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Apply for Residency

Since 1979, Chicago Dramatists has been an artistic home to over 135 Resident Playwrights, providing them with the space and resources to develop their work over a long period of time. Alumni Playwrights include Rebecca Gilman, Lydia Diamond, Tanya Saracho, Keith Huff, Rick Cleveland, Aaron Carter, Lisa Dillman, Carlos Murillo, Laura Jacqmin and Andrew Hinderaker, among others.

Resident Playwrights enjoy six years of new-play development opportunities such as private and public readings, workshops and collaborations with local theatre companies – free of charge.  While in residence, playwrights actively embrace our core values of connectivity and community by supporting their fellow writers; they serve as moderators, mentors and dramaturgs for each other and for the Writer's Studio programs.  


    • A community of supportive, active and invested playwrights
    • Dramaturgical support from fellow writers and artistic staff
    • Free classes/writers’ workshops as available in the Writer's Studio
    • Table readings
    • Public readings (a.k.a. the Saturday Series)
    • Opportunity to apply for 28-hour Workshops (6-8 opportunities annually)
    • Eligibility for The Grafting Project – a joint production between Chicago Dramatists and a guest theatre company
    • Free meeting and rehearsal space as available
    • Opportunities to develop programming and/or teach in the Writer's Studio
    • Promotion for all in-house and off-campus activities, readings, productions, etc.


      • Write, write, write
      • Take advantage of Chicago Dramatists’ resources and programming
      • Be supportive and invested in your peer playwrights
      • Serve as an advocate for the organization in the larger theatrical and playwriting communities

      Eligibility & Terms

        • Writers must live within 100 miles of Chicago, IL
        • Successful candidates...
          • Have a primary focus on playwriting (if in a portfolio of artistic pursuits)
          • Have had at least two fully developed and designed productions (professional and/or university) as a playwright or some other artistic equivalent 
          • Have a significant body of work and experience in the field
        • The term is three years long; another term of three years is granted upon mutual agreement
        • Writers may apply for a third term after a hiatus of three years

      To Apply 

      A national reading committee of literary managers, artistic directors and Resident Playwright Alumni reviews applications.  The 2017 reading panel consists of Edward Sobel (Temple University/former Steppenwolf), Gabriel Greene (La Jolla Playhouse), Julie Felise Dubiner (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Gabrielle Randle (Northwestern University, PhD) and Jason Fliess (Stage Left Theatre), among others.

       Application materials include:

        • Email including in the body: 
            1. Your name, address, phone number
            2.  Titles of the plays submitted
            3. Name and email of recommender
        • Two plays – produced or unproduced
        • A resume 
        • One letter of recommendation (can be emailed separately)
        • A statement of intent – outlining your artistic goals, how Chicago Dramatists can assist you in reaching them, and what you can offer the Resident community. 

      All files should be in .pdf format and sent in one email to applications@chicagodramatists.org.  Confirmation receipt of materials will be emailed in return.

      Important Dates

        • Applications due: March 31, 2017
        • Finalist Interviews: June 2017
        • Applicants notified: July 1, 2017
        • Term begins: August 1, 2017

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