playwriting in a changed world

This workshop is your chance to learn all about the new play development process: what to expect, what to demand, and when to walk away.

We live and work in a time of new realities and shifting standards in theatre. What does this changed landscape mean for you and your work? What opportunities are still available to you, and what do you need to know to navigate the flux? Join us for a weekend of concentrated learning, sharing, and discussion, to prepare you for what comes next.


Facilitator: Todd London 

Workshop Artists:

Todd London is the Director of Field Learning at the Dramatists Guild and the former Head of the MFA Playwriting Program at The New School, where he is currently on faculty. He is the author of numerous scholarly works, including Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play.

Luis Castro is a producer who has worked as Acting Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Executive Director of Philanthropic Initiatives at Time Warner, and as an executive and consultant at HBO.

The recipient of the 2020 Flora Roberts Award, Kia Corthron is a playwright, novelist, and TV writer whose credits include Force Continuum, and "The Wire." 

Playwright Kristoffer Diaz's work includes The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, for which he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Philip Himberg is the Executive Director of the MacDowell Colony. Prior to his current position, he served as the head of the Sundance Institute's theatre program. 

The multi-faceted Christine Toy Johnson is the host of the Dramatists Guild Presents: TALKBACK podcast, Chair of DG's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, as well as a lyricist, playwright, and performer who, prior to COVID-19, was currently starring in the National Tour of Come From Away.

Emily Simoness is the co-founder and executive director, Space on Ryder Farm artists' residency initiative.

Aurin Squire is an award-wining playwright whose work include To Whom It May Concern; he was also a staff writer for the first season of the TV show "This is Us".

Participating DG staff members: Ralph Sevush, Lily Dwoskin, Sarah Rebell, Emmanuel Wilson

Please find our sample schedule for the weekend below. 

(Note that the schedule and participants are subject to change.)

Day 1: Resources and Opportunities—Understanding the Map

11am-12pm: Existing Resources and Opportunities: What is still up and running? How can you plan for future projects in this uncertain time? This conversation will include Dramatists Guild Resource Directory training for workshop participants. With DG Managing Director Emmanuel Wilson and Lily Dwoskin.

12pm-1pm: New play development in the US, an evolving history. With Todd London, Director, DG Institute for Field Learning

1pm-1:30pm: Break.

1:30pm-3pm: The Field as It Is: Counting Together: In this panel, we'll be examining the data regarding who gets to be counted on and offstage, observing (and defying) the trends, and grappling with the notion of identity. With Luis Castro (American Theatre Wing) and Christine Toy Johnson (DG Council/Asian American Performers Action Coalition).

3pm-4pm: Talking about Work: Your Own and Others. This panel will offer models for engaging with colleagues in supportive and constructive ways, enabling participants to recognize power, difference, and perspective.

***Please note that there will be an overnight reading assignment TBA.

Day 2: Navigating a Changed Field

11am-11:30am: Group Reflections.

11:30-12pm: Playing Online. Streaming and Digital Rights with DG Executive Director of Business Affairs Ralph Sevush and Chair of DG New Media Committee Kristoffer Diaz.

12pm-12:45pm: Theatre Organizations at a Crossroads: Emerging Standards/New Demands. SPACE on Ryder Farm's Emily Simoness will lead a conversation on topics including pay for rehearsal, child and family care, diversity initiatives, #WeSeeYou, and more. 

12:45pm-1:15pm: Break.

1:15pm-2pm: A Conversation on Residencies and Retreats with DG Council Member Kia Corthron and the MacDowell Colony's Philip Himberg.

2pm-3pm: How Social Media Can Help and When It Can Hurt with DG Creative Affairs Manager Sarah Rebell.

3pm-3:30pm: The Unlit Path: Creating Your Own Opportunities with playwright Aurin Squire.

3:30pm-4pm: Next Steps.

Please reach out to us with any questions at

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