Playwriting

Bring your story to the stage.

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.

Learn the art and craft of this time-honored form. Enrich your writing and hone your playwriting tools, with one of our many courses. Writers are afforded the opportunity to collaborate with actors, dramaturgs, and directors: leaders in the field of dramatic storytelling. Come to class, and bring your story to the stage.

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.


Summer Classes

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.

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.

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.


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.