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Chicago Dramatists Announces Spring Classes 2020

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Chicago Dramatists is proud to announce our spring 2020 class line up!  For a limited time, use promo code PartnerWinter20 at checkout for 20% off any class!  

Interested in writing a musical? An adaptation? A full length? A ten-minute? A film or a TV script? Our courses are designed to engage and inspire a variety of writers, genres, aesthetics and styles. Taught by some of Chicago’s finest professional and laureate dramatists, our classrooms are a place to discover new mentors, peers, and parts of your theatrical self.

We offer classes in Playwriting, Screenwriting, Musical Theater, Dramaturgy, Political Theater, Solo Performance, and more. Take the creative leap. Commission your imagination. Sign up, show up, and bring your unique stories to life.

See the full class list at: https://chicagodramatists.org/classes/ 

 

Playwrights Improv - Janna Sobel

**NEW COURSE**

7 Mondays: Mar. 30 - May 11

6:30pm - 9:30pm (Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

Playwrights' and improvisors' approaches to theater-making can seem almost at odds. But the secret truth is, there are profound overlaps between powerful playwriting and excellent improvisation. After 17 years of working in professional theater as an actor and director, and just as long teaching and performing Improvisation, Janna Sobel's favorite place to be is where both worlds meet: in playwrights' theaters. Because in the unique space where plays are born, the common ground in these two creative processes are elegantly apparent. In this special one-time class, Janna will bring playwrights the tools that improvisors use to access our creative imaginations right away, breathe dynamic life into characters, and bravely follow a story into unknown places. This class will unlock your spontaneous creativity in ways that are surprising, immediate, and directly applicable to writing vibrant plays. This is not a seated writing class. We will move, play, laugh, and occasionally pause to capture inspiration on the page. The class is fun for people of all levels of mobility and physical comfort. If it sounds like a risky or raucous departure from your regular practice, it could be just the joyful revolution you've been craving. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=279& 

 

Encountering Dionysus - Emma Pauly

**NEW COURSE**

7 Tuesdays: Mar. 31 - May 12

6:30pm - 9:30pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

Encountering Dionysus bridges the centuries between us and the tragic canon, pushing back against exclusion and gatekeeping that surrounds classical works. Participants will engage with Greek tragedy as a means of fueling their own creativity, using tragic texts as springboards or inspiration towards their own projects. This engagement will be done through the lens of Dionysus himself, the deity in whose honor the texts were created, a god of creation and destruction, ambiguity and contradiction, death and rebirth. 

This storytelling and discussion-based class includes in-class time for generative work, as well as short writing assignments in between sessions. Primary readings will be the three plays covered (Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, and The Bacchae by Euripides), as well as short related articles and essays, with optional additional text if requested. The seminar will conclude with a showcase and while this class is primarily geared towards playwrights, it is open to any and all breed of creative practitioner comfortable with writing. If anyone has ever made you feel like Greek tragedy is 'not for you', this class is here to prove them wrong. 

Work developed in this class will be presented in a Class Showcase at the end of the course. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=284& 

 

Writing Alternative Realities (Intensive) - Kristiana Rae Colón

**NEW COURSE**

2 Day Weekend Intensive: Apr. 4 - 5

10:00am - 4:30pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL) 

Inspired by Afrofuturist media and speculative literature, this workshop invites participants to create works that place the most marginalized identities at the center of narrative futures. Through discussion, generative writing prompts, and collective critique, writers will be invited to share works in progress and begin exploring new projects. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=289& 

 

Staging Science: Writing The Science Play (Intensive) - Kristin Idaszak

**NEW COURSE**

2 Day Weekend Intensive: May 23 - May 24

10:00am - 4:30pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

Playwrights and scientists share a common goal: to deepen our knowledge of the universe and its mysteries. This spirit of discovery has inspired playwrights to put science and scientists onstage from Dr. Faust to present day. From the bubbling beakers of a chemistry lab to black holes in distant galaxies, writers will untap the possibilities of science in dramatic storytelling. In this playwriting intensive, writers will learn how to move beyond metaphor and use science to shape the action of their plays. Together, we will also explore why science plays are so popular today. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=334& 

 

Developing A Play In Progress - Emilio Williams

7 Tuesdays: Mar. 24 - May 5

6:30pm - 9:30pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

This course will gather together playwrights with projects in various forms of completion, from partial scenes and outlines, to rough and/or completed drafts. Each student will further explore, expand and develop their plays through in-class readings, discussion, and assignments. Under the guidance of award-winning playwright and educator Emilio Williams, a personalized seven-week action plan for evolving your script will be devised a?" one which will combine deadlines, aesthetic goals and class expectations. We will support and challenge each other, and learn from different approaches to the writing life. This workshop will include inspirational talks on overcoming creative obstacles, as well as discussions on specific craft issues such as dialogue, character development, dramatic structure, and more. 

Register at: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=274& 

 

Writing For The Small Screen - Mary Ruth Clarke

7 Saturdays: Apr. 4 - May 30

10:00am - 1:00pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

The third Golden Age of Television is upon us and the opportunities have never been greater. This class is for anyone who has an idea (in any genre) that could make a great series and who wants to learn the crucial basics of how to write it. We will study and analyze successful pilots to learn the form and craft of writing for television. We will tease out/explore the inherent possibilities in your idea, where it fits in the web, television and streaming landscape, how to position the idea, what makes for great TV characters, visual storytelling, budgetary considerations, proper story structure, and proper formatting. And you'll write and rewrite. Leave this workshop with the makings of a pitch document, a deeper understanding of the the process of creation that optioned shows go through, a stronger grasp of the language that writers/producers/agents speak when talking business, and the beginnings of a rough draft of your very own TV pilot. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=339& 

 

Scene Shop: Thursday Sessions - Will Dunne

8 Thursdays: Apr. 9 - June 18

6:30pm - 9:30pm

(Chicago Dramatists: 1105 W. Chicago Ave) 

OR 

Scene Shop: Saturday Sessions - Will Dunne

8 Saturdays: Apr. 11 - June 20

10am - 1pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL) 

Now starting its 14th year at Chicago Dramatists and led by Resident Playwright Will Dunne, author of The Dramatic Writer's Companion and other books, Scene Shop is an ongoing professional resource for experienced writers. 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. If you ever need to miss a session, you can always make it up in the other Scene Shop section that week. Workshop members are eligible to participate in the Scene Shop Showcase a night of staged readings presented twice yearly in the Russ Tutterow Theatre. Available Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. 

Register for Thursday at: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=299& 

Register for Saturday at: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=304& 

 

Page To Stage For Solo & Story - Arlene Malinowski

7 Tuesdays: Apr. 14 - May 26

Performance on June 20

6:30pm - 9:45pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

The Solo Show & Storytelling Page to Stage class is perfect for playwrights, actors and storytellers of all levels--anyone who is interested in developing a one-person show or long form narrative! Each week offers writers an opportunity to develop their work, and get their material production ready with a steady stream of feedback, structure, and cheerleading. The course culminates with a public reading of your solo work (helmed by a director specifically assigned to you) on the Chicago Dramatists stage, as a part of our esteemed Saturday Series. This course is designed for YOU, and is meant to serve YOUR personal creative goals. Get writing! Pen your one-person show. 

Work developed in this class will be presented in a Class Showcase on the Russ Tutterow Stage on June 20, as that week's Saturday Series. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=309& 

 

Playwriting Fundamentals - Marsha Estell

7 Sundays: Apr. 19 - June 7

1:00pm - 4:00pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

Looking to kick off your playwriting career? Get started with Playwriting Fundamentals at Chicago Dramatists! Study the core essentials of writing your first play, and cover everything from dramatic structure, to character development, to writing realistic and vibrant dialogue! Led by Marsha Estell, this course is dedicated to helping you find your unique voice as a dramatist. Class members will write and workshop a 10-minute play, applying all that they've learned, over the course of the class! 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=314& 

 

Poking the Canon - Emilio Williams

7 Wednesdays: Apr. 22 - June 3

6:30pm - 9:30pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

How can we adapt and subvert traditional plots and story-telling conventions to refresh the classics in a way that makes them relevant to our present day? In this generative workshop, award-winning playwright Emilio Williams will share best practices on ways to honor and question well-known stories and forms. From a content perspective, we will look at how other dramatists have probed the traditional narratives from a class, race and gender perspective. We will also look at classic story-telling structures and how we can play with them to generate alternative and unexpected theatrical experiences. The class will also review the mechanisms of comedy, drama and tragedy. We will conclude the workshop with a dramatized public reading of short pieces or fragments written by the students. 

Work developed in this class will be presented in a Class Showcase at the end of the course. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=319& 

 

Writing A Play For Young Audiences (Intensive) - Alvaro Saar Rios

2 Day Weekend Intensive: May 2 - 3

Saturday, May 2: 10:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday, May 3: 10:00am - 4:00pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

Curious about writing for young people? Have an idea for a TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) play but don't know where to start? Students will have the unique opportunity to flesh out a TYA play idea and receive professional feedback. As well, writers will gain important insight into the world of TYA, including the do's and don'ts of writing for young audiences, submission opportunities, and advice on adapting children's books. All participants will receive a copy of Alvaro's award-winning TYA play Luchadora! as well as the opportunity to attend Alvaro's newest TYA play The Day the Music Came Back at the Chicago Dramatists Saturday Series Reading. (Note: All work generated in this course will be eligible for Chicago Dramatists & Adventure Stage's collaborative and upcoming TYA reading festival of 10 minute plays and scenes). 

All work generated in this course will be eligible for Chicago Dramatists & Adventure Stage's collaborative and upcoming TYA reading festival of 10 minute plays and scenes. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=294& 

 

Writing The 10 Minute Musical - Cheryl Coons & J. Seb Fabal

6 Saturdays: May 2 - June 13

10am - 1pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

Learn advanced musical theatre storytelling techniques by creating original work in this compact, ten minute form. Writers and/or writing teams will create a complete 10 minute musical during this course. You'll share work in class every week, culminating in a workshop with actors and a director in the final class sessions. Musicals created in this course are eligible for submission for consideration for Chicago Dramatists' Showcase of Ten Minute Musicals, presented in partnership with Underscore Theatre Company during the Chicago Music Theatre Festival. Sign up with your collaborator and pay a single course fee, or sign up as an individual writer or composer and pair with other writers in the class to create work. 

All work developed in this class will be presented in a Class Showcase at the end of the course. Work created and developed in this class will also be eligible for submission for consideration in Chicago for Chicago Dramatists' Showcase of Ten Minute Musicals, presented in partnership with Underscore Theatre Company during the Chicago Music Theatre Festival. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/event.jsp?event=324& 

 

Writing Plays That Matter (Intensive) - Kristiana Rae Colón

2 Day Weekend Intensive: May 16 - 17

10:00am - 4:30pm

(Literacenter: 651 W. Lake Street, Chicago IL)

Toni Cade Bambara tells us that the job of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible. This workshop asks participants to consider their solutions to the most urgent social concerns of our time and create dramatic interventions that provoke and inspire. Through discussion, generative writing prompts, and collective critique, writers will be invited to share works in progress and begin exploring new projects. 

Register At: https://chicagodramatists.z2systems.com/np/clients/chicagodramatists/event.jsp?event=329& 


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