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Winter Classes

Romantic Comedy (Online)
7 Sundays 10:00am – 1:00pm CT
Feb 05 – Mar 19
Instructor: Mary Ruth Clarke

Love is love is love is love is love! (Thank you Lin Manuel Miranda.) Romantic comedy is both ancient and new. This class is for writers wanting to explore humans searching for love, falling in love, being in love, staying in love…and failing in love.

Class Description

For screenwriters, playwrights, or teleplay writers, this is a class about the romance and comedy of love — searching for love, falling in love, being in love, staying in love…and maybe some failed loves since that too can be funny. Romantic comedy is both ancient and shiny new.   In our evolving times, between technology and the freedom to love whomever one chooses and in whatever form that takes, writers have a wonderful opportunity to express what romantic comedy means now.  We will do a deep dive into what makes for a successful romantic comedy, in all its iterations.  What are the particular demands of the genre? We’ll examine case studies of successful rom-com plays, screenplays, and television shows.  And the majority of each session will be spent on students’ romantic comedy ideas, outlines, character development, and scripts in progress. 

Teacher Bio

Mary Ruth Clarke co-wrote and starred in the original Meet the Parents and co-adapted it into the blockbuster version, starring Robert De Niro. Her dramedy teleplay Broadway, Ohio is a finalist in the Chicago Screenplay Awards, Page Turner Awards, and a semi-finalist at Sundance Labs. Her comedy screenplay Alice and Celia and Whatever It Takes is a finalist for the Lit Laughs Comedy Film Festival and the Chicago Comedy Film Festival, and a is a semi-finalist in the Chicago Screenplay Awards. 

Mary Ruth’s students are staffed on Queens, Woke, and Family Reunion. 

She consults for clients in LA and Chicago, and she has critiqued about a gazillion plays and screenplays.  She’s a regular guest lecturer at the Chicago Screenwriter’s Network and the Off-Campus Writer’s Group.  

She is a member of the Writer’s Guide of America East and the Dramatists Guild.

Course Details

Session DatesFeb 05, 12, 19, 26
March 05, 12, 19
Experience LevelBeginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Applicable DiscountsEarly Bird, New Student, Network

Chicago Dramatists Class Fee Policies 

  • If you cancel your registration more than ten days 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 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.
  • 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.
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