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At this time, the workshop is at full capacity. However, please add your name to the waitlist if you are interested in this or future workshops. For any questions, please contact Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, Membership Programs Manager.



What’s your dramatic question? Who is your main character? What action does the character take to get their want? At the core of your craft as a playwright, you will endeavor to answer these fundamental questions while still trying to work instinctually, making your art feel alive.

With guidance from James Anthony Tyler, students will explore ways to discover a clear dramatic question, create complex and nuanced characters, and design high-stakes journeys that force characters into action in their plays.

By the end of this course, the goal is to have a clear understanding of how the dramatic question shapes your characters, how your characters shape the action, and how distinct action ultimately leads you to write compelling scenes. The overall objective is for each participant to have a first draft of a new full-length play.

This workshop is for you if you:

  • Need help developing a strong dramatic question for your play.
  • Want to strengthen the overall action of your play through character development.
  • Have written yourself into a corner and can’t find a way out.
  • Have been searching for an active writer’s group.
    Are interested in learning more about James’ work and approach to writing.

What to expect:

  • Gain a clear understanding of how the dramatic question shapes how you devise the characters in your play.
  • Gain a clear understanding of how characters shape action.
  • Gain a clear understanding of how action shapes scenes.
  • Complete a new or revised draft of a full-length.

Class Dates: Every Tuesday, July 30 through October 15

  • July 30
  • August 6
  • August 13
  • August 20
  • August 27
  • September 3
  • September 10
  • September 17
  • September 24
  • October 1
  • October 8
  • October 15

Payment Schedule: Monthly payments ($140)

*Cost equals $35 a session.

  • Payment #1: Due at time of enrollment
  • Payment #2: Due August 26
  • Payment #3: Due September 23
From James

It’s important for understanding various structured ways to write plays and for finding your own voice as a Playwright. Playwriting is about trusting and shaping the things that come into your head and your heart!

James Anthony Tyler

The playwright He, Him, His
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based inLos Angeles, CA
James Anthony Tyler is the recipient of the 3rd Annual Horton Foote Playwriting Award, an inaugural playwright to receive a commission from Audible, and a 2016 Theatre Masters Visionary Playwrights Award recipient. He is currently a Playwrights Center Core Writer, and most recently was the recipient of The Playwrights Center’s McKnight National Residency and Commission, a member of The Fire This Time Festival’s New Works Lab Cycle 5, and a member of Circle X Theatre Company’s Evolving Playwrights Group. His plays include Some Old Black Man (Berkshire Playwrights Lab at St. James Place and 59E59 Theaters, and a University Musical Society filmed production), All We Need Is Us (Keen Company, currently streaming on all podcast platforms) hop thA A (Currently streaming on Audible), Artney Jackson (World Premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival, 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award), and Dolphins and Sharks (LAByrinth Theater Company and Finborough Theatre in London). He’s a 2021/2018 MacDowell Fellow, a 2021 Hermitage Artist Resident, a 2018 Djerassi Fellow, 2018-2019 Amoralists Wright Club Playwright, 2017-2018 Nashville Rep Ingram New Works Playwright, 2016-2017 Ars Nova Play Group Resident, 2016 Working Farm Playwrights Group Resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm, 2015-2016 Playwrights’ Center’s Many Voices Fellow, 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow, and he was a member of Harlem’s Emerging Black Playwrights Group. He has a MFA in Film from Howard University and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. He is also a graduate of The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. For television, he was the Staff Writer for the OWN Network show “Cherish the Day” created by Ava DuVernay, and was most recently in the writers’ room for a new Apple + Drama Series starring an Academy Award winning actress, and he’s currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU, Juilliard, and Columbia University.