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Registration Open for the Fall 2019! 

Get back to school with Chicago Dramatists' Fall courses! Interested in writing a musical? An adaptation? A full length?  A film?  Want to sharpen your skills at Moth-style storytelling? We have a class tailor made for every writer and every style.  Have your writing workshopped and seen this Fall; take the leap and join us here at Chicago Dramatists.  Chicago Dramatists:  bring your creativity to life! 

Choose the class that suits you and click on the class's name to go to the details page (some classes have Prerequisites). The classes are separated by class type (Playwriting, Screenwriting, Musical, & Performance) and listed in order of session dates.

Feel free to email Glenn B. Rust at grust@chicagodramatists.org if you have any questions.

Playwriting Programs

Poking the Canon

Join award-winning playwright Emilio Williams with a deep dive into how we adapt and subvert traditional plots and storytelling conventions to refresh the classics in a way that makes them relevant to our present day. The class will end with a public reading of short pieces or fragments by the students!

8 Tuesdays,
6:30pm- 9:30pm 

Sep 10 - Oct 29

"Scene Shop" Sampler (Thursday Nights)
"Scene Shop" Sampler (Saturday Morning)

A once-a-year opportunity to see how Scene Shop works without having to make a full-quarter commitment. Over the course of three sampler sessions, you'll do character, scene, and story explorations of your script, hear professional actors read the work you bring from home, and receive constructive group comments in a supportive setting. If you find the "Scene Shop" process helpful and want more, you can sign up for the full quarter starting in October.

3 Thursdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Sep 12 - Sep 26


3 Saturdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Sep 14 - Sep 28

Developing a Play-in-Progress

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 with the goal being to ready their plays for production.

7 Wednesdays,
6:30pm- 9:30pm 

 Sep 25 - Nov 06

"Scene Shop" Play Development (Thursday Nights) 
"Scene Shop" Play Development (Saturday Mornings)

Self-contained weekly sessions offer character, scene, and story tools to help you write and revise your script, professional actors to read the work you bring from home, and constructive group feedback in a supportive setting. Click on either of the links above to registered for your preferred day of the week!

7 Thursdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Oct 10 - Dec 12


7 Saturdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Oct 12 - Dec 14

Writing the Political or Social Play

This class is specifically designed for writers seeking to sharpen their skills in writing political and social theatre. You'll start each session by studying scenes by produced playwrights that have spoken to the tenor of their times and then turn your attention to the work of the participants in the room!

7 Saturdays,
0am- 1:00pm 

Oct 12 - Nov 23

Steal Like a Playwright

Join award-winning playwright Mickle Maher in exploring the underlying mechanics that have made plays tick for the last 2,500 odd years, from Euripides to Shakespeare to B├╝chner to Caryl Churchill, Susan Lori-Parks, and Annie Baker, etc. Students will be asked to shamelessly steal those playwrights' tricks and techniques (if they're found useful), and employ them in the creation of their own piece.

8 Thursdays,
6:30pm - 9:30pm 

Oct 17 - Dec 12

Playwriting Essentials 1

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.

6 Sundays,
1:30pm - 4:30pm 

Nov 03 - Dec 15

Screenwriting Programs

Writing Comedy for the Small Screen

Television comedy is not just sit coms anymore, in this third Golden Age of Television. This class is for anyone who has an idea that could make a great comedy series or limited series and who wants to learn the crucial basics of how to write it.

7 Wednesdays,
6:00pm - 9:00pm 

Sep 18 - Nov 06

Writing for the Small Screen in Progress

For students who have completed Writing for the Small Screen or who have basic knowledge about concept, pitch documents, core cast, templates, and structural demands, this is an opportunity to work on making your series idea a reality and getting it finished.

6 Sundays,
2:00pm - 5:00pm 

Oct 20 - Jan 19

Intermediate Screenwriting

Further develop your ideas for the next big Hollywood film and learn the ins and outs of screenplay development! This six-week class picks up after Screenwriting for Beginners to continue your development as a screenwriter that Hollywood producers will latch onto!

6 Saturdays,
10:00am - 1:00pm 

Oct 26 - Dec 14

Musical Programs

Writing the Ten Minute Musical (Fall 2019)

Learn advanced musical theatre storytelling techniques by creating original work in this compact, ten minute form. Receive a special deal if you come with a collaborator!

6 Saturdays,
10:00am - 1:00pm 

Oct 05 - Nov 16

Performance Programs

Solo Show & Storytelling: Page to Stage

This workshop is for actors, storytellers and playwrights who want to work on the development of a one-person show or long-form story and get it on a stage. Each week you have an opportunity to develop material with the goal being to advance to production readiness. You will also have the opportunity to work with an acting coach and director.

6 Tuesdays,
6:30am - 9:45pm 

Sep 24 - Oct 29

2 additional rehearsals &
1 performance
(dates determined in class)

Acting for Writers 2

Having explored the basics of acting in part I, part II will ask students to become the "writer in the room” and create scenes to be acted by their fellow students. It is invaluable to understand how to speak to the director and actors using the basic language of acting they understand.

6 Wednesdays,
6:30pm - 9:30pm 

Nov 06 - Dec 18

Chicago Dramatists Class Fee Policies 

  • If you cancel your registration more than three weeks in advance of the class start date, you will be entitled to either a full refund of your money or a full credit applied to your account for future CD classes. 
  • If you cancel your registration less than than three weeks but more than ten days before the class start date, you will be entitled to a full credit applied to your account (minus a $20 administrative fee). However, there will be no refunds. 
  • If you cancel your registration fewer than ten days but more than three days before the class start date, you will be entitled to 50% of your class fee (minus a $20 administrative fee) applied to your account as a credit. 
  • If you cancel your registration less than three days before the class start date, there is unfortunately neither a credit nor refund option available.
  • Failure to pay fee within 48 hours of registration will result in cancellation of registration.
  • Classes that fail to meet the 50% minimum registrant requirement within 48 hours of class start time will be cancelled. In this case, registrants will receive a 100% refund.
  • Separate discounts cannot be combined.

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