Free Class Series

Our Free Class Series.
Dedicated to addressing and combatting inequality in the theatre space.

Chicago Dramatists is working to take action against the inequality that has so firmly established itself in the theatre community with regards to race, gender, sexuality, and ability. We are working every day to improve our own theatre space by providing new opportunities to underrepresented voices while also developing courses to help educate our staff, patrons, and artists in the hopes of creating a wholly inclusive theatre community. To that end, all classes in this series will be offered for free. Read below to see what courses we have available in the current term.

You can donate to help support this program by clicking here.


Spring Courses

Sister, Soldier, Self-Preserver: Writing Through Storms

7 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Jun 03 – July 15
Instructor: Kimberly Dixon-Mays

7 Wednesdays 6:00pm – 8:00pm Central
Jul 15 – Aug 267 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CST
May 22 – July 10
Instructor: Dana Lynn Formby

A playwright’s choice to write what’s on their mind can feel like choosing between re-living trauma personally, or fulfilling their responsibility as artists. And the workshop experience – so important to developing new work – can amplify this complexity. These dynamics can feel especially true right now, particularly for underrepresented populations. This workshop is designed for Black playwrights who are Female, Femme identifying, Non-binary, and/or identify as women, to explore strategies for writing, with a balance of both self-care and their own larger artistic mission.

This free class is being offered as a part of our Racism and Inequality Free Class Series. Chicago Dramatists is offering this course free-of-charge to up to 8 Black playwrights who are Female, Femme identifying, Non-binary, and/or identify as women. Students will be chosen by a simple application process. Applications close:  May 15 at 6pm CST. Selected applicants notified:  May 22.

This class is ideal for intermediate to advanced students.

Winter Courses

Telling Your Truth
7 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST
Mar 04 – Apr 15
Instructor: Dionna Griffin-Irons

This free class is being offered as a part of our initiative to combat racism, and stand alongside those who are fighting for social justice and against racial inequality. To that end, this course is open to students of diverse, multicultural backgrounds as a part of that continued effort. In accordance with Dionna Griffin-Irons vision for this course, this includes students who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, differently abled, and/or as white allies, with preference given to underrepresented voices and those in financial need.

Telling Your Truth brings an immersive online experience that allows writers to experiment with low stakes improvisation exercises and guided peer discussion to unveil high stakes truth to 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 voice in a variety of fun, creative risks – impromptu scenes, unforgettable characters, and unapologetic rants from the comfort of their home! Breaking the pattern of solo writing, writers interact and connect in a variety of exercises that fuel memory, truth and spontaneity. This class will be by application only.

This course is ideal for writers of every level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Click HERE for the application.

Submissions close on February 15 at 6pm CST. Applicants will be notified of their status by February, Thursday 18.