Genre Writing for the Stage: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Plays-in-Progress (Summer 2020)

07/18/2020 - 07/26/2020




  • Free




Sessions: 2 Weekends
Session Dates: Jul 18, 19, 25, 26
Session Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm Central Time
Registration is free but is done via application.


Genre Writing for the Stage: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Plays-in-Progress (Summer 2020)

Jul 18 - Jul 26
1:00pm - 2:30pm Central Time

Instructor: Derek Lee McPhatter

Apply Here!

Playwright Derek Lee McPhatter leads four workshop sessions focused on play development techniques in a genre context (sci-fi, fantasy, horror). Participants will analyze scenes from fantasy, sci-fi and horror theater scripts. They will participate in several rigorous in-session writing and feedback sessions, and will complete the workshop with a ten-minute play or first ten pages of their new script!

The workshop is designed for writers developing a specific original sci-fi/fantasy/horror play or adapting a project in these genre categories. Applicants will be invited to participate after completing a brief survey, with a select number of slots reserved for black writers as part of Chicago Dramatist’s ongoing response to the current moment.

Chicago Dramatists is offering this course free-of-charge to up to 10 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students. Students will be chosen by a simple application process via the link above.

A Chicago Dramatist Resident Playwright and former Tutterow Fellow, Derek Lee McPhatter is committed to new work that engages diverse communities, emphasizing narratives at the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality and technology.

Recent projects include Bring the Beat Back, a queer, black, sci-fi, music-theatre experience and Serious Adverse Effects, a drama at the intersection of medical ethics, blood memory and forgiveness, incubated at The National Black Theatre (Harlem, NYC). Derek is a 2020 Resident Playwright with Chicago Dramatists. His work has also been presented / supported by: The Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Drama League, and Hi-ARTS, among others.

He has been at the vanguard of several high-profile ventures aimed at diversifying 21st century arts and entertainment. He is a founding playwright with the Fire This Time Festival, and was featured in the first season of Harlem9’s 48 Hours in Harlem Festival -- two Obie-award winning platforms that champion black theatre-makers in New York City.

Deadline for submission:  Midnight on July 10.

Classes will be held via Zoom. Instructors will send out Zoom invites one day before class begins. We encourage students to set up a Zoom account for themselves before class if they have not already to ensure when class begins you are able to jump straight into the art!

Sessions/Weekday 2 Weekends
Session Dates

Jul 18, 19, 25, 26

Time 1:00pm - 2:30pm Central Time
Notes Deadline for submission:  Midnight on July 10