PlayPenn theater and playwriting classes will be offered for all experience levels in both Philadelphia and around-the-globe via an online platform.


PlayPenn, the nationally-recognized new play development organization based in Philadelphia, is proud to announce their Fall 2018 Education offerings, which include both courses in Philadelphia and around-the-globe via a unique online platform.  The organization is pleased to welcome new PlayPenn Education Director Julia Bumke, who has curated an amazing assortment of classes with world-class theater artists who will share their talent and craft with writers of all skill levels.

The PlayPenn Fall 2018 session includes the following courses:


Adaptation with Jake Mariani: What makes a modern theatrical adaptation electrifying? This class pairs lively discussions of adaptations in the Western cannon with hands-on workshopping time for students’ own adaptations. Each week, students will be encouraged to write a new fragmented excerpt based off of a different play read in class. By the end of class, students will have generated several different pieces that have potential to be expanded into full-length plays. (October 3, 10, 17, and 24, 7-9PM, Young Playwrights Independence Foundation Learning Lab, 1219 Vine Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, $150)


Pitches, Bitches! with Chisa Hutchinson: You wrote a play. Cool. Let’s talk about synopses, cover letters, follow-ups, and cultivation. This four-hour intensive will give you the tools to package your play for the industry like a pro. (October 8 and 15, 6:30 – 8:30PM E.S.T., online, $85)


Cocktails and Real Talk with Literary Manager Anne Morgan: Commissions and conferences, workshops and woes. What does it mean to get your play developed, and where should you start? Literary Manager extraordinaire Anne G. Morgan reads countless new projects each year, and is a passionate advocate for new work. Anne will sit down with Director of Education Julia Bumke to talk about contemporary American new play development; how to collaborate with literary staff; and the process of working on your play in commission, workshop, and reading contexts. They’ll then open the floor for your questions about all areas of institutional new play development. (October 11, 5:30-7:30PM, Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, $40)


Seven-Week Intensive with John Yearley: Join PlayPenn favorite and Foundry lead artist John Yearley for this seven-week intensive. Perfect for starting a new script or developing a work-in-progress in a supportive and hands-on atmosphere! All genres and lengths of plays are welcome, as are writers at all experience levels. Sessions will begin with writing prompts and end with artist-driven feedback on student-written scenes. At the final meeting of the workshop, you will hear a 10-page excerpt of your script read by professional actors. This workshop is limited to 12 students, and spots fill quickly. (October 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 27, and December 4, 5:30-8:30PM, location in Philadelphia TBA, $425)


The Art of Rewriting with Michele Lowe: Playwright and writing coach Michele Lowe leads students through rewriting their drafts in this weekend-long intensive. Michele is intimately familiar with the challenges of self-editing: as part of the class, she’ll talk you through early drafts of her own produced works, demonstrating the process that all playwrights go through in creating a strong finished product. You will share your drafts with Michele prior to the start of class, and will hit the ground running to talk through the questions, pitfalls, and challenges of honing your work. After a Saturday morning session, time will be set aside for students to privately revise their work, bringing in fresh pages on Sunday for further conversation. This is a great class for beginners and experienced writers alike who want to take their full scripts to the next level, and is particularly helpful before submitting drafts to conferences or competitions. (October 27 from 12-4PM, October 28 from 10AM-2PM, location in Philadelphia TBA, $200)


The Making of a Musical with Daniel and Patrick Lazour: The average musical takes at least five years to make, with dreams dreamed, dashed, then dreamed again. Daniel and Patrick Lazour know this process firsthand: their musical WE LIVE IN CAIRO, first workshopped at the O’Neill Theater Center in 2015, receives its world premiere at A.R.T. in Spring 2019. Their class will go behind the scenes of this process, offering advice and talking through case studies about how to foster your project with an eye toward production. Daniel and Patrick lend a friendly and practical approach to interfacing with producers, agents and artistic staff. They’ll discuss the revision process, the building of a creative team, the workshops, the retreats, and the filtering of all-too-many notes. A great glimpse into the musical theater industry for writers and theater-lovers alike!  (November 5, 8, 12, and 15, 6PM-8PM E.S.T. online, $170)


Unleash the Writer Within with Amy Witting: This workshop provides you with a series of exercises geared toward pushing past your fear and embracing your unique voice. Identifying our blocks and resting on the page, each student will walk away with tools to help push them forward on their unique journey as a writer.  Led by a self-taught playwright and TV/film writer, this workshop is open to all writers. This course will help jumpstart your writing as you begin your own play, TV pilot, or screenplay. (November 10-11, 1-5PM, Young Playwrights Foundation Learning Lab, 1219 Vine Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, $150)


For more information, or to register, visit




Jake Anthony Mariani has studied poetry with Kathleen Ossip at The New School; and playwriting with Kathleen Tolan, Madeleine George, Anne Washburn, Sarah DeLappe, and Lucas Hnath at Rutgers University (M.F.A in Playwriting). Their work has received readings at the Ensemble Studio Theater and has been performed at Dixon Place. They have contributed to the Poetry Magazine, Sink Review. They are a founding member of the performance group hotdogfuguestate.


Chisa Hutchinson (B.A. Vassar College; M.F.A NYU – Tisch School of the Arts) is a New York-based playwright and screenwriter. She is currently working mercenary-style on a screenplay for A&E/Lifetime and two indie film originals. And because she’s always up for a new challenge, she also just wrote a radio play for Audible, which will be both recorded for their international platform and produced live later this year at Minetta Lane Theatre. Chisa’s happily presented her other plays, which include Dirt Rich, She Like Girls,This Is Not The Play, Sex On Sunday, Tunde’s Trumpet, The Subject, Somebody’s Daughter, Alondra Was Here, Surely Goodness And Mercy, From The Author Of, Amerikin and Dead & Breathing at such venues as the Lark Theater, SummerStage, Atlantic Theater Company, Mad Dog Theater Company, Rattlestick Theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the National Black Theatre, Writers’ Theatre of New Jersey, Delaware REP, Second Stage Theater and Arch 468 in London. She has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a Resident at Second Stage Theater, a Humanitas Fellow, a New York NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. Chisa has won a GLAAD Award, a Lilly Award, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Paul Green Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Lanford Wilson Award, and has been a finalist for the highly coveted PoNY Fellowship. Currently, in addition to being a Fellow at Primary Stages and a proud fifth-year member of New Dramatists, Chisa is gearing up for three NYC theater productions and settling down to write a revenge play about white folks who call the cops on black folks for no good reason for South Coast Rep. To learn more, visit .


Anne G. Morgan is the Literary Manager at the American Shakespeare Center. She is the dramaturg for the ASC’s 2018/10 world premieres: Emma by Emma Whipday; Anne Page Hates Fun by Amy E. Witting; and 16 Winters, or The Bear’s Tale by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, and provides additional dramaturgical support to all of ASC’s productions. She leads Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries,  a bold new initiative to discover, develop and produce new plays inspired by and in conversation with Shakespeare’s works. Prior to joining ASC, Anne was the Literary Manager & Dramaturg at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. At the O’Neill, she provided dramaturgical support to the center’s programs and managed its selection processes (over 1,500 applications annually). At the O’Neill, she served as dramaturg on new plays by David Auburn, Bekah Brunstetter, Adam Esquenazi Douglas, A. Rey Pamatmat, and more; new musicals by Ronve O’Daniel and Jevares C. Myrick, Daniel and Patrick Lazour, and Sam Willmott; and was the resident dramaturg for the National Puppetry Conference and the Henson Puppetry Residency. Other dramaturgy credits include We Live in Cairo (NYTW); The Found Dog Ribbon Dance (Kennedy Center/National New Play Network MFA Playwrights’ Workshop); The Aliens, The Emancipation of Mandy and Miz Ellie, and The Overwhelming (Company One); and more. Anne has worked internationally at the Baltic Playwrights Conference, the Latvian Academy of Culture, and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. She has taught dramaturgy and script analysis at the University of Connecticut, the National Theater Institute, and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.


John Yearley is the author of The Unrepeatable Moment (Barrow Group), Leap (Kaplan New American Play Prize, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Antigone (adaptation, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Ephemera (Gassner Award, Summer Play Festival), and Another Girl (PlayPenn, Naked Angels). His plays All in Little Pieces and A Low-Lying Fog are published by Samuel French. He is currently writing for the PBS Kids show Arthur and worked as a script doctor for New Line Cinema. He’s a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, the Dramatists Guild, and twice a MacDowell Fellow. He holds a MFA in Playwriting from Temple University.


Michele Lowe is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist. Current projects: The Greatest (Artist in Residence, Sundance Theatre Lab) The Proxy Marriage with composer Adam Gwon and a commission for Transport Group’s 20th Century Project with composer Zoe Sarnak. Broadway: The Smell of the Kill; Off Broadway: String of Pearls (Outer Critics nom), A Thousand Words Come to Mind with composer Scott Davenport Richards; Regional: Inana (Francesca Primus Prize, Susan Blackburn finalist, Edgerton New Play Award), Victoria Musica, Map of Heaven (Edgerton New Play Award), Mezzulah 1946, Backsliding in the Promised Land. Two-time finalist for the ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award. Produced/developed by Primary Stages, Vineyard Theatre, Le Pepiniere (Paris), Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage and Film, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, Lark, Colorado New Play Summit, New Harmony Project, American Music Theatre Project, and Hedgebrook. Michele lives in New York and works with writers, clergy, and political candidates across the country. Michele is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a member of The Dramatist Guild and ASCAP, and serves on the board of trustees for the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. She is on the faculty of the Dramatist Guild Institute and ESPA.


Daniel and Patrick Lazour are brothers and music theatre writers. They have workshopped their work at the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference and at New York Theatre Workshop under the 2016 Richard Rodgers Award. Their musical We Live In Cairo will be produced at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA as part of their 2018/2019 season, directed by Taibi Magar. They have developed their work during residencies at the O’Neill, Space on Ryder Farm and the MacDowell Colony. Their new musical, Bethesda, about the first chemotherapy trials in the 1950s and 60s, was workshopped at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Theatre and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Patrick and Daniel were 2015-16 Dramatists Guild Fellows and are New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspects. Most recently, they were artists-in-residence at the American University in Cairo. They can be heard performing their songs live at Cornelia Street Café.


Amy E. Witting finally admits she is from New Jersey, although she now resides in Sunnyside, New York. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College and her MFA in playwriting from Hunter College. Her plays include The House on the Hill (Atlantic Theater Inaugural LAUNCH Commission, NNPN National Showcase, CATF World Premiere), Anne Page Hates Fun (ASC Upcoming World Premiere), The Midnight Ride of Sean & Lucy (Roundabout Underground Workshop featuring Elisabeth Moss & Bryce Pinkham, Semi-finalist 2017 O’Neil Playwrights Conference), Day 392 (The Kennedy Center ACTF/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop, Hunter Playwrights Week, Honorable Mention Kilroy’s List), and A Bad Night: A Documentary Play About Consent (MTC’s Creative Center, June Havoc Theatre, Upcoming NY Rep Workshop). She has received a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship, NEA Grant, The Anne Freedman Grant, and winner of the 2018 Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Prize. Her plays have been developed at Atlantic Theater Company, Roundabout Theatre, The Lark Play Development Center, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Pipeline PlayLAB, Tofte Lake Center, Unicorn Theatre, NJ Rep, National New Play Network, and The Kennedy Center.  She is currently under commission from The Queens Council on the Arts for her upcoming project Sunnyside Impressions. While she is not writing, Amy is busy working in the New York Public School system as a Teaching Artist where she most recently curated an original play about young immigrants called Catch Me in America.


ABOUT PLAYPENN: PlayPenn, in its 14th year, is an artist-driven organization dedicated to the development of new plays and playwrights. PlayPenn fully supports the needs of the writer and the demands of the play in an ever-evolving process within which playwrights can engage in risk taking, boundary-pushing work. The organization’s flagship annual new play development conference and year-round development workshops in cooperation with producing theatres result in staged readings of at least 10 new plays each year for over 1,800 artists, producers, and theatergoers. Additionally, PlayPenn’s rapidly expanding educational programs—which include 17-20 in-person and online classes annually with notable instructors, application assistance, personalized dramaturgy services, plus The Foundry, a three-year membership group for emerging playwrights resident in Philadelphia—serve another 230+ playwrights from the region and across the nation. PlayPenn supports artists at all career stages across a broad spectrum of cultural, economic, ethnic, and gender experience. Since 2005, PlayPenn has helped to develop over 125 new plays from infancy to a state closer to production-readiness. Nearly 60% of these plays have gone on to more than 330 professional productions at esteemed institutions in the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere around the world, including the London’s National Theatre, National Theatre of Israel, English Theatre Berlin, Roundabout Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre, Atlantic Theatre, Second Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, LaJolla Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, South Coast Repertory, and a host of theatres in the Philadelphia region, in cities across the country and around the world. In 2017, PlayPenn celebrated the first of its developed plays to hit a Broadway stage, and win a Tony Award—JT Rogers’ Oslo at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.  Find out more at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s