Playwriting

Bring your story to the stage.

Register now with our Early Bird Special to get 20% off select classes! Offer ends Sep 24.

Fall Classes at Chicago Dramatists are here and will remain online! Head back to school with us to create 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.

Fall Classes

“Scene Shop” Sampler (Thurs.)
3 Thursdays 6:30pm – 9:30pm Sep 09 – Sep 23
OR
“Scene Shop” Sampler (Sat.)
3 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm Sep 11 – Sep 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.

Framing the World (Online)
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CT
Sep 18 – Oct 23
Instructor: Katherine Tanner Silverman

Framing the World is a virtual hybrid course where we create narratives based on the way we frame objects, landscapes, and ourselves in the camera. Stories, memories, and imagination emerge as a flipbook of images is collected. We then take these images and turn them into a piece of art you can share with the world. Make in nature, meet in cyberspace.

This class is ideal for students of all levels.

Producing for Playwrights (Online)
7 Mondays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Sep 20 – Oct 25
Instructor: Jacob Janssen

In this class we will explore the path from page to stage, and how to navigate it, so that your next project can be the success you want. The feeling of a project coming together is like no other, and playwrights are at their best when empowered to be their own best advocates when working with producers or institutions. This class will help writers clearly see the landscape on which they are working, and to provide playwrights with the tools to better navigate relationships in the world of self producing.

This class is ideal for students with Intermediate experience.

Playwriting Fundamentals (Online)
7 Wednesdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Oct 06 – Nov 17
Instructor: Marsha Estell

Study the core essentials of writing your first play, and cover everything from dramatic structure, to character development, to writing realistic and vibrant dialogue.  Led by Marsha Estell, this course is dedicated to helping you find your unique voice as a dramatist.

This class is ideal for students who consider themselves beginners.

Intermediate Playwriting (Online)
7 Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm CT
Oct 07 – Nov 18
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 students with Intermediate experience.

“Scene Shop” Play Development (Thurs.)
7 Thursdays 6:30pm – 9:30pm CT
Oct 14 – Dec 16
OR
“Scene Shop” Play Development (Sat.)
7 Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm CT
Oct 16 – Dec 18
SOLD OUT!!! (Thursday Night Still Has Seats Available)
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.

Advanced Playwriting (Online)
7 Sundays 1:00pm – 4:00pm CST
Nov. 07 – Jan. 02
Instructor: Marisela 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.

This class is ideal for students with Advanced experience.



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.