First Draft

First Draft, Chicago Dramatists bi-Monthly meetings of Network Members, stands as a core essential of the Network Playwright Program. Members meet on the second and fourth Monday of every month, where they read and critique one another’s work in a safe, peer-setting, guided by a theater professional. Each session, a new full-length play from a member is read for an invited audience. Readings are free and open to the public, and seating is first come, first served. Donations are welcome.

Due to COVID-19, we have moved all events to Zoom, an online platform.  If you are interested in attending, you may email First Draft Coordinator, Maria Pretzl, at, to be put on the list. If you are interested in joining the Network Playwright Program, contact Network Director Ean Miles Kessler at

Our next First Draft will be Monday, January 25! Featured will King-Queen-Knight Box by Network Writer Robert Orlin.

Robert Orlin

About The Play…

King-Queen-Knight is based on actual medieval events with some scenes and characters fictionalized. England’s gay king Edward II has challenges in his reign. He is influenced by Piers Gaveston, his longtime bisexual partner. Piers loves his own wife, Margaret, and daughter, Joan. Edward must produce a male heir, and he politically marries young Isabella, Princess of France. She quickly recognizes her assigned role and Piers’ influence. Isabella intuitively begins to build her own power base. Her design includes her alignment with Edward’s wanna-be-in-charge cousin, Lord Thomas Lancaster. Thomas spins a web with other lords to tighten control over Edward by targeting Piers. Edward and Piers venture into Scotland. Isabella’s power builds.

7:00 PM, Monday, January 25, 2021