

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

Crafting the Musical Theatre Song (Online)
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CST
Jul 17 – Aug 20
Instructor: J. Sebastian Fabál

Explore the basic song forms that are the building blocks of successful musicals. This six-week workshop is designed to strengthen storytelling and songwriting fundamentals while encouraging writers to develop their original work.

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

Advanced Playwriting (Online)
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CST
Aug 14 – Oct 09
Instructor: Marisela Treviño 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. We will take a holistic approach to examining each other’s work—not only focusing on plot, but on all the theatrical elements that can be utilized for storytelling (i.e. imagery, metaphor, structure, and more).

This class is ideal for advanced writers.

Radio & Podcast Production (Online)
7 Mondays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Aug 16 – Oct 04
Instructor: Connie Kuntz

Learn the ins and outs of radio production in this interactive class!

Radio plays and podcasts have never been more vibrant and popular, and are an excellent way to introduce your work to a wide and diverse audience.  This class is for artists interested in learning how to write and record radio plays and podcasts. Each week, students will learn both the creative side of radio, as well as the necessary audio production skills they need to turn their radio and podcast ideas into fully produced work.

This class is ideal for intermediate students.
Access to Adobe Audition and the willingness to learn it is required to participate.

Page to Stage: Solo Show & Storytelling (Online)
7 Tuesdays 6:00pm – 9:15pm CST
2 Additional Rehearsals
Aug 17 – Sep 28
Instructor: Arlene Malinowski

This workshop is for actors, storytellers and playwrights who want to work on the development of a one-person show or long-form story and get it on a stage. Each week you have an opportunity to develop material with the goal being to advance to production readiness. You will also have the opportunity to work with an acting coach and director.

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

Intermediate Playwriting (Online)
7 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Aug 19 – Sep 30
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 intermediate students.

“Scene Shop” Sampler (Thurs.)
3 Thursdays 6:30pm – 9:30pm Sep 02 – Aug 23
OR
“Scene Shop” Sampler (Sat.)
3 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm Sep 11 – Aug 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.

Working from Collective Vision
Community Driven New Work Development (Online)

3 Day Intensive
Friday Sep 17 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday Sep 18 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Sep 19 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Instructor: Derek McPhatter

This course invites artists to activate their gifts in service of other communities, not to speak for them, but to empower them to speak for themselves. Participants will complete the course with their own custom rubric for developing new works that they can bring into their own community-driven projects.

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.


Spring Classes

Writing for the Small Screen
7 Sundays 1:00pm – 4:00pm CST
Jun 06 – Aug 01
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. We will tease out/explore the inherent possibilities in your idea, where it fits in the web, television and streaming landscape, how to position the idea, what makes for great TV characters, visual storytelling, budgetary considerations, proper story structure, and proper formatting. And you’ll write and rewrite. Leave this workshop with the makings of a pitch document, a deeper understanding of the the process of creation that optioned shows go through, a stronger grasp of the language that writers/producers/agents speak when talking business, and the beginnings of a rough draft of your very own TV pilot.

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

Solo Show & Storytelling Warrior Weekend

1 Saturday & 1 Sunday 1:00pm – 5:15pm
Jun 19 – Jun 20
Instructor: Arlene Malinowski

This workshop focuses on finding your voice and the voice of the story. It is filled with hands-on activities, lecture and one-on-one coaching that is designed to uncover, develop and shape those stories that are uniquely yours. All levels are welcome including actors, storytellers, writers and solo artists. I am here to be your cheerleader and vision-keeper. Just bring your ideas, a sense of adventure, an open mind and your spirit of fun.

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


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.