Chicago Dramatists announces a new vision focused on renovated programming, a fellows program, varied workshop opportunities, and creating a more inclusive and collaborative process with other Chicago theatre companies. These developments are in addition to Chicago Dramatists’ 38-year legacy of supporting the artistic development of resident playwrights through public and private readings, workshops, and productions.

“We are opening our doors, building a resource and hub for new work in Chicago,” said Artistic Director Meghan Beals. “It’s an exciting time to be working with Chicago-based writers. All of our residents are connected to the city, all the time, supporting one another and creating a new generation of work. Chicago Dramatists is about writers helping writers, inclusion, and creative empowerment. We are responsive to the needs of writers and nimble in our programming services.”

The repositioning will take place throughout the summer, culminating with a day-long conference on new play development. Below are key events:

  • New resident playwrights will be announced this month. The new writers will join 18 continuing resident playwrights; all playwrights will now have a term limit of six years with the organization. An active alumni program will provide former resident playwrights access to programming.
  • Chicago Dramatists will no longer be a producing theater. Instead, Chicago Dramatists has instituted The Grafting Project, an initiative to promote resident playwrights and to collaborate with peer organizations.
  • A public showcase of new resident work is scheduled for September 17. The event is open to the public and will be an opportunity for Chicago to hear the work of new resident playwrights.
  • Chicago Dramatists’ first day-long conference is October 1. The event will feature playwriting panel discussions, mini-sessions on the business of theatre, and roundtables on the changing face of new play development. A party will celebrate the repositioning and participants are welcome to stay for a Grafting Project play on our stage.

“Playwriting by its nature is a solitary endeavor. Chicago Dramatists has given me a community, an opportunity to be supportive of other writers,” said Resident Playwright Arlene Malinowski. “I have grown as an artist and a human being, and that is the best of all gifts.”

“Chicago Dramatists provides a remarkable artistic home to develop my plays,” said Resident Playwright Anne García-Romero. “I’m able to connect with many members of the vibrant theatre community in Chicago, which continually inspires my work. Specifically, the Saturday Series readings and Chicago Dramatists’ collaboration with the Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit have created incredibly valuable opportunities for me to continue to grow as a playwright.”

For more on the resident playwrights at Chicago Dramatists, view here.


Chicago Dramatists nurtures playwrights with the resources and collaborators necessary to realize new work and grow as artists; it is Chicago’s center for new play development.

Dedicated to nurturing playwrights and developing new plays, Chicago Dramatists enriches the national theatre repertory. Plays developed at Chicago Dramatists earn hundreds of professional accomplishments, including productions, awards, commissions and readings at theatres in Chicago and worldwide. Distinguished alumni of Chicago Dramatists include Lydia Diamond (Smart People, Stick Fly), Tanya Saracho (El Nogalar, How to Get Away with Murder), Andrew Hinderaker (Colossus, Penny Dreadful), Rick Cleveland (The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Mad Men), Rebecca Gilman (Pulitzer nominee, Spinning into Butter, Luna Gale), and Keith Huff (A Steady Rain, House of Cards).

Chicago Dramatists is led by Meghan Beals, a director and dramaturg committed to the advancement of Chicago playwrights and innovation in new play development. Beals joined Chicago Dramatists as Artistic Director in August, 2015. For more information, visit