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Upcoming events

Upcoming events

    • 08 Dec 2018
    • 26 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 3
    Registration is closed

    Developing the Full-length 1 
    Instructor: Douglas Post - Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble 

    Kicking off Tier 2 advanced coursework, you will build on fundamental skill sets to start writing that full-length play.  Within you will map out a visual storyboard of a play, identify key elements in the dramatic arc, explain what your imagery means in the minds of audiences, write scenes that escalate, plus much more.

    Prerequisites: Essentials 3, prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play or permission of Artistic Director


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

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Dec 8 - Jan 19  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 12/22 or 12/29

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 11 Dec 2018
    • 29 Jan 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    • 5
    Registration is closed

    Solo Show & Storytelling Foundations Online
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

    This  class is designed for storytellers, solo artists, actors, stand-ups, and playwrights of all levels- from those who are thinking about writing a one-person play or long form-story to those who are in the final stages of polishing one.

    We will focus on developing the tools and techniques for:

    1. finding your voice and the voice of the story
    2. designing the Story/Solo plot structure;
    3. Techniques to manipulate the storyteller/audience relationship
    4. Character development and writing multiple character scenes; 
    5.  The 14 styles of Solo & Story pieces. 
    6. Creative and nontraditional use of timelines, plot lines, and stories.
    7. Most importantly this workshop will focus on developing your unique style. In class exercises, one on one coaching.  
    This class is designed to serve you and your personal creative goals. We will have big fun!


    Prerequisite: None

    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.

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Tuesdays
    Start/End Date Dec 11 - Jan 29
    Time Slot 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Notes Does not meet 12/25 or 1/1.


    About the Solo Show & Storytelling Track

    The Solo Show track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for developing and performing solo shows and long-form narratives. The courses include:

    • Solo & Storytelling Bootcamp
    • Solo & Storytelling Fundamentals
    • Solo & Storytelling Intensive
    • Marketing and Producing Your Solo Show
    • Solo & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage
    • Live Storytelling
    • 06 Jan 2019
    • 10 Feb 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Literacenter, 641 W Lake St #200, Chicago, IL 60661
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    Musicals in Process Workshop
    Instructor: Dramatists Guild Chicago Regional Representative Cheryl Coons

    Designed to support book writers, lyricists, and composers who have a musical underway, this course builds on the craft principles taught in Secret Life of the American Musical.

    In addition to providing feedback on participants' works-in-process, the course supports writers in the process of readying and submitting work for professional productions and competitive development opportunities.

    Prerequisite: Secret Life of the American Musical

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Jan 6 - Feb 10
    Timeslot 1:30pm - 4:30pm
    Notes Prerequisite for this class is Secret Life of the American Musical


    About the Musicals Track

    The Musicals track is designed to provide playwrights with a solid foundation for writing musical theatre. It consists of four courses:

    • Musical Theatre Writing: The Secret Life of the American Musical
    • Musicals in Process
    • Musical Theatre Bootcamp
    • Lyric Lab

    Musical Theatre Writing is a prerequisite for Musicals in Process. Musical Theatre Intensive and Lyric Lab may be taken out of sequence with the other two courses.

    • 09 Jan 2019
    • 06 Feb 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 9

    Script Analysis Intensive
    Instructor: Playwright Kristin Idaszak

    Ask any playwright what a necessary skill is, and they say, “script analysis.” In this intensive, you will analyze full-length plays to identify decisions characters make and how the consequences of those decisions shape the character, translate subtext, identify differing process, learn to articulate what “The Big Idea” is, plus much more.

    Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play


    Sessions/Weekday 4 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Jan 9 - Feb 6 (4 sessions)
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Does not meet 1/23

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 10 Jan 2019
    • 07 Feb 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 7

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

    This four-session course is for playwrights, actors, and storytellers with some story experience, who want an intense period of technique training to develop a solo show or long-form narrative. Each week, you will create and present work-in-progress—doing warm-ups and exercises intended to inspire and deepen your writing—with the goal to ready you for production.

    Prerequisites: Solo Show & Storytelling Bootcamp or Fundamentals (or permission of instructor)

    Sessions/Weekday 4 Thursdays
    Start/End Date Jan 10 - Feb 7
    Time Slot 6:30pm-9:30pm
    Notes Prerequisite: Solo Show & Storytelling Fundamentals  (or the Bootcamp Weekend), or permission of instructor. Does not meet 1/24.

    About the Solo Show & Storytelling Track

    The Solo Show track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for developing and performing solo shows and long-form narratives. The courses include:

    • Solo & Storytelling Bootcamp
    • Solo & Storytelling Fundamentals
    • Solo & Storytelling Intensive
    • Marketing and Producing Your Solo Show
    • Solo & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage
    • Live Storytelling
    • 19 Jan 2019
    • 10:00 AM
    • 23 Jan 2019
    • 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists (in the theatre)

    Our inaugural class of Tutterow Fellows have completed the two-year program and we are extremely proud! Please join us January 19-23, 2019 to experience these exciting new works.


    January 19, 2019

    10:00 am

    The Amen Trilogy

    By Cassandra Rose

    January 20, 2019

    7:00 pm

    Trophies

    By Rachel Dubose

    January 21, 2019

    7:00 pm

    The Legendary Nana Yaa Asantewaa & the War of the Golden Stool, or They Is African Royalty Livin’ Off Fuckin’ Wilson

     By Osiris Khepera

    January 22, 2019

    Real Talk With Auntie B

    By Derek Lee McPhatter

    January 23, 2019

    The Heart to Heart Club

    By Caroline Macon Fleischer

    About the Tutterow Fellowship

    Designed to support the emergent playwright, this two-year fellowship emphasizes training, practice and mentorship. Ideal candidates display significant potential for developing their craft, their voice and their network of collaborators during their fellowship at Chicago Dramatists. Two-thirds of each cohort are reserved for historically un-represented voices: writers of color, LGBTQIA, differently-abled, and/or neuro-divergent.

    The Tutterow Fellowship is named after the late Russ Tutterow, the first and long-time artistic director of Chicago Dramatists. The program honors Mr. Tutterow’s commitment to identifying and nurturing talent that might not otherwise get the opportunity to grow.  This program is made possible by the generous support of the Joyce Foundation.

    • 20 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists (in the theatre)
    Register

    January 20, 2019

    7:00 pm

    Trophies

    By Rachel Dubose

    Gwen, a devoted teacher, crosses a boundary to ensure her students success jeopardizing her life and career. 

    Rachel’s writing is uncovering, revealing, and domestic

    • 21 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists (in the theatre)
    Register

    January 21, 2019

    7:00 pm

    The Legendary Nana Yaa Asantewaa & the War of the Golden

    Stool, or They Is African Royalty Livin’ Off Fuckin’ Wilson

     By Osiris Khepera

    In 1900, Ghanaian Queen Nana Yaa Asantewaa started a war with the British Empire by herself at the age of sixty years old.  In 2058, two Ghanaian cousins, raised in Chicago are opening an African History museum where an android of Nana has become the featured attraction, but Nana Yaa Asantewaa is ready to teach them alot more than they bargained for. 

    Osiris’s writing is Black Excellence Celebrated

    • 22 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists (in the theatre)
    Register

    January 22, 2019

    Real Talk With Auntie B

    By Derek Lee McPhatter

    Formerly famous, Beverly Baptiste has a brand-new memoir, telling her story her way to win the internet… Unfortunately, her nephew-intern has failed to bring the millennials, her public relations push has gotten zero press, and she’s not even VIP at the galas anymore! But when a man from her past emerges to throw a wrench in America’s next political whatever, this diva finds herself called to step forward and share her truth, or stand back and let chaos reign…

    Derek's writing is rhythmic, witty, imaginative. 
    • 22 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    COME SUNDAY by Conrad Lawrence

    Moderator: Steven Spencer

    There is a difference between “living in the moment” and “just getting through the moment.” The latter always forgets that there will come a moment of reckoning. Come that moment, will each be able to live with their secrets their actions, their needs. Will each be able to cope with what may happen Come Sunday.


    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!


    • 23 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists (in the theatre)
    Register

    January 23, 2019

    The Heart to Heart Club

    By Caroline Macon Fleischer

    Rooty’s life is a mess, and it’s been a super mess ever since her mother passed away. In pursuit of becoming her best self, Rooty joins The Heart To Heart Club, a therapy program with an Internet cult following. As part of the program, she invites her sisters to join her in a weekend healing retreat. While at their most vulnerable, the sisters realize The Heart To Heart Club is not what it seems.  

    Caroline’s writing is Feminine, funny, personal

    • 24 Jan 2019
    • 28 Mar 2019
    • 7 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre (TBD)
    • 0
    Registration is closed
    "Scene Shop" Play Development Thursday Evenings 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    Through development exercises, you will analyze characters to assess whether they are distinct and essential, develop a story scene by scene that sustains audience interest through those characters, demonstrate the ability to adapt dramatic storytelling principles to your individual writing process, plus much more. This workshop utilizes actors each week in the reading of students’ work. Taught by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story.

    Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
    Start/End Date Jan 24 - Mar 28
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Does not meet 1/31, 2/28 or 3/21

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 26 Jan 2019
    • 27 Jan 2019
    • 2 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 10
    Register

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp 
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    Do you have a play that might work well as a movie? Or perhaps your story idea does not fit the play mold?  This two-day bootcamp offers an intense, nuts and bolts study of the essentials of writing for film. You will explore the similarities and differences between the mediums of stage, film, and TV. Then you will dive into action lines, hooks, loglines, visual thinking, plus much more! Make sure to come ready with a play or idea you want to cinematically bring to life.

    Prerequisite: None


    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
    Start/End Date Jan 26 - Jan 27
    Time Slot  Sat 10:00am - 5:00pm; Sun 2:00pm - 6:00pm
    Notes

    About the Screenwriting & TV Track

    The Screenwriting & TV track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for writing for film and TV. It consists of the following courses:

    • Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp
    • Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    • Screenwriting in Progress
    • The About - Screenwriting Workshop

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp is a prerequisite for the Structure Intensive, which in turn is a prerequisite for Screenwriting in Progress.  The About has no prerequisite.

    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 1 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 2 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 3 ONLINE
    • 26 Jan 2019
    • 30 Mar 2019
    • 7 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 0
    Registration is closed
    "Scene Shop" Play Development  Saturday Mornings 

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    Through development exercises, you will analyze characters to assess whether they are distinct and essential, develop a story scene by scene that sustains audience interest through those characters, demonstrate the ability to adapt dramatic storytelling principles to your individual writing process, plus much more. This workshop utilizes actors each week in the reading of students’ work. Taught by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story.

    Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Jan 26 - Mar 30
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 2/2,  3/2 or 3/23

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 26 Jan 2019
    • 30 Mar 2019
    • 7 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 3
    Register
    "Scene Shop" Play Development  Saturday Afternoons

    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    Through development exercises, you will analyze characters to assess whether they are distinct and essential, develop a story scene by scene that sustains audience interest through those characters, demonstrate the ability to adapt dramatic storytelling principles to your individual writing process, plus much more. This workshop utilizes actors each week in the reading of students’ work. Taught by Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, The Architecture of Story, and Character Scene, and Story.

    Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play

    Sessions/Weekday 7 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Jan 26 - Mar 30
    Time Slot 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Notes Does not meet 2/2,  3/2 or 3/23

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 28 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 75
    Register

    Small World by Jillian Leff and Joe Lino (a partnership with The New Colony)

    It’s the end of the world…maybe? There’s no way to confirm for the three “cast members” trapped inside the Small World ride in Disney World. The music won’t stop, there’s a body in the moat and one of the group is impaled under a smiling animatronic. Can they force their way off the ride? And what waits for them on the other side? It’s a world of hopes, it’s a world of fears. It’s a small world, after all.


    About the Monday Night Series


    On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.

    All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    Ticket revenue only covers 10% of the total cost for the Monday Night Series. Please consider giving a gift to Chicago Dramatists today to support these public play readings.


    • 29 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD by Ken Kaye

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

    In "Many Mansions," a middle-aged psychologist, clearing out his parents' home for sale after their demise, is delayed by a young stranger who claims to be his father's son by another woman. Four characters: Peter; his father's "ghost"; the putative half-brother; and Peter's own adult son.


    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!


    • 03 Feb 2019
    • 31 Mar 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 9
    Register

    Screenwriting in Progress
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    Designed to support writers who have a screenplay(s) already underway, this advanced on-going course will build on the fundamentals and structure principles taught before. Over six weeks you will build community, sharpen skills, revise, and receive tailored feedback on your screenplay-in-progress.

    Prerequisites: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp and Structure Intensive


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Feb 3 - Mar 31
    Time Slot  9:00AM - 12:00PM
    Notes Prerequisites: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp and Structure Intensive. Does not meet 2/24, 3/10 or 3/24.

    About the Screenwriting & TV Track

    The Screenwriting & TV track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for writing for film and TV. It consists of the following courses:

    • Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp
    • Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    • Screenwriting in Progress
    • The About - Screenwriting Workshop

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp is a prerequisite for the Structure Intensive, which in turn is a prerequisite for Screenwriting in Progress.  The About has no prerequisite.

    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 1 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 2 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 3 ONLINE
    • 05 Feb 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    LYNDON AGONISTES by Andy Mayo

    Moderator: James Henry

    Three years after leaving the White House Lyndon Johnson dreams the Furies pursue him to reveal in his autobiography why he did what he did as President.


    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 Feb 2019
    • 13 Mar 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 4
    Register

    Character Workshop
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Emma Stanton

    Over six weeks, you will deeply explore the voice, behavior, and point of view of your characters to better understand how they impact the world of your play. Through various exercises, scene work, and even collaboration with professional actors, you will get view through a multi-faceted lens to track the development of your characters plus helpful tools to approach your future work.

    Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Feb 6 - Mar 13
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes This is an all Tier special topic

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 09 Feb 2019
    • 10 Feb 2019
    • 2 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 9
    Register

    Writing the Adaptation Bootcamp
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios

    Do you have a favorite short story or folktale you have always wanted to turn into a play? Are you curious about how to adapt original source material, such as folktales, short stories, children’s books or even songs? Then this two-day bootcamp is for you. Learn to brainstorm adaptation ideas, how to adapt source material, create a scene or two, plus much more!

    Prerequisite: None


    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
    Start/End Date Feb 9 - Feb 10
    Time Slot 10:00am - 4:30pm
    Notes This is a Tier 1 Special Topic

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 09 Feb 2019
    • 02 Mar 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • The Literacenter (641 W Lake St.)
    • 10
    Register

    Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Mary Ruth Clarke

    Structure is crucial to visual storytelling, but are you able to explain why? In this four-part intensive you will learn how to articulate how audiences are subconsciously engaged by good structure, how structure is about content and form, even how to change perspective and view structure through the lens of the audience receiving the story rather than on you as storyteller, plus much more.

    Prerequisite: Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp


    Sessions/Weekday 4 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Feb 9 - Mar 2
    Time Slot  10:00AM - 1:00PM
    Notes Prerequisite is Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp. 

    About the Screenwriting & TV Track

    The Screenwriting & TV track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for writing for film and TV. It consists of the following courses:

    • Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp
    • Screenwriting Structure Intensive
    • Screenwriting in Progress
    • The About - Screenwriting Workshop

    Screenwriting for Playwrights Bootcamp is a prerequisite for the Structure Intensive, which in turn is a prerequisite for Screenwriting in Progress.  The About has no prerequisite.

    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 1 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 2 ONLINE
    • Writing the Half-Hour Comedy 3 ONLINE
    • 12 Feb 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD by Barbara McDonald

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright



    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!


    • 19 Feb 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    The Tinsel Tree by Jan Chattler

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

    It’s 1967. Christmas eve. There’s a huge tinsel tree with pink lights  inside a colonial mansion. PHOEBE CASTLE, 15, has just moved to an affluent suburb of Boston.  She wants to go to a party instead of decorating the tree.  Her mother,  who has just killed her pet turtle, agrees to let her go. PHOEBE gets her first real kiss.  When her new beau, TUFFY RYAN,  walks her home, they are caught up in a fight with a small Jewish boy.  It’s ten against one. PHOEBE watches in silence. After she learns her true identity,  she comes to terms with when, if ever, is it okay to lie about who you are. 


    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!


    • 25 Feb 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 75
    Register
    MONDAY NIGHT DRAMA

    Time to add more drama to your Monday nights! The Saturday Series, Dramatists’ longest-running program, has moved to Monday nights. This off night for the theatre industry allows us greater access to in-demand directors, actors, artistic directors, and producers PLUS attracts newer audiences already primed to attend evening performances over afternoons.

    Monday night events will consist of public readings of plays-in-progress from our Resident Playwrights as well as other exciting additions, panel discussions, fireside chats with visiting artists, and more!


    About the Monday Night Series


    On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.

    All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    Ticket revenue only covers 10% of the total cost for the Monday Night Series. Please consider giving a gift to Chicago Dramatists today to support these public play readings.

    • 26 Feb 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    2 Short Plays by James B. Smith

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

    "Weekdays with Wendy", a satire of daytime television where a hostess interviews various guests, and "Casey's Bar:  3 Old Maids and a Grifter" wherein 3 small town girls working in The Big City have a life pattern that is interrupted when one of them starts behaving strangely.


    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!


    • 05 Mar 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    Wells and Welles by Amy Crider

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

    It’s October of 1940, two years after Orson Welles’ famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast.  While both are on a lecture tour, Orson happens to be in San Antonio, Texas on the same day as HG Wells.  So he comes to HG’s motel room to ask a favor on a rainy night.  Two geniuses collide.  Inspired by a true story.


    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!


    • 09 Mar 2019
    • 10 Mar 2019
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 8
    Register

    Essentials Bootcamp
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Alumna Marsha Estell

    Want to learn the core principles of the six-week Essentials 1 but in a weekend? Designed for writers of all levels seeking a foundation for their craft, this two-day bootcamp will provide the tools of dramatic writing so you can write and respond to another’s work. A great option if you live out-of-town or just want to advance quickly to Essentials 2.         

    Prerequisite: None


    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
    Start/End Date Mar 9 - Mar 10
    Time Slot 10:00am - 4:30pm
    Notes This is a Tier 1 Special Topic

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 09 Mar 2019
    • 10 Mar 2019
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 10
    Register

    Loud & Clear Voice  Bootcamp
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Jenni Lamb

    This two-day bootcamp is designed to hone your writer’s voice and create work that is grounded in your unique aesthetic and experience. Through writing exercises designed to explore and define your voice, create work based in your impulses. Use this clarity of individual voice to write stronger scripts and even a sharper artist statement.

    Prerequisites: Essentials 1 or Essentials Bootcamp


    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & Sunday
    Start/End Date Mar 9 - Mar 10
    Time Slot 10:00am - 4:30pm
    Notes This is a Tier 1 Special Topic

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 11 Mar 2019
    • 29 Apr 2019
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 7
    Register

    Live Storytelling Workshop
    with Instructor Janna Sobel 

    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.


    Prerequisite: None

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

    Sessions/Weekday 8 Mondays
    Start/End Date Mar 11 - Apr 29
    Time Slot 6:30pm-9:30pm
    Notes
    • 11 Mar 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 75
    Register
    MONDAY NIGHT DRAMA

    Time to add more drama to your Monday nights! The Saturday Series, Dramatists’ longest-running program, has moved to Monday nights. This off night for the theatre industry allows us greater access to in-demand directors, actors, artistic directors, and producers PLUS attracts newer audiences already primed to attend evening performances over afternoons.

    Monday night events will consist of public readings of plays-in-progress from our Resident Playwrights as well as other exciting additions, panel discussions, fireside chats with visiting artists, and more!


    About the Monday Night Series


    On select Mondays at 7:00pm, Chicago Dramatists hosts a Monday Night Series event in our theatre. Most Series events are public readings of plays-in-progress, though some are special Master Panels or fire-side chats with artists.

    All plays read in the Monday Night Series are directed, rehearsed, and presented with minimal staging. After each reading, the audience members are invited to fill out written response sheets or (when the playwright is amenable) join in a moderated post-reading discussion.

    Ticket revenue only covers 10% of the total cost for the Monday Night Series. Please consider giving a gift to Chicago Dramatists today to support these public play readings.

    • 12 Mar 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    TBD by Pat Kelly

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright



    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 Mar 2019
    • 20 Apr 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 10
    Register

    Developing the Full-length 1 
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Jenni Lamb

    Kicking off Tier 2 advanced coursework, you will build on fundamental skill sets to start writing that full-length play.  Within you will map out a visual storyboard of a play, identify key elements in the dramatic arc, explain what your imagery means in the minds of audiences, write scenes that escalate, plus much more.

    Prerequisites: Essentials 3, prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play or permission of Artistic Director
    Sessions/Weekday 6 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Mar 16 - Apr 20  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 16 Mar 2019
    • 04 May 2019
    • 8 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 4
    Register

    Connections 1 Workshop
    Instructors: 2 New Work Directors (TBD)

    You’ve written that first draft or story, meticulously developed it scene by scene, done rewrites, refined your work, created a plan for the next year, and now you’re ready to have your work critiqued. In this rare opportunity you will receive feedback from two professional directors—each giving unique insight and advice to advance your work forward - after a table reading of your work.


    Prerequisite: Professional Development plus all Tier 2 coursework up to this point

    Sessions/Weekday 8 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Mar 16 - May 4
    Time Slot 10:00am - 1:00pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 16 Mar 2019
    • 27 Apr 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Register

    Developing the Full-length 2 
    Instructor: Douglas Post - Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwright Ensemble 

    In part 2 of this course, you will build scene by scene to a full-length play. Discover dramatic action through character decisions, describe in what way story/plot/time unfold in the work, build the world of the play, apply dramaturgy techniques, learn to give and receive feedback that speaks best to a writer, plus much more.

    Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 1 or permission of Artistic Director


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

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Saturdays
    Start/End Date Mar 16 - Apr 20  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 1:30pm - 4:30pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 19 Mar 2019
    • 23 Apr 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 6
    Register

    Solo Show & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski

    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 Nov 17th. 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!

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

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Tuesdays plus 1 Saturday rehearsal and final performance
    Start/End Date Mar 19 - Apr 23, rehearsal & final performance May 11
    Time Slot 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Notes May 11 rehearsal 9:30am-12:30pm; performance 2:30pm-4:30pm
    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 & Storytelling Track

    The Solo Show track is designed to provide writers with a solid foundation for developing and performing solo shows and long-form narratives. The courses include:

    • Solo & Storytelling Bootcamp
    • Solo & Storytelling Fundamentals
    • Solo & Storytelling Intensive
    • Marketing and Producing Your Solo Show
    • Solo & Storytelling Workshop: From Page to Stage
    • Live Storytelling
    • 19 Mar 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Chicago Dramatists, Theatre

    "A Sheltered Life" by Dennis Fisher

    Moderator: TBD, Resident Playwright

    Jack takes his teenage daughter Sara camping in Southern Illinois. An idyllic weekend is interrupted by discovering swastikas carved in limestone cliffs, a terrible thunderstorm, the sounds of a pick axe reverberating throughout the storm, and a stranger who never seems to sleep. The stranger will seek them out.


    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!


    • 20 Mar 2019
    • 17 Apr 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 10
    Register

    Script Analysis Intensive
    Instructor: Playwright Kristin Idaszak

    Ask any playwright what a necessary skill is, and they say, “script analysis.” In this intensive, you will analyze full-length plays to identify decisions characters make and how the consequences of those decisions shape the character, translate subtext, identify differing process, learn to articulate what “The Big Idea” is, plus much more.

    Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play


    Sessions/Weekday 4 Wednesdays
    Start/End Date Mar 20 - Apr 17 (4 sessions)
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes Does not meet 4/3

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 21 Mar 2019
    • 25 Apr 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 8
    Register

    The Rewrite 
    Instructor: Instructor: Resident Playwright Kristin Idaszak

    In this course, you will learn the best practices of rewriting. Create both a tracking document and an image tracker to detail your story, answer in detail the universal vs specific aspects of your work, show how your choices translate in the mind of the audience, journal your writing process to discover patterns and show growth, plus much more.

    Prerequisites: Writing the Full-length 2 or prior playwriting coursework resulting in a full-length play


    Sessions/Weekday 6 Thursdays
    Start/End Date Mar 21 - Apr 25  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 2 Advanced Track

    Comprising the Writers Studio’s advanced sequence, students will develop complex characters through actions and consequences, use dramatic language to enhance the world of the play, differentiate between plot and story and how to apply them through the use of time, employ the use of image as a dramatic tool to enrich conflict, and devise dynamic worlds on stage that involve components beyond dialog such as sound, music, movement, media, dance plus other components. Tier 2 culminates in a public reading of a student’s work.

    • 23 Mar 2019
    • 24 Mar 2019
    • 2 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists, Window Room
    • 8
    Register

    It Happened One Weekend Bootcamp
    Instructor: Resident Playwright Will Dunne

    This unique, weekend intensive offers step-by-step writing exercises, group feedback, and actor support to trigger and guide the development of a new short play. Arrive on Saturday morning with absolutely nothing prepared and take a creative leap. By Sunday afternoon, writers will have not only written a new play but will hear it performed by professional actors!

    Perfect for out-of-town playwrights, this workshop is designed for writers with some playwriting experience or confident beginners. It also offers a boost for those who feel blocked, rusty, or just want a writing change of pace.

    Prerequisties: Essentials Bootcamp or Essentials 1

    Sessions/Weekday 1 Saturday & 1 Sunday
    Start/End Date Mar 23 - Mar 24
    Time Slot Mar 23, 10:00am - 5:00pm
    Mar 24, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
    Notes
    This is an all Tier special topic.

     

    About Special Topics Courses

    Special Topics coursework is designed to focus on and often expand upon important topics presented in the Tiered tracks. Various formats are offered, from  the 2-day bootcamps where you will get a concentrated introduction or taste of other workshops, to intensives that take you through 3-4 days of targeted exercises, or the 6-7 week classes that deep-dive into important skill-building for progression of work.

    • 24 Mar 2019
    • 28 Apr 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    Essentials 1 
    Instructor:
     Playwright Calamity West

    In the first of the Essentials series, you will become familiar with the components of dramatic structure and format, receive tools to explore your unique voice and how to give and receive usable feedback, grasp the difference between dialog and conversation, plus will write and workshop a 10-minute play applying what you have learned.

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

    Sessions/Weekday 6 Sundays
    Start/End Date Mar 24 - Apr 28  (6 sessions) 
    Time Slot 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Notes

    About the Tier 1 Essentials Track


    Comprising the Writers Studio’s Essentials 1 through 3 fundamentals sequence, students will explore their unique voice and theatricality, be able to describe and apply dramatic structure, write dialogue, stage direction, construct characters, arrange work in the correct industry format, and employ methods to give and receive feedback.

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

    • 24 Mar 2019
    • 28 Apr 2019
    • 6 sessions
    • Chicago Dramatists
    • 9
    Register

    Essentials 2
    Instructor:
    Resident Playwright Alumni Marsha Estell

    In the second of the Essentials series, you will delve deeper into the components of dramatic structure, evaluate conflict, identify and discriminate theatricality, differentiate use of stage direction, and articulate how you use pl