emma goldman sherman
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Structure is Not a Dirty Word

Class Info

This class is currently full. If you would like to register, please fill join the waitlist.

Instructors: Emma Goldman-Sherman
Class Date: Tuesdays, 6pm-9pm Eastern; March 12 - May 14
Maximum Students: 10

AST: 7pm-10pm
EST: 6pm-9pm
CST: 5pm-8pm
MST: 4pm-7pm 
PST: 3pm-6pm
AKST: 2pm-5pm
HST: 1pm-4pm


Class Summary

Do you dread the "S" word? Do you feel unprepared to discuss your work in terms of its STRUCTURE? 

Learn how to use the power of structure to unlock your work!

This workshop, led by award-winning playwright Emma Goldman-Sherman, will provide you with a series of in-class and at-home writing exercises that will teach you to feel how structure functions and recognize it on the page or stage. You will develop skills for pacing your work through the creation of builds, stichomythic exchanges, and other dynamics to serve your stories.

After ten weeks of generative exercises, you will have a stronger understanding of how structure works, how you can use it to build your plays, and the freedom to invent new structures that subvert expectations and surprise your audiences.


Class Requirements

This class is suitable for playwrights at any point in their writing careers, but it is not an introductory playwriting course. You should have a fundamental understanding of playwriting and the crafting of dramatic action.


Class Expectations

Expect to write in class. Expect to share writing in class. Expect to get comfortable with the idea of writing badly on purpose. Be able to receive feedback and to give feedback under Emma’s guidelines. Please bring with you a sense of adventure, a desire for open exploration, and a willingness to experiment in your work. 

It's okay to work with characters or a play that you've already started, but all of the in-class work should be newly-generated writing. (Please note that there will be about an hour’s work of homework assigned each week.)


Class Outcome 

You will have many new skills in your Playwriting Toolkit, including a new understanding of structure, how to wield it, and when to wield it.  You should also have the confidence and courage to invent your own structures. 


  • Refunds

    The Dramatists Guild does not provide refunds; however, it is possible to receive credit towards a future course instead. Please email dginstitute@dramatistsguild.com for more information.

    Unfortunately, DG is unable to offer financial aid at this time.

  • Financial Aid

    Unfortunately, at this time financial aid is not available.

  • Instructors and Community

    The faculty at the Dramatists Guild is comprised of some of the country’s leading playwrights, songwriters, educators, and industry professionals. Please be aware that instructors are subject to change prior to the start of the semester. In the unlikely event that such a change does occur, all DG students will be notified as soon as possible.

    The Dramatists Guild endeavors to create a safe space in which all students feel encouraged to participate as freely and confidently as possible. Although we generally try to group students by skill level, writers from a variety of backgrounds will inevitably be in class together. Students are expected to be inclusive, communicative, and welcoming to one another, regardless of previous writing experience.

    All students should arrive on time to class, disengage from electronic media (other than the Zoom platform upon which the class is taking place), and remain present for the entire class period. Please note that the Guild is unable to record any courses. If you are unable to attend a class, it is your responsibility to contact your instructor, in advance of your planned absence, in order to coordinate a sufficient make-up strategy.

  • Class Sizes

    Unless otherwise noted, all foundation classes have a maximum of 14-15 students and all writing workshops (including specialty writing workshops) have a maximum of 10 students. 

    The number of students in each course is limited in order to ensure that every participant has a meaningful classroom experience.

  • Contact Us

    Feel free to email us at dginstitute@dramatistsguild.com, or call the Guild office at (212) 398-9366.