Will Dunne

Having taught more than 2,000 playwriting workshops and having worked with playwrights at all levels of experience, I believe there is no “correct” way to develop a play and no set of rules that apply to every script. Each playwright has to find the process and form that work best for them. However, successful scripts through the ages tend to reflect certain storytelling principles and it is important for writers to know what they are. My role as teacher is to guide writers through this discovery process and provide the tools and resources needed for them to accomplish their goals.


Resident Playwright Will Dunne is an author, playwright, and teacher. His bestseller THE DRAMATIC WRITER’S COMPANION, published by the University of Chicago Press, was translated into Polish by PWN in Warsaw. Other books from the Press include CHARACTER, SCENE, AND STORY and THE ARCHITECTURE OF STORY. All three are being translated into Chinese by Ginkgo Books in Beijing. His plays have been presented worldwide in three languages. Special honors include three selections by the O’Neill for the U.S. National Playwrights Conference, a Charles MacArthur Fellowship for comedy, four Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, two DramaLogue Playwriting Awards, and Best-of-Year mention from the San Francisco Examiner. He has twice been a finalist for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville. In Chicago, THE ROPER, produced by The Den Theatre, was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work. Other local productions include: THE ASCENSION OF CARLOTTA and LOVE AND DROWNING at 16th Street Theatre; HOW I BECAME AN INTERESTING PERSON at Chicago Dramatists; THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN SMITH at Concordia College; DEEP GARDENS at Second City; and short plays in four Cut to the Chase Festivals at The Artistic Home. Mr. Dunne has conducted more than 2,000 dramatic writing workshops and served as a dramaturg at the O’Neill under the Artistic Direction of Lloyd Richards.