Log in

Working Backwards Workshop

  • 04 Aug 2018
  • 05 Aug 2018
  • 2 sessions
  • 04 Aug 2018, 10:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • 05 Aug 2018, 2:00 PM 6:00 PM
  • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
  • 9


  • This registration is for students new to Chicago Dramatists.


Working Backwards Workshop 

Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

Do you...

  • get to page 30 of a play in progress, right where it begins to morph, and then get overwhelmed, start to panic, and abandon ship?
  • have a chronic case of first scene-itis, rewriting that first scene over and over?
  • find your play mired in reams of brilliant character dialog in scene after scene, but you can't make it go, and the drama isn't getting anywhere?

Through discussion and exercises, this workshop will focus on several "Ways In" to a nontraditional process of creation. We will examine reverse engineering your story as a way to unearth the essential and avoid unnecessary detail and wrong turns, first advocated by Aristotle as "Cause and Effect" (or rather Effect and Cause). We will also explore Crisis Decision as a Way In, as well as why writing the ending first is a technique some successful writers swear by. 

Prior to the workshop, participants will be required to read an assigned play, which we will use as a launch point in our discussion.

Participants should bring a work or two in progress, or even the broad strokes of story idea, along with an open imagination to unearth discoveries about your material.

Sessions/Weekday 1 Weekend
Start/End Date August 4th - August 5th
Time Slot 10:00AM-5:00PM; 2:00PM-6:00PM
Notes N/A

  Visit us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!

1105 W. Chicago Avenue | Chicago, Illinois 60642 | (312) 633-0630
Chicago Dramatists. All rights reserved.