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Dialogue goes beyond a conversation between characters. It is an essential way to strengthen character development, keep the plot moving forward, and establish the world of the play. matthew paul olmos will share key tools of dialogue from writing exposition to letting characters speak with silence. Through writing assignments and in-class discussions, students will have the opportunity to sharpen their skills in dialogue to engage their audience in a more meaningful way. 

This class is for you if you:

  • Are looking for new strategies to enhance your dialogue skills.
  • Need to streamline your dialogue, or stopover-writing.
  • Want to strengthen characters and how they express their wants and needs.
  • Struggle with worldbuilding in your stories.
  • Are interested in learning more about matthew paul olmos’ work and approach to writing

What to expect:

  • Explore the tools of dialogue, specifically addressing characterization, exposition, overwriting, rhythm, and subtext
  • Engage in discussion with fellow writers, making connections with your artistic peers.
  • Gain the tools to create engaging, fully-formed dialogue that will compel audiences to lean into your work, as opposed to passively listening.
  • A strong understanding of dialogue and preparation to apply it to your next play or draft.


Class Modality: Synchronous – Meeting online once every week.

Class Dates: Tuesdays, November 14th through December 19th

  • 6 total “in-person” sessions: November 14th, 21st, 28th, December 5th, 12th, and 19th
From matthew

While structing of plays is often taught, there are very few opportunities to focus solely on dialogue skills, even though dialogue is often a large part of writing plays. And many plays I read have interesting stories, well-defined characters, but the weak dialogue keeps the play from being as engaging as it could be.

matthew paul olmos

The playwright he, him, his
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based inSouth Pasadena, CA
matthew paul olmos is a Mexican-American playwright who focuses on the creation of space for marginalized, underrepresented communities and gives them poetics and theatricality. While his work is always personal, it is aimed at reaching across socio’political boundaries, showing the ridiculous of how separate we are, and illuminating hope for future generations.

He is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, Echo Theater Company Resident Playwright, lifetime Ensemble Studio Theatre member and Sloan Commission recipient, New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer, and two-time Venturous Playwright Fellowship nominee. Previous Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival Commission, Arizona Theatre Company’s National Latine Playwriting Awardee, Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artist, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist, Center Theatre Group LA Playwright, Drama League nominee, Geffen Playhouse Writers Room, Ingram New Works at Nashville Repertory, INTAR H.P.R.L., a proud Kilroys nominator, New York Theatre Workshop Fellow, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab, two-time Ojai Playwrights Conference, inaugural Primary Stages Creative Development Grantee and Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, Repertorio Español Miranda Family Nuestra Voces Playwriting Awardee.

He spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by Ruth Maleczech, was chosen/mentored by Taylor Mac for Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project, and was La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard.

His work has been presented nationally and internationally, taught in university, and is published by Concord Theatricals/Samuel French and NoPassport Press. www.matthewpaulolmos.com.