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Upcoming events

Upcoming events

    • 12 Apr 2018
    • 14 Jun 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 2
    Registration is closed

    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Afternoons
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! SIGN UP NOW!

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country.

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date April 12th - June 14th
    Time Slot 1:30 - 4:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet May 3rd, 24th, or 31st 


    • 12 Apr 2018
    • 14 Jun 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Evenings
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    SOLD OUT! GET ON THE WAIT LIST!

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country,

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date April 12th - June 14th
    Time Slot 6:30 - 9:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet May 3rd, 24th, or 31st 


    • 14 Apr 2018
    • 16 Jun 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed
    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Saturday Mornings

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    SOLD OUT! GET ON THE WAIT LIST!

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one. Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country. 

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date  April 14th - June 16th
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet on May 5th, 26th, or June 2nd


    • 24 Apr 2018
    • 29 May 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Solo Show & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

    Prerequisite: Any Arlene Malinowski solo class or permission of the instructor.

    This is an ADVANCED-level class designed for actors, storytellers, solo artists, and playwrights who have material written and are ready to take it to the next level. This hands-on workshop will focus on finding your voice, the voice of your story, and refining your performing skills.  A completed play is not necessary; an excerpt or story is welcome.  

    Four  Tuesday classes will be devoted to the writing process and script. One Tuesday class will develop performance skills for the stage.  After the class work is complete, you will be assigned a director for two 90-minute rehearsals to prepare for the public staged reading in Chicago Dramatists’ Saturday Series on June 16th. You can perform your piece or request that an actor be hired.

    This class offers supportive feedback, structure, and cheerleading. It is designed to serve you and your personal creative goals. We will have big fun!

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Tuesdays plus rehearsal for the final performance
    Start/End Date April 24 - May 29, rehearsal & final performance June 16th
    Time Slot 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Notes June 16th rehearsal 9:30am-12:30pm; performance 2:30-4:30-pm
    There will also be a rehearsal the week before the performance.
    P
    rerequisite: Any Arlene Malinowski solo class or permission of the instructor.

    About the Solo Show Track
    The Solo Show track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for writing and performing solo shows and long-form narratives.

    • 13 May 2018
    • 22 Jul 2018
    • 10 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    Essentials 3: The Journey
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Dana Lynn Formby

    Prerequisites: Essentials 1 (or Core Weekend Bootcamp) and Essentials 2.

    Use the core principles of dramatic structure to outline, write, and develop a new full-length play in 10 weeks. This class will kick off with a half-hour, one-on-one meeting with the instructor and then you will bring pages in to the workshop every week. The process will emphasize the play’s journey and structural touch points through writing scenes out of order. Each week you will bring in a piece of the puzzle of your play, resulting in a complete full length at the course’s conclusion. Previous written work will not be allowed.

    Sessions/Weekday 10 Sundays
    Start/End Date May 13 - July 22 (does not meet 5/20)
    Time Slot 10am - 1pm
    Notes Essentials 1 and Essentials 2 must be taken prior to this course. 

    About the Essentials Track

    The Essentials track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for their dramatic writing efforts. It consists of three courses:

    • Essentials 1 - The Core
    • Essentials 2 - Strengthening the Core
    • Essentials 3 - The Journey

    Each course is designed to build on its predecessor, thereby providing participants with a holistic view of writing for the stage that will inspire them and elevate their dramatic writing technique.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 27 May 2018
    • 15 Jul 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Library
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Essentials 1: The Core ONLINE

    Instructor: Interim Artistic Director Dana Lynn Formby

    The first step in our series of classes geared at teaching students the main tools of theatrical storytelling: Essentials 1, 2, and 3. Each course builds on the last, giving playwrights a holistic view of writing for the stage that will inspire them and elevate their writing technique.   

    In the first of the series, Essentials 1: The Core, students learn the core principles of dramatic writing, such as the major dramatic question, conflict, and rising action. Using these tools as a guide, students write and respond to each other’s work. By mastering dramatic structure, students learn to tell stories that are specifically geared for the stage—stories that keep audience members on the edge of their seats. This class is for beginners and playwrights of all levels who are seeking a foundation for their craft. 

    Where: On-line using Zoom or Google Hangouts. You will receive instructions on how to access the meeting site prior to class. You must have a solid internet connection along with a computer with working speakers so you can hear and a microphone so that the class and instructor can hear you.  A working camera is a bonus, but not 100% necessary. Pdfs will be shared via email or GoogleDocs prior to class, and some scenes will be read during class. You are expected to access class from a quiet place with limited interruptions and distractions. The instructor will contact you in the week before the class to do a "tech check" and make sure everyone can connect.

    Note: Either Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp Weekend must be taken as prerequisites for the other Essentials courses—Essentials 2: Strengthen and Essentials 3: The Journey. 

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date May 27th - July 15th (no class 06/17)
    Time Slot 2:00 - 5:00pm
    Notes Prerequisites: none

    About the Essentials Track

    The Essentials track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for their dramatic writing efforts. It consists of three courses:

    • Essentials 1 - The Core
    • Essentials 2 - Strengthening the Core
    • Essentials 3 - The Journey

    Each course is designed to build on its predecessor, thereby providing participants with a holistic view of writing for the stage that will inspire them and elevate their dramatic writing technique.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 29 May 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    They Are Distant by Amy Crider

    Moderator: Resident Playwright, Georgette Kelly


    A play inspired by Film Noir.  It’s Paris, 1961.  Colleen has come to the American Embassy to interview for an internship.  When she learns her late mother was a courier for the Resistance, she gets caught up in a hunt for an escaped Nazi.


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 02 Jun 2018
    • 03 Jun 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 2
    Register

    New Play Dramaturgy Bootcamp
    with Resident Playwright Kristin Idaszak 

    General Price $149

    The class is for new play professionals at any stage of their career: playwrights who want to be able to give and receive better feedback in seminars and writers groups, dramaturgs and directors who want to have more effective conversations with playwrights, and actors/designers/others who want deeper insight into the dramaturgical process. 

    During this two day intensive, participants will examine three different approaches for talking about new plays at every stage of development, from a few pages brought into a writers group to a rehearsal-ready draft. This bootcamp will help you:

    • read a new play in preparation for a rigorous dramaturgical conversation
    • engage in a productive conversation that moves a play forward
    • nimbly provide and receive feedback on a new work

    No prior dramaturgical experience required. Participants should have some familiarity with the new play development process.


    Kristin Idaszak is a Chicago-based playwright and performance maker. Her play, Second Skin, received the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award. Her play, Fugue for Particle Accelerator,  received its world premiere at 20% Theatre Company Chicago. Her work has also been developed through residencies at the city of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Stage Left Theatre, and the Qualcomm Institute at Calit2 in San Diego. Kristin has co-created collaborative original work that has been seen at the WoW Festival at La Jolla Playhouse and the Blurred Borders Festival, an international showcase of contemporary dance theatre. She has been nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work and has received two honorable mentions on the Kilroys’ List. She was the 2015 Kennedy Center Fellow at the Sundance Theatre Lab. She has received two Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowships. Currently, Kristin is working on a commission for EST/the Sloan Foundation. She is the Shank Playwright in Residence at the Goodman Theatre and is a member of the 2017-2018 Goodman Playwrights Unit. Previously, Kristin served as Associate Artistic Director/Literary Manager of Caffeine Theatre and Associate Artistic Director of Collaboraction. MFA: University of California, San Diego. BFA: The Theatre School at DePaul University.

    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday/Sunday
    Start/End Date June 2 - June 3
    Time Slot 10:00 AM-2:00 PM Saturday 
    10:00 AM-2:00 PM Sunday
    Notes A short assigned reading between Day 1 and Day 2 exists.

     

    • 02 Jun 2018
    • 03 Jun 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    Register

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Workshop
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke—Original Screenwriter of Meet the Parents

    Have a play you feel might work well as a movie?  Or a story idea that you can’t seem to make work as a play?

    This weekend workshop offers an intensive, nuts and bolts study of the essentials of writing for film. First we will explore the similarities and differences between the mediums of stage, film, and TV. We will dive deep into how to think and write visually, with less emphasis on dialog and more on action.  There will be a particular focus on the classic story structure of screenplays and why genre is so important, as well as unearthing that great hook that will cause a producer to shout, “That’s a movie!”

    We will tackle the exacting demands of correct screenplay formatting, which often mystifies playwrights; and we'll discuss common mistakes playwrights make when writing for the screen. 

    There will be ample time allotted for in-class writing assignments, as well as time to read and discuss participant’s ideas, scenes, and stories. Participants should come to the first session with a play they want to adapt or an idea they want to cinematically bring to life.

    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday/Sunday
    Start/End Date June 2- June 3
    Time Slot 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Saturday (hour for lunch)
    2:00 PM-6:00 PM Sunday
    Notes

     

    • 02 Jun 2018
    • 2:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    Register


    The Widows' League

    By Resident Playwright, Steve Peterson

    Directed by Kevin Christopher Fox

    Diana is the Queen Bee of the Over-70 set at her Florida condo village, fighting her fear of old age by endless rounds of golf and tennis. New widow Kate joins her team and set her eyes on Jeffery, the widower who takes turns dating all the team's ladies. Total war ensues.


    About the Saturday Series

    Every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM (except for holiday weekends), Chicago Dramatists hosts a Saturday Series event in our theatre. Most Saturday Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress.

    All plays read in the Saturday Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    We hope you will join us for this Saturday Series event!

    • 04 Jun 2018
    • 23 Jul 2018
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theater
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Live Storytelling Workshop
    with Instructor: Janna Sobel 

    General Price $279

    Live Storytelling empowers writers, performers, comedians, public speakers...everyone!...to tell compelling, entertaining live personal stories. Focusing on the 5-10 minute format of popular live storytelling events, we give you narrative tools to illuminate personal experience, and bring your truth and presence to the stage with comfort, skill and joy. 

    In a fun, dynamic, supportive environment, you will learn:

    • to apply narrative structure to personal stories
    • to use dramatic elements to heighten tension and raise stakes
    • to use sensory and descriptive detail to bring listeners into a moment
    • to develop and hone your unique voice
    • to be emotionally honest
    • to tell the (sometimes challenging, always important) truth
    • to enhance stories with character, humor and movement
    • to start and end strong
    • to interact well with an audience
    • to honor time limits, and accomplish what you want within any venue's parameters
    Classes consist of playful games and exercises that are both skill-building and generative, followed by inquiry and discussion. There is also a development and feedback component. Each student will craft and perform three different stories over the course of eight weeks, and will receive personal feedback from the instructor, and from the class as test-audience. Through the process of revision, students hone their work and witness the unique perspective that each teller brings to the stage. The class will culminate with a Chicago-style Live Storytelling event.

    __________

    Janna Sobel is a writer, performer and public speaker. She has been teaching Storytelling and Performance for over 17 years in places like Second City Training Center, The Revival Theater, Stage 773, The Old Town School of Folk Music, iO Chicago, The Improv Retreat, California Shakespeare Festival, and The University of Chicago Lab School. Janna co-founded the Storytelling Program at The Second City Training Center, and is a sought-after coach for storytellers and public speakers. Her clients include Moth Grand Slam winners, TED Talkers, executives, corporate trainers, activist organizers, attorneys and professors.  Janna is Host and Producer of Here, Chicago, a homegrown storytelling and creative community-building event that's been playing to sold-out theaters for 7 years!

    For more information (and there is a lot) on Janna please click here.

    Sessions/Weekday 8 Mondays
    Start/End Date June 4th - July 23rd
    Time Slot 6:30pm-9:30pm
    Notes
    • 05 Jun 2018
    • 24 Jul 2018
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Library
    • 7
    Register

    The Writers Group is a eight session weekly writers group for early career playwrights and screenwriters in who have studied dramatic writing extensively, have a portfolio, and are looking for structure, community, and accountability.

    Up to 8 writers will present anywhere from 30 pages to a full length piece at least twice during the 8 week session, providing feedback for their cohort, and honing their projects. An industry professional (director, literary manager, or dramaturg) will be present for the last 4 sessions to hear the writers' work and offer feedback.

    There is no teacher for this group, and participants are expected to work out a schedule. Staff support is available for this if it's necessary. Hard copies of the script pages for workshop – with enough notice – are included in the fee for the group.

    Sessions/Weekday 8 Tuesdays
    Start/End Date June 5th - July 24th
    Time Slot 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Notes Writers will be contacted in advance to arrange who will bring pages to the first session.
    • 05 Jun 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD by Pat Kelly

    Moderator: TBD



    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 06 Jun 2018
    • 18 Jul 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Library
    • 4
    Register

    Developing a Play-in-Progress

    Instructor: Douglas Post—Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble

    This is a workshop for writers who want to develop a script on which they have already begun work. This may include anything from a full-length play to a one-act play to a series of short plays.  The class will explore the skills and qualities of effective dramatic writing by reading and discussing participants' scripts in a supportive and challenging environment, with the goal being to ready their plays for production.  We will pay particular attention to how your play will be received by producers, directors and literary managers.  We will also pay attention to how it will be received by designers and, most importantly, actors.

    NOTE: Writers should bring 11 copies of a 10-page scene from their play to the first session.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date June 6th - July 18th
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Writers should bring 11 copies of a 10-page scene from their play to the first session.
    • 06 Jun 2018
    • 25 Jul 2018
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 6
    Register

    The Writers Group is a eight session weekly writers group for early career playwrights and screenwriters in who have studied dramatic writing extensively, have a portfolio, and are looking for structure, community, and accountability.

    Up to 8 writers will present anywhere from 30 pages to a full length piece at least twice during the 8 week session, providing feedback for their cohort, and honing their projects. An industry professional (director, literary manager, or dramaturg) will be present for the last 4 sessions to hear the writers' work and offer feedback.

    There is no teacher for this group, and participants are expected to work out a schedule. Staff support is available for this if it's necessary. Hard copies of the script pages for workshop – with enough notice – are included in the fee for the group.

    Sessions/Weekday 8 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date June 6th - July 25th
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Writers will be contacted in advance to arrange who will bring pages to the first session.
    • 09 Jun 2018
    • 21 Jul 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Library
    • 8
    Register

    Writing the 10-Minute Play
    Instructor: 
    Douglas Post—Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble

    This class is specifically designed for writers seeking to hone their skills in writing ten-minute plays. Contests and festivals for short works are becoming increasingly popular in our theatrical culture and are also a good way for playwrights to get a foot in the door at a variety of institutions. But ten-minute plays demand economy, skill, and craftsmanship. This class will focus on those elements needed to tell our stories in a condensed form. At the end of the session, writers will have acquired a better understanding of how to write a short play that is precise, playable, and has a solid sense of beginning, middle and end.

    Writers should bring 11 copies of a 10-page scene from their play to their first session.

      
    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date June 9th - July 21st
    Time Slot 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
    Notes Please bring 11 copies of a 10-page play-in-progress to the first session.
    • 12 Jun 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theater

    Casey's Bar by James Bruce Smith

    Moderator: Resident Playwright and Faculty Member, Will Dunne


    Jim Smith is writing a series of short plays that center around what happens over a week's time at a local bar named Casey's.  This week's reading deals with Week 2 and Week 3.  Week 2 is a police procedural dealing with a serial killer.  Week 3 deals with the supernatural, featuring guest appearances by The Holy Trinity, two archangels, and a female demon known as a succubus.


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 16 Jun 2018
    • 2:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    Register

    Page to Stage Student Presentation

    More information to come!


    About the Saturday Series

    Every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM (except for holiday weekends), Chicago Dramatists hosts a Saturday Series event in our theatre. Most Saturday Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress.

    All plays read in the Saturday Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    We hope you will join us for this Saturday Series event!

    • 19 Jun 2018
    • 17 Jul 2018
    • 4 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 9
    Register

    Solo Show & Storytelling Development Intensive
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright MT Cozzola

    General Price $199

    Prerequisite: Solo Show & Storytelling Fundamentals  (or the Warrior Weekend), or permission of instructor

    This workshop is for playwrights, actors, and storytellers with some story experience, who want to develop a solo show or long-form narrative. The focus is on personal stories, though you may also choose to work on a biographical or fictional piece.

    Each week, you’ll have the opportunity to create and present work in progress, with the goal being to advance to production readiness--doing warmups and exercises intended to inspire and deepen your writing. In this intensive you will write hard, take risks, and listen big. Four sessions, with a break between classes 2 and 3, to facilitate additional writing and summer travel.

    __________

    MT Cozzola is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Her plays have been produced at Piven Theatre, the side project, 20% Theatre Company, The Fine Print, and elsewhere around Chicago, and her films have screen internationally. Her work has been called “haunting” (Time Out Chicago), "gleefully camp" (Revelation Perth International Film Festival), and "Scooby Doo camp meets Wes Anderson irony" (Hell’s Half Mile Music and Film Festival). She has received commissions from Step Up Productions, Shapeshifters Theatre, and Working Women’s History Project, as well as an Illinois Arts Council Award and numerous residencies. Her three-hander DANCE FOR BEGINNERS was a 2017 O'Neill semi-finalist, and her one-act ST. GEORGE ON THE BUS won Heartland Theatre’s 2015 New Plays from the Heartland Festival. MT is represented by the Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency.

    Sessions/Weekday 4 Tuesdays
    Start/End Date June 19th - July 17th
    Time Slot 6:30pm-9:30pm
    Notes Prerequisite: Solo Show & Storytelling Fundamentals  (or the Warrior Weekend), or permission of instructor

    About the Solo Show Track

    The Solo Show track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for writing and performing solo shows and long-form narratives.

    • 19 Jun 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theater

    Two Gals, Three Guys, and a Briefcase by Conrad Lawrence

    Moderator: TBD

    Two gals and three guys are marooned in a bar in Northern Wisconsin with each other and a mysterious briefcase. What could go wrong?


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 21 Jun 2018
    • 26 Jul 2018
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Library
    • 5
    Register

    Script Analysis - The Blueprint 

    Instructor: with Resident Playwright Kristin Idaszak

    Prerequisite: Essentials 1, Essentials Bootcamp Weekend, or permission of instructor

    This class breaks structure down to the nuts and bolts of writing, introducing you to tools that will help you turn a blank page into a first draft, and successfully assess it for further revisions. You will learn how to raise the stakes for your characters and how to tell a story with twists and turns. You will learn what you need to do to make a scene work, and follow it through to encompass the complete arc of a story.

    This class will take an in-depth look into the dramatic elements of four plays: Lonely Planet by Steven Dietz, Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu, and this year's Pulitzer Prize winning play Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok. By examining the building blocks of these plays, participants will create outlines and begin work on their own brand-new, full-length plays.

    NOTE: Participants are asked to obtain the plays on their own prior to class. For the first day of class please read "Lonely Planet" by Steven Dietz.

    _______

    Kristin Idaszak is a Chicago-based playwright, dramaturg and theater artist. A two-time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow, she is ​currently the ​Shank Playwright in Residence at the Goodman and is a member of the 2017/2018 Goodman Playwrights Unit. She has received the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award. ​​Her play Another Jungle ​received an honorable mention for the Relentless Award and will ​have its world pr​e​m​i​ere this sp​r​ing with Cloudgate Theatre and ​T​he Syndicate. ​As a dramaturg, she has worked with Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Playwrights Center and numerous others. ​Previously, she served as associate artistic director/literary manager of Caffeine Theatre and Associate Artistic Director of Collaboraction. She received her MFA from University of California, San Diego. KristinIdaszak.com

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Thursdays
    Start/End Date June 21st - July 26th
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Participants are asked to obtain the plays on their own prior to class. For the first day of class please read "Lonely Planet" by Steven Dietz. Prerequisite: Essentials 1, Essentials Bootcamp Weekend, or permission of instructor


    • 23 Jun 2018
    • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theater
    • 47
    Register

    Master Class in Story Structure
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $49

    You never really learn how to write a play. You only learn how to write this play. --Moss Hart

    There is no formula for a successful play or "rules" for how to write one. However, dramatic stories through the ages often reflect certain common storytelling principles that can be adapted to your individual needs once you understand what they are. This special lecture-based intensive takes an in-depth, analytical look at the dramatic structure of Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, the play that earned him a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony Award for Best Play, and numerous other awards and honors. This analysis will trigger a series of questions about the dramatic structure of a play that you are writing, revising, or thinking about now. It is advisable, though not necessary, to read Doubt in advance. However, the main focus will be on your unique script and how it is made. If you are a beginning playwright, you can use the questions as an introduction to story development.

    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday
    Start/End Date June 23 
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes
    N/A

     

    • 24 Jun 2018
    • 9:00 AM
    • 23 Sep 2018
    • 12:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    Register

    Screenwriting Lab 3.0 
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    For students who have completed the Screenwriting Lab 1.0 and 2.0, or are advanced in their writing and understanding of screenwriting. There will be ample time allotted for participants to bring in their works in progress.  We will discuss how every story is at its essence a mystery, set ups and pay offs, secondary story lines,  rewrites, killer titles, and the nuts & bolts/tips & tricks of getting your screenplay out in the world.

    This class meets every other week in order to give participants breathing space to work on their scripts.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Class Dates 6/24; 7/15; 7/29; 8/19; 9/9; 9/23
    Time Slot 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Notes N/A

     Pre-requisite: Screenwriting 1.0, 2.0 or permission of instructor

    • 24 Jun 2018
    • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 8
    Register

    Writing the Adaptation Workshop
    with Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios

    General Price $99

    Do you have a favorite short story or folktale you have always wanted to turn into a play? This workshop is for you.  It is also for those who are just curious about creating a play adaptation based on original source material, such as folktales, short stories, children’s books or even songs.  

    In this workshop, you will learn techniques in:

    •  adapting source material into a play, 
    • brainstorm adaptation ideas, and 
    • create a scene(or two) for your new play adaptation. 
    No writing experience necessary. 


    Alvaro Saar Rios has been writing adaptations for over fifteen years.  His work has been produced by various theaters, including The Alley Theatre(TX), Houston Grand Opera, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, First Stage(WI),  and Honolulu Theatre for Youth.   His award-winning play Luchadora! is published by Dramatic Publishing Inc.  Mr. Rios holds an MFA in Writing for the Stage and Screen from Northwestern University.  He lives in Chicago and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.Ge

    Sessions/Weekday 1 Sunday
    Start/End Date June 24th
    Time Slot 10:00am - 2:00pm
    Notes
    • 26 Jun 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theater

    Anna O. by Paul Pasulka

    Moderator: Kevin Christopher Fox


    Anna O. tells the story of Bertha Pappenheim, quite arguably the cofounder of psychoanalysis.

    Freud is merely a footnote in this story.


    In 1880 Bertha Pappenheim, a young woman from an orthodox Jewish family cares for her

    father who is dying of tuberculosis. She develops an illness, initially diagnosed by Josef Breuer,

    Vienna’s preeminent physician, as a nervous cough. Her symptoms soon progress to include

    severe visual, motor, speech, and mood problems. When she refuses removal to a sanitarium

    for treatment with blood-letting, cold water baths, and “uterine manipulation”, she and Josef

    Breuer embark on a wholly unorthodox method of treatment, involving daily therapy sessions of

    discussion, storytelling, and free association, essentially creating the techniques of

    psychoanalysis.


    Fraulein Pappenheim's story does not end here, however. She subsequently becomes a fierce

    champion of women's and children's rights throughout Europe, until she and her work come

    under the deadly scrutiny of the Nazi's.


    Anna O. depicts the resilience of an intelligent, passionate, and sensitive woman in a protective

    but repressive society; the care of a similarly intelligent, passionate, and sensitive physician; a

    world in upheaval; a historical examination of gender roles and sexual identity in psychiatry and

    society at large, and the importance of imagination and creativity in overcoming trauma.


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 28 Jun 2018
    • 23 Aug 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 5
    Register

    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Afternoons
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! SIGN UP NOW!

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country.

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date June 28th - August 23rd
    Time Slot 1:30 - 4:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet 7/5 or 8/2


    • 28 Jun 2018
    • 23 Aug 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 1
    Register

    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Thursday Evenings
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one.  Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country,

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date June 28th - August 23rd
    Time Slot 6:30 - 9:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet 7/5 or 8/2


    • 30 Jun 2018
    • 25 Aug 2018
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 0
    Join waitlist
    "Scene Shop" Play Development - Saturday Mornings

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    General Price $350

    Now in its eleventh year at Chicago Dramatists and run by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced playwrights who are currently working on a play or about to begin one. Plays developed in the workshop have received numerous readings, productions, and awards locally and around the country. 

    Each weekly session offers a guided script development exercise and the opportunity to hear scene work from home read by professional actors and discussed by the group in a supportive setting. As a result, you don't have to wait until you complete a whole draft of a play to hear your characters off the page and get input from other writers. If you are unable to attend any session, you can always make it up in one of the other sections that week. Selected scenes from the spring and summer Scene Shops will be presented in a staged reading showcase in our theatre in fall 2018.

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date  June 30th - August 25th
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet on 7/7 or 8/4


    • 30 Jun 2018
    • 2:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists

    The Fixer

    By Sue Pak

    A bitter, despondent, Asian American expat is thrilled when her best friend, a beautiful and brilliant attorney, joins her in the sparkling city of Dubai. The two enjoy a luxurious and decadent existence at their dream jobs, until one of them is unceremoniously fired. Can the two keep their friendship intact, as they attempt to navigate the shark infested waters of overseas office politics? "The Fixer" hilariously examines the ways in which lifelong best friends confront issues of allyship, intersectional feminism, and American exceptionalism, as they attempt to protect themselves and each other from an increasingly hostile and intolerant world.


    About the Saturday Series

    Every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM (except for holiday weekends), Chicago Dramatists hosts a Saturday Series event in our theatre. Most Saturday Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress.

    All plays read in the Saturday Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    We hope you will join us for this Saturday Series event!

    • 01 Jul 2018
    • 9:00 AM
    • 30 Sep 2018
    • 12:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    Register

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke—Original Screenwriter of Meet the Parents 

    This is a private invitation only course.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Class Dates 7/1; 7/22; 8/12; 8/26; 9/16; 9/30
    Time Slot 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Notes N/A

     

    • 07 Jul 2018
    • 08 Jul 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 10
    Register

    What is It? (A play? A movie? A TV show?) Workshop 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke


    Do you...

    • have a play you think might do well as a movie or a TV show?
    • have a memoir, novel, short story or work of nonfiction you long to adapt to performance art but are not sure if its a play, a movie, or fit as a streaming series or standard TV show?
    • story ideas you would like to explore in these different delivery systems?
    • want a greater understanding of what the requirements are for each discipline?

    This weekend workshop is a deep dive into the groundwork of what constitutes all drama, and then an exploration into the mechanics and strengths of each discipline. We will examine case studies of successful plays, screenplays, and teleplays, in class exercises to analyze and ascertain what your material or idea would look like in each discipline, and find the best fit for where it would shine.

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

    Sessions/Weekday 1 Weekend
    Start/End Date July 7th - July 8th
    Time Slot 10:00AM-5:00PM; 2:00PM-6:00PM
    Notes N/A


    • 07 Jul 2018
    • 2:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    Register

    Mah Jongg Swingers Club

    By Resident Playwright, Scott Woldman



    About the Saturday Series

    Every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM (except for holiday weekends), Chicago Dramatists hosts a Saturday Series event in our theatre. Most Saturday Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress.

    All plays read in the Saturday Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets and to join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    We hope you will join us for this Saturday Series event!

    • 10 Jul 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    I Know You Are But What Am I? by Ken Kaye

    Moderator: TBD


    Rob is straight, progressive and politically correct. So when his older brother announces that he's leaving his wife of 20 years for a man, of course Rob is supportive: intellectually. Viscerally? Not so much.


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 14 Jul 2018
    • 15 Jul 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 7
    Register

    Essentials Bootcamp Weekend
    Instructor:
    The Tutterow Fellowship Program Director Marsha Estell

    General Price $199

    Essentials Core Weekend Bootcamp is an alternative to Essentials 1 for those who want to learn the core principles in a condensed format. Perfect for out-of-towners or writers who want to advance quickly to Essentials 2.

    In this course, participants learn the core principles of dramatic writing, such as the major dramatic question, conflict, and rising action. Using these tools as a guide, they will write and respond to each others' work.

    By mastering dramatic structure, participants will learn to tell stories that are specifically geared for the theatre—stories that keep audience members on the edge of their seats.

    This class is designed for beginners and for playwrights of all levels of experience who are seeking a foundation for their craft.

    Before class, participants should read Fences, by August Wilson.


    Sessions/Weekday Saturday & Sunday
    Start/End Date July 14th & 15th
    Time Slot July 14th: 1:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    July 15th: 1:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    Notes Before class, participants should read Fences, by August Wilson.

    About the Essentials Track

    The Essentials track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for their dramatic writing efforts. It consists of three courses:

    • Essentials 1 - The Core
    • Essentials 2 - Strengthening the Core
    • Essentials 3 - The Journey

    Each course is designed to build on its predecessor, thereby providing participants with a holistic view of writing for the stage that will inspire them and elevate their dramatic writing technique.

    Essentials 1 is a prerequisite for Essentials 2, which in turn is a prerequisite for Essentials 3.

    • 24 Jul 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    The Great Hannibal Hamlin by James Bruce Smith

    Moderator: Adam Webster


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 04 Aug 2018
    • 05 Aug 2018
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 10
    Register

    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


    • 11 Aug 2018
    • 1:30 PM
    • 12 Aug 2018
    • 5:45 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 7
    Register

    "Weekend Warrior" Solo Show and Storytelling Foundations Workshop 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

    This "weekend warrior" class is designed for actors, playwrights, solo artists, and storytellers of all levels – from those who are thinking about writing a one-person show or narrative story to those who are in the final stages of polishing one.

    This hands-on workshop will focus on solo and storytelling fundamentals: (1) finding your voice and the voice of the story; (2) designing the solo story plot structure; (3) techniques to manipulate the storyteller/audience relationship; (4) character development and writing multiple character scenes; (5) The 13 styles of solo pieces; and (6) creative and nontraditional use of timelines, plot lines, and stories.

    Participants may choose to bring to the first session: 5-7 minutes of a solo show/story, or even just an idea for a one-person show. This class is designed to serve you and your personal creative goals. We will have big fun!

    Sessions/Weekday 1 Weekend
    Start/End Date Aug 11th - Aug 12th
    Time Slot 1:30 pm - 5:45 pm
    Notes N/A

    About the Solo Show Track

    The Solo Show track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for Storytelling & writing and performing Solo Plays.

    -Fundamentals class,

    -Fundamental Weekend Warrior

    -Development Intensive

    -Page to Stage class

    -Performance skills for Story & Solo (New class!)

    -Marketing and Producing your Solo show

    • 28 Aug 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    99th & Nowhere by Gary McGowan

    Moderator: TBD


    Nothing exciting ever happens at 99th & Nowhere. That is, until a healer named Willow shakes up the lives of her two south side Chicago cousins. Folly meets courage and fear invites desperation in this eccentric tale of painful secrets and lost souls.


    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.

    Become a First Draft Member today!


    • 04 Sep 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD by Fouad Teymour

    Moderator: TBD



    About the First Draft Series

    The First Draft Series is an exclusive series of Tuesday-night play readings for and by First Draft Member playwrights. These are private, salon-style readings in which playwrights perform the roles and then discuss the plays in a format similar to that used in the Saturday Series. The discussions are moderated by a Resident Playwright or member of the artistic staff.