Chicago Dramatists Announces Schedule Of Summer Classes

Chicago Dramatists today announces its schedule for new summer classes. The exciting schedule includes classes designed for new writers who are just starting their creative journey as playwrights, as well as seasoned dramatists. It includes classes for actors and other artists who want to develop solo story-telling skills or develop their own solo shows.

Offered are a variety of 6-week courses, as well as rigorous weekend bootcamps and 1-week intensives. Our sessions, led by our highly experienced faculty, are dedicated solely to the writer: their vision, their voice, their process. Join us at Chicago Dramatists, and bring your theatrical voice to life.

Live Storytelling Workshop - Janna Sobel

(6/17 - 8/12: Mondays, 6:30pm-9:30pm)

Storytelling belongs to all of us, and it lives in our DNA. This class helps you remember how to do it brilliantly. Ideal for writers, stand-up comedians, actors, poets, and public speakers of all kinds, this class gives students the tools they need to tell their vibrant personal stories. Using a playful set of story building games, students learn how to use all the tools at their disposal (narrative structure, humor, staging, descriptive language, emotional honesty, and more). Students will craft and revise three different stories over the course of the term, culminating with a Chicago-style Live Storytelling event! We all carry stories within us; tell yours with honesty and ease.

Tell your story. Do it Brilliantly.

Register at:

Playwriting Essentials I Bootcamp - Marsha Estell

(6/1 - 6/2: 10am-4:30pm)

(8/3 - 8/4 10am-4:30pm)

Do you want to take the leap into playwriting? Dive in with "Playwriting Essentials I Bootcamp," and explore this rich and beautiful form. In this weekend-long intensive, you will learn all the necessary basics of writing a new play: including character development, dialogue, and story structure. Led by Resident Playwright Marsha Estell, writers will be given the personal attention and guidance they need in taking their first steps towards becoming a dramatist. A fantastic way to start your summer, this is the class you need to get your pen moving!

Register for June at:

Register for August at:

Writing The Adaptation Workshop - Alvaro Saar Rios

(6/1: 10am-4:30pm)

An intense and vibrant one-day workshop, "Writing the Adaptation" is perfect for every writer- from those who are brand new to the form, to the most seasoned of playwrights. Led by the incredible Alvaro Saar Rios, "Writing the Adaptation" guides playwrights through the art of transforming a source material-be it folk tale, short story, or book-into a vivid play for the stage. Students are encouraged to embrace the dramatic structure of their source material, and then imbue it with their own specific and unique theatrical voice. As one of the most sought after and widely produced genres, this course makes for a wonderful addition to any playwright's toolbox. Don't miss out on your chance! Join in today. Register at:

The Rewrite - Douglas Post

(6/5 - 7/10: Wednesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm)

You've done it: you've written your play and have it all down on the page. Now you need to wade back in and tackle what often feels like a "chaos draft." Here is where the journey really starts. Led by Douglas Post, Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble, this course guides you through the terrain of rewriting your latest piece. With the opportunity to have your work read aloud and discussed in a safe peer-based class, you will gain the insight to see what works in your piece, and what needs to be shifted. With clear, focused feedback and straightforward guidance, you will learn how to take your play to the next level. Put the finishing touches on that script; get it ready for the stage.

Register at:

Musical Theatre Intensive - Cheryl Coons

(6/8 - 6/9: 10am-5pm)

Led by Cheryl Coons, the "Musical Theatre Intensive" is a jam-packed weekend-long course, filled with everything you need to tackle your next musical. Perfect for both individual writers AND collaborative teams, students will gain the skills necessary to solve whatever obstacle they're facing, in their current project. Enjoy the full support of a nurturing and constructive group setting, while you learn how to generate and develop new work for the stage! Whether you are an established librettist with a work in progress, a playwright interested in writing your first musical, or a new writer interested in expanding your knowledge of musical theatre, this intensive is for you. Connect with a supportive community of fellow writers, experiment with fresh ideas, learn the craft of dramatic structure, and generate new material. Jump start your next musical and join us today!

Register at:

Developing the Full Length 1 - Douglas Post

(6/8 - 7/13: Saturdays, 1:30-4:30pm)

Develop your full-length play under the guidance of Emmy-nominated writer, Douglas Post. Ideal for those writers who are dedicated to continuing their path as a dramatist, this course gives playwrights the chance to hear their work read aloud, and have those pages discussed in a workshop setting. All sessions are supportive, focused, and dedicated entirely to the voice of the playwright. Writers will build on their skills and sharpen the tools they've developed in previous courses. Students will also be given weekly reading and writing assignments geared towards honing their use of character, time, place, dramatic language, and subtext. The perfect course for any playwright ready to take the next step, "Developing the Full-Length" helps you get your play down on the page. Join us here at Chicago Dramatists: get writing.

Register at:

Solo Show & Storytelling Warrior Weekend - Arlene Malinowski

(6/8 - 6/9: 12pm-5:15 pm)

Do you have an idea for a solo show or story? Do you have a piece written, but in need of that final push? Arlene Malinowski's "Warrior Weekend" is ideal for actors, playwrights, solo artists, and storytellers of all levels. All the fundamentals of solo work and storytelling will be covered in this hands-on workshop, with special emphasis on finding your unique voice, and the specific voice of your story. We'll cover structure, developing themes and the 13 styles of story/solo. You'll learn about developing complex characters and hope, in order to manipulate your audience. You'll be given the opportunity to present in front of the group and receive one- on-one coaching. This class is designed to serve you, your personal creative goals, and empower you to move to the next level. We will work hard and have big fun!

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Acting for Writers - John S. Green

(6/12 - 7/17: Wednesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm)

Dive into the mind of a character. Learn what it takes to breathe life into a script. Led by John S. Green (winner of Chicago's Jeff Award for best actor, and author of the Pulitzer prize nominated play "The Liquid Moon"), "Acting for Writers" is the perfect course for any writer looking for insight into the raw mechanics of performance. Explore the basic techniques that lie at the heart of all acting-character, given circumstance, motivation, intent-and how to apply these elements to your own writing. Learn to dig into the rich subtext that lies beneath the words, and how to infuse your writing with the vibrant, active needs of your characters. Enrich your own writing by deepening your appreciation and understanding of acting. Discover what's necessary to bring language to life!

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Screenwriting Intensive - Mary Ruth Clarke

(6/18 - 6/22: 5 day intensive, 9am-1pm)

Love film? Ever think about writing for the silver screen? This weekend workshop offers all the skills you need to write a screenplay filled with visceral, gripping images. Writers will dive into how to think and write visually, and how to fill their story with action. The course will focus on the classic structure of a screenplay, why genre is truly essential, and how to craft a logline that digs in deep and grabs hold of your reader. Filled with in-class writing assignments, writers will be able to discuss their individual ideas, scenes, and scenarios. Get writing: bring your idea to the big screen!

Register at:

Lyric Lab - Cheryl Coons

(6/23 - 7/28: Sundays, 1:30pm-4:30pm)

Are you struggling to put pen to paper and craft that perfect lyric? Come to Cheryl Coons' "Lyric Lab" and sharpen the lyrics swirling in your head. Perfect for those interested in writing musical theatre or cabaret, this class gives writers the tools they need to generate new material and new songs, and the skill-set necessary to develop any idea into song and score. Writers will be given the chance to present their own lyrics to the group, and will receive constructive, guided feedback in a safe and warm group setting. Learn how to structure your songs lyrically and musically so that they strike your audience right in the heart. Learn how to strengthen the story of your song.

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Scene Shop - Will Dunne

(6/27 - 8/22: Thursdays, 6:30-9:30pm)

(6/29 - 8/24: Saturdays, 10am-1pm)

Hone your next full-length play to a razor's edge. Led by venerable instructor Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion, "Scene Shop" is a peer-based workshop designed to help experienced playwrights in search of guidance as they navigate the new terrain of their latest play.

Each self-contained weekly session is tailored to the individual needs of workshop members and offers character, scene, and story tools to help them craft the specific play they are working on right now. Each session also comes equipped with professional actors who read scenes that the writers bring from home so they can hear their work off the page and get comments from the group. The goal is always to enrich the strengths of the writers and help them craft the strongest play possible in a safe, constructive setting.

Students may either take classes on Thursday evenings, or Saturday mornings.

Join in. Fill the page.

Register for Thursday evenings at:

Register for Saturday mornings at:

Storytelling for Teachers - Janna Sobel

(7/9 - 7/13: 5 day intensive, 11am-4pm)

Connect with your students and ignite their imaginations with our "Storytelling for Teachers" course. Built specifically for educators, this week-long intensive helps teachers of all kinds build deep-rooted connections with the students in their classrooms. Using a dynamic series of playful exercises, you'll bring a story of your own to life--and by sharing your story, you'll learn how to inspire your students to tell theirs. Empower your students to speak their truth. Build new levels of enthusiasm and engagement in your classroom. Inspire, encourage, and connect with your students: take "Storytelling for Teachers."

New Play Dramaturgy Intensive - Kristin Idaszak

(7/20 - 7/21, 10am-2pm)

Specifically designed for playwrights, dramaturgs, and any theater artist with a desire to strengthen their dramaturgical skills, this weekend long intensive dives head first into the development of new plays. Participants will dissect a new work and engage in a rigorous dramaturgical conversation, offering constructive feedback to help move the piece forward in its journey. Learn how to discuss a play at every stage of its development, and gain a deeper insight into the dramaturgy process. Bring your dramaturgical skills to the next level: sign up today!

Register at:

Playwriting Essentials II (Online) - Cassandra Rose

(6/18 - 7/23: Tuesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm)

Interested in taking your playwriting skills to the next level? Take our online Playwriting Essentials II and sharpen your skills as a dramatist. Building on all they learned in Playwriting Essentials I, students will dig deeper into the nuts and bolts of writing a play, focusing on how to create vivid conflict, how to effectively use dramatic structure, and how to craft full, true-to-life characters. The class will culminate in students writing a 10-minute play, utilizing all that they've gained and learned over the course of the sessions. Join us and take the next step as a dramatist!

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Writing the Ten-Minute Play - A Weekend Intensive - Douglas Post

(7/20-7/21: 10am-4:30pm)

Learn how to hone your playwriting skills with this weekend intensive, focused on writing the ten-minute play. Festivals, contests, and reading series for short works are all the rage, and the ten-minute play is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door with dozens of theater companies. Over this two-day workshop, writers will focus on telling their brilliant stories with economy, skill, and craftsmanship. By the end of the session writers will have a keen understanding of how to write a short play that is precise, producible, and tells their incredible story. Perfect for newcomers and seasoned playwrights alike, this weekend intensive is the course you need to keep your playwriting skills sharp!

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Writing for the Small Screen Intensive - Mary Ruth Clarke

(7/23-7/27: 4 day intensive, 9am-1pm)

Do you love TV? Are you someone who binges your favorite shows? (Admit it, we all do it!) Why not write your very own series? Whether you want to write for broadcast, premium cable, streaming services, or create a web series, this is a fantastic intensive for you. In four short days you will gain all the crucial basics you need in order to begin developing your project! Learn the lingo writers, producers, and agents use; how/where your idea fits into the TV landscape; and what makes for a great TV character. With plenty of time dedicated to exploring the story ideas brought in by the participants, students will walk away from this class with the makings of their very own television pilot! We are in a golden age of television and the possibilities are endless. All you need to do is grab the opportunity.

Register at:

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