Network Playwriting Program

Join up, and be a part of the next wave of Network Playwrights.

Open to playwrights of every level, the Network Playwright Program is available to any writer who has the desire to advance their skills, plays, and careers, through a vibrant professional development program.  With a wide array of opportunities to have your newest play read, critiqued, and presented to the public, the Network Playwright Program is a wonderful next step in the career of any dramatic writer. See below for a list of perks, cost, and how you can sign up.

Membership Perks

  • Saturday Reading Series: As a part of the Saturday Series, 7 – 10 spots will be reserved specifically for Network talent. Selected playwrights will have their full length plays presented at the Russ Tutterow Theater.
  • Ten Minute Play Festival:  This is one of our newest programs designed for Network Members. This staged reading of 10-minute plays will be comprised entirely of Network writers and will premiere on the Russ Tutterow stage. The plays will be helmed by professional directors and presented by professional actors. The festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday July 11 – 12.
  • Script Lab Critiques:  Members may submit 1 play to be critiqued and reviewed by a Resident playwright, a Resident alum, or other theatre professional.  This is a direct, efficient way to get the feedback you need, to take your script to the next level. Work must be submitted for critique before being eligible for selection as a part of the Saturday Reading Series. Network Members who wish to submit a script for Script Lab should email it directly to Ean Miles Kessler, the Network Director at ekessler@chicagodramatists.org. In your email include the title, genre, a brief synopsis, and a short history of the play. (What draft is the play currently at? Has it been workshopped previously? Where in your process do you feel you are with this piece?)
  • First Draft Series:  These bi-monthly meetings allow Network members to read and critique each other’s work, while guided by a theater professional. These readings are a tremendous opportunity to have your work seen and read by the Network community and to invite guests. Meetings are held in the Russ Tutterow Theater on the second and fourth Monday of the month. The public is also invited to hear First Draft readings.
  • Discounts & Free Admission:  Members receive numerous discounts, including $25 off classes and other services (including room rentals for rehearsal space or table reads!) Network members can also attend certain Chicago Dramatists events at no cost.
  • Social Events & Networking Opportunities:  Join in at get-togethers, parties, and other social events. There will be social mixers where Network members will meet and mingle. We’ll invite other theater professionals, (directors, dramaturgs, actors, and more), in the hopes of fostering collaboration and fresh projects.

Cost And Details

Network Membership costs $350 per year for residents living in the Chicago area. For this yearly fee, you’ll receive all of the perks above, and the backing of a vibrant and dynamic community of writers.


Current Network Members

Click the button below to view our current listed of Network Playwrights! (more information will be added soon)


Join Today!

Chicago Dramatists is proud to announce the expansion of the Network Playwright Program. We will reopen membership to another 50 members on Monday, March 30.  To mark the occasion, we’ll be presenting a staged reading of Network Member Andy Mayo’s play Blood and Water, with the option to sign up for Network either before or after the presentation.

Blood and Water was first written and developed here at Chicago Dramatists. This play went on to receive a smash run at Aux Dog Theater in Albuquerque, NM, where it was lauded with rave reviews. It’s success is living proof to the talent and tremendous skill of our Network writers. We look forward to opening the doors to another wave of fantastic playwrights!

Doors will open at 5:30pm, and we will start registering people for Network membership at 6pm. The reading itself will run from 7pm-9pm, and folks are welcome to register for Network following the presentation as well. Be sure to sign up soon–once we hit our 50-person cap, registration will close.  Click the link below to register for our reading of Blood and Water.


Questions And Comments

Any questions about the Network Playwright Program should be directed to our Network Director, Ean Miles Kessler. Fill out the contact form below, and he will be sure to respond as soon as possible.