The Writer's Studio
The Writer's Studio at Chicago Dramatists is the premiere learning and development center for dramatic writing in Chicago. Writers can study and develop work in a variety of disciplines, from plays to solo shows to screenplays. There are opportunities to work with industry professionals, including award-winning playwrights, actors, directors, and dramaturgs.
Get involved! There are classes to explore as well as the reading programs, script reviews, and community involvement opportunities outlined below.
Rolling $150 annual membership fee
First Draft is a series of weekly play readings in the style of a playwrights’ salon. The playwrights themselves read aloud and discuss each others’ work in a relaxed, supportive setting. This cycle of First Draft will open for enrollment on March 1 and will begin May 1. First Draft meets every Tuesday except May 30, July 1, September 5, November 21, December 19, December 26, January 3, March 27, and April 3. A total of 42 sessions (an increase of 6 sessions from the prior format) with a paid moderator (Resident Playwright or city theatre maker) to provide quality post-show discussions. One reading is guaranteed annually, so membership is limited to 42 participants at any given time. Each member will receive 4 one-time passes to share with friends. Please click here or call our offices at 312.633.0630 to register
$175 per script, up to 120 pages, 3 week turn-around
Chicago Dramatists has been offering script evaluation services for decades. In this new iteration -- once your payment and your script have been received -- a theatre professional will read and evaluate your script within the following three weeks, offering a 2-3 page written response to your story. While we try to honor specific reader requests, often they can not be accommodated due to reader scheduling conflicts. We welcome plays, screenplays, and TV pilots.
If you wish to speak further to the reader about this same script, either in person or over the phone, there is an additional charge of $60.
All scripts should be properly formatted and in 12 point font. If you are unsure what the accepted industry formats are, here are some acceptable guidelines.
Any scripts exceeding 120 pages will be charged an extra dollar per page. Extremely monologue-heavy plays may also incur an extra fee.
Only .pdfs will be accepted.
If you have a script that you would like feedback on, please fill out this form, and then email a .pdf of your play to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we check the formatting and confirm the page number on your script, we will send you an invoice. Once the invoice is paid, the clock will start ticking on that 3 week turn-around time.
Writers Groups and Classes
Join one of our writers’ groups or take a class in your area of specialty. The faculty at Chicago Dramatists has designed coursework for all levels, from beginner to professional. View our list of upcoming classes for more details and registration information.