Playwriting Classes

TBG’s playwriting program encourages simplicity and clarity in story-telling.  We share practical tools that can easily be applied to your writing, ignite the imagination, and demystify the revision process.  Our approach highlights the structural pillars of a well-told narrative and helps writers establish clear contexts, so that their stories will have greater impact.  TBG’s writing tools leave room for a wide range of expression, supporting all genres—from simple, intimate, powerful, character-driven plays to epic tales with stylized language.  Whether you are a playwright crafting ten-minute plays or wanting to start and/or finish a full-length script, you’ll find yourself in a supportive workshop environment of committed theatre artists.

Quarterly Classes

Playwriting Intensive

There is nothing like a deadline to get you writing and keep you going! Modeling on The Barrow Group aesthetic of using “tools,” this workshop includes in-class writing and out-of-class homework. As a supportive collective we’ll read and discuss our pages in class. Whether you are looking at finishing a first draft of a play or improving your writing process with scenes and one-acts, this workshop will provide you with positive support through examining techniques and tools. Are you a writer who starts from character or from story? We’ll look at themes, structure and character in an environment that brings out and channels your creativity.  No prerequisites are required for this class.

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Select a date to register

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Instructor: Scott Organ
Thursdays, 11am-2pm, 10 Weeks - no class on 11/23, $495

Advanced Playwriting Intensive

This on-going workshop provides a laboratory for serious playwrights who are experienced writers. Combining the use of “tools” and a formal response process, participants will bring in pages each week to be read and discussed. There is nothing like a deadline for a writer and by the end of just a few months you should have a draft of a new full-length play or a serious revision of a work-in-progress. Utilizing Barrow Group actors we will, as needed, show our work in public readings. To be considered for this class, students must have taken a Playwriting Intensive or submit a writing sample to

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Playwriting Master Class – by invitation only

by invite only

This on-going workshop provides a writers’ group for serious playwrights who have taken the Intensive and Advanced levels of writing classes at The Barrow Group. Participants may begin a new work or continue to move forward on long term projects, and are committed to sharing their pages each week with the group to read aloud and discuss.  The Master Class will culminate with actors reading longer sections from the works-in-progress and hopefully the playwrights will begin submitting their work to theatre and contests.

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Ten-Minute Playlab

Using exercises and assignments we’ll write, workshop and revise our ten-minute plays; by the end of our time together you’ll be ready to submit your work to contests. And, best of all, the Ten-Minute Playlab will culminate in a rehearsed reading of the plays, performed by Barrow Group actors.

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Weekend Workshops

Weekend Playwriting Workshop: Jumpstart & Revisions

This two day weekend workshop combines Jumpstart and Revisions into one weekend.

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Playwriting I Weekend Workshop: Jumpstart

For playwrights, actors, directors, designers and anyone interested in exploring the creative process and broadening their skills in storytelling, this one day workshop is for you! Whether you are new to playwriting or in the middle of a project, you already possess, deep inside you, everything you need to jumpstart your art and bring forth your unique voice. For theatre artists and writers of all genres looking for ideas, this workshop includes a series of in-class exercises which reveal a roadmap to the wonders and revelations of the unconscious mind.

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Playwriting II Weekend Workshop: Revisions

You’ve got a draft of a scene or short play – what’s next? Maybe you’ve heard your words spoken aloud and maybe you haven’t, but writing is rewriting and this workshop will give you a set of tools for your current and future work. Through exercises, examples and a series of questions, you will look at your plays with new eyes and fresh ideas. Bring something old or something new: –A ten-minute or short play that you want to revise –A scene from a longer work that is ready for the next step –The first 10-15 pages of a full-length –Or just bring yourself and a pencil! (We’ll have a short play by another author for you to revise!) In addition to reading work aloud for discussion, we’ll also cover questions about formatting, submissions, new play development, collaboration, staged readings and anything that helps you take your drafts to the next stage. You’ll leave this one day workshop with a new set of skills and handouts to help focus your revisions.

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“Had Arlene Hutton been around during Broadway’s golden age, her finely wrought plays might rank with those of William Inge or Horton Foote. Among postmodern dramatists, Hutton stands apart, relying on traditional techniques in an era where such values grow ever rarer.”
—David Nichols, LA Times

“Arlene Hutton is so supportive of her students, so genuine in her enthusiasm, so encouraging of exploration. I was talking to some of the other students as we left, and there was a consensus of buoyed enthusiasm and excitement from everyone in the room. People left her workshop truly excited to write. I think that she gave a lot of students back their confidence and inspired newfound passion for the craft in others.” –Becca Worthington, playwright

Students (members) of the Barrow Group now qualify to purchase Final Draft 9 at a deeply discounted EDU price of only $99.99 (normally $249.99).  Please go to this link to make your credit card purchase: