Solo & Story

Your story, your way.

Spring Classes at Chicago Dramatists are here and will remain online! Chicago Dramatists is offering more classes than ever before so you can go “back to school” in a wide range of new and returning classes. 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.

Bring your story to the stage. Learn the craft of storytelling and solo work, guided by masters of the from. Lift your voice with panache, grace, and confidence. Have your voice heard.

Choose the class that suits you and click on the class’s name to go to the details page.

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.

Spring Classes

Always, Sometimes, Maybe, Never: Solo Show & Story
7 Tuesdays 6:00pm – 9:15pm CST
Apr 13 – May 25
Instructor: Arlene Malinowski

This workshop is designed for storytellers, actors, solo artists and playwrights of all levels – who want to work on the development of a one person show or story for the stage. The class will focus on:

  1. Cultivating your unique style and the voice of your story.
  2. Rubrics for creating the world of the play. The universal truth, inciting incident and quest.
  3. Designing structure, development of plot, characters and techniques to manipulate storyteller/audience relationship.

This can include work at any stage of development from an idea to a finished piece. Each week offers an opportunity to develop material, class exercises and time to work individually to get personalized coaching with the goal of getting your work in the world. There will be an online class performance which will be held as the eighth session on June 1. I am here to be your cheerleader and vision-keeper. Bring your ideas, an open mind and your sense of adventure.

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

Memoir Theatre
7 Saturdays 1:00pm – 4:00pm CST
May 01 – Jun 12
Instructor: Wendy Hammond

Memoir Theatre:  Writing the stories of our lives. Students will play writing games to unearth  what you care about, what enrages you, what hurt you, what shamed you, what lifted you, what you lost, what you gained, how you triumphed. Learn from memoir pieces by Roxane Gay, Jesmyn Ward, David Sedaris, Kiese Laymon, and Jeannette Walls, and talk about ways to make theatre from memoir. In the last class (on June 12) each student will read or perform a short memoir piece, for a Zoom showcase.

This class is ideal for students of every level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Performance Art
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CST
Jun 05 – Jul 24
Instructor: Kestutis Nakas

Astonishing performance happens when the performer takes resolute action to resolve an overwhelming challenge and is thereby transformed . Discover the pleasures of rendering your distilled life experience into playable actions. Create a world of movement, sound and imagery that amplifies you message . Access your imagination and subconscious while embracing risk. In this course, writers will create and perform an original piece of performance art, suitable for a variety of venues: online, cabaret, theatre, film, gallery, and more. You will also mine varied performance traditions, (avant-garde, vaudeville, comedy, religious ritual, circus, pop culture, etc.) digging for valuable methods, insights and modes of presentation to enhance your message. Students will leave the class with an original performance work and the tools to create more. The course culminates with an online performance of student work on July 24.

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

Winter Classes

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.

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.