Saturday, July 15 - Monday, July 17, 2017

How do the most productive writers succeed? This July, The Dramatists Guild and the Dramatists Guild Institute will gather some of our community’s most influential theatre makers, artistic directors, literary managers, television writers, educators, lawyers and advocates to the must-attend event for all dramatists in and around Los Angeles.

In our two and half days together,  we will cover a variety of topics from a behind-scenes-look into the writers’ room of some of television’s most influential programming to a look at various forms of dramatic structure, taking ownership of your career through re-examining the individual artist as CEO, an in-depth analysis of social media as a marketing tool, the business affairs of the contemporary writer and an invitation to a live performance event.

There’s probably never been a more important time to refine your unique voice and push it out into the theatrical landscape. As our world becomes more fragmented and whole groups of people become more isolated, we’re extending a call to you to come sit with your tribe and share ideas.

Gary Garrison
Director, Dramatists Guild Institute


UPDATE, May 17, 2017: Thank you for your interest. We have reached capacity for this Intensive. To be added to a wait list in the event that slots become more available, please email us.



All programming and faculty are subject to change

All classes will take place at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
For directions, please refer to the map below


9:30am - 10:00am

Breakfast, reception, and check-in at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

10:00am - 1:00pm

The Artist as CEO, Section I - Marketing & Social Media

Did you think your job was done when you finished your play or musical? Think again. The Artist as CEO will open your eyes to tools essential for taking control of your career.  In this first session, by way of open discussion, we will cover the following: Website Strategy and Construction, Social Media Tips, Building a Professional Support Network, and Building Your Brand with the Dramatists Guild Director of Marketing, Zack Turner.

Instructors: Tari Stratton & Zack Turner
Location: The Kirk Douglas Theatre

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lunch provided


2:00pm - 5:00pm

Playwrights in the Writers Room

An in-depth conversation that ventures off the screen, onto the stage, and then back again, exploring how being a playwright can positively affect the craft of the screenwriter. The session will begin with a panel, followed by small group breakout sessions during which participants will experience what it's like to be in a writers room. 

Panelists Scheduled to Appear: Theresa Rebeck, ("Smash", TroubleSpike Heels, Seminar), Aurin Squire ("This is Us", To Whom it May Concern), Gary Lennon ("Power", "Orange is the New Black"), Laura Jacqmin ("Grace and Frankie", Residence)
Moderated By: R.J. Cutler
Meeting time: Panel discussion 2:00pm - 3:45pm, Group sessions 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Location: The Kirk Douglas Theatre

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Dinner break

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Town Hall: The Future of New Play Production in Los Angeles

What is the current landscape of new play production in LA? What opportunities and challenges exist for developing new work? This panel discussion will explore how various stakeholders - Artists, Producers, Unions, Government, Funders - are currently interacting, and what DG Members (and the public) can do in the future to improve the environment and economic viability of developing new work.

Location: Veterans Memorial Building, Rotunda Room (within walking distance from the Kirk Douglas Theatre
Scheduled to Appear: Charlayne Woodard (Pretty FireIn Real Life), Steven Leigh Morris (Executive Director, LA Stage Alliance), Bronwyn Mauldin (Director of Research and Evaluation at LA County), Stephen Sachs (Artistic Director, The Fountain Theatre), more TBA
RSVP: Included in price, RSVP during checkout


10:30am - 11:00am

Breakfast, reception, and check-in located at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

11:00am - 1:00pm

The Artist as CEO, Section II - Business of Writing for the Stage

Writing a show is not just an art, nor is it simply a skill. In a dramatist’s best-case scenario, it’s a business, as well. In fact, the business of playwriting influences the very nature of the art form, so an understanding of theatrical business practices is an essential part of every dramatist’s education. Unfortunately, it is all too often the case that writers remain ignorant of the standards in their own industry and so are left vulnerable to the greater forces at work.  But writers can steel themselves against the ever dangerous “don’t worry, it’s a standard agreement” agreement, and the baseless “this is the way it’s always done” assertion, and the untrustworthy “don’t you trust me?” trap, simply by understanding what the standard business and legal principles of theatrical production are, and how those principles relate to them as writers for the stage. So come join Ralph Sevush, Esq., the Guild’s Executive Director of Business Affairs & General Counsel, to see how the concepts of the theater business are addressed in the Author’s Bill of Rights.

Instructors: Tari Stratton & Ralph Sevush
Location: The Kirk Douglas Theatre

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lunch provided

2:00pm - 4:30pm

Master Class: Play Structure with Gary Garrison

This is an overview of dramatic structure designed to acquaint dramatists at all levels of writing with a variety of play structures that playwrights use in their narrative storytelling to enliven the world of their stories. We’ll focus on two things: to understand how writers structure their stories to enhance all the elements of compelling storytelling and to build a critical vocabulary that will be useful when a writer discusses their own creative work in a workshop or production environment. We’ll look at different styles of storytelling, genres, techniques and alternative approaches to writing dramatic texts that will be helpful in discussion with all your future collaborators. 

Instructor: Gary Garrison
Location: The Kirk Douglas Theatre

4:30pm - 5:00pm

Closing notes


Discounted Tickets Available as an Optional Add-On
$99, all fees waived
(non-member price $175 + fees)

 cast and lineup still to be announced

cast and lineup still to be announced

The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles

Celebrating and Supporting the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund

Join us on Monday, July 17 for our 9th annual The 24 Hour Musicals! An all-new, all-star line up of writers and composers, Broadway performers, stars from TV and film, directors, musical directors and choreographers will create and perform four brand new short musicals over the course of a single day! Now for the first time ever, The 24 Hour Musicals come to Los Angeles in a magical event at the historic United Artists Theater at Ace Hotel. 

Previous participants in The 24 Hour Plays and Musicals have included Jennifer Aniston, Chris Rock, Daveed Diggs, Peter Dinklage, Rachel Dratch, Jesse Eisenberg, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ben Folds, Megan Fox, Oscar Isaac, Cheyene Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Tracy Morgan, Nellie McKay, Javier Muñoz, Bebe Neuwirth, Amanda Seyfried, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Spacey, Tracie Thoms, Kathleen Turner, and many more!

This event celebrates and supports the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit arm of the Dramatists Guild of America which advocates for the freedom of expression and advocates on behalf of all who are confronting censorship on stages across America.

Location:  The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Ticket Information: $99, all fees waived for anyone registered for the DGI Intensive (Non-member price $175 + fees)


Learn more about The 24 Hour Musicals! Watch the trailer below for One Night Stand, a documentary with behind the scenes footage from a previous production of the show.

LA Panorama in Header by Michael Shainblum