Online Playwriting Classes


We are so excited to be able to offer these opportunities!


Essential Elements of Playwriting with Bridgette Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman is a playwright based in Fremont, CA. More than two dozen of her plays have been produced in the Bay Area, across the country, and overseas. Her full-length drama in verse, Caeneus & Poseidon, had its world premiere at Dragon Theatre in 2017. A number of other Bay Area theatre companies, including the Pear Theatre, Custom Made Theatre, Quantum Dragon Theatre, Awesome Theatre, PianoFight, Wily West Theatre, and the SF Olympians Festival, have also featured her work. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Writers’ Guild, and the Dramatists’ Guild. She has been a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival, the Theatre Bay Area TITAN award, the PlayPenn Conference, the Kentucky Women’s Theatre Conference Prize for Women Writers, the New Dramatists playwrights’ residency, and more. She holds a PhD in political science (UC Irvine, 2011) and an MFA in creative writing (Spalding University, 2018). Learn more about Bridgette at


Ten Ways to Get a Laugh with Leanna Keyes

Leanna Keyes is a playwright who splits her time between Memphis, Tennessee and the San Francisco Bay Area. Dragon Theatre audiences will know her from her play Legal-Tender Loving Care from 2019’s Redwood City Play Festival. Other local productions include Doctor Voynich and Her Children at Stanford University in 2018. Longtime local collaborators include the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and The Cutting Ball Theatre. She was a 2019 Playwright in Residence at Crosstown Arts. In 2017, her work was featured at Carnegie Mellon in the curriculum of “American Women Playwrights of the 20th and 21st Centuries.”
Find out more at


Sketch Comedy Drop-In Writers’ Room – For TV, Stage, & Film with Rich Talarico!

Rich Talarico is a Peabody Award winning and four-time Emmy nominated writer and producer best known for his work on Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. Rich has also written/produced Review for Comedy Central, FOX’s MADtv, NBC’s Saturday Night Live as well as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.Rich produced and wrote Frank TV for TBS and was a writer/performer on The Sketch Pad for HBO. Rich served as improv coach on the first Anchorman film and did script punch-ups on Mean Girls and the Oscar-winning Get Out.Rich’s most recent feature film script, The Widow Daredevil, was named an official selection of the prestigious 2020 Beverly Hills Film Festival. Rich took his first improv class from Stephen Colbert at Chicago’s Second City in 1992 and then went on the road with Second City’s National Touring Company. He later co-created five original sketch comedy revues with Second City’s Etc. and Main Stage Companies.While in Chicago, Rich was involved at Improv Olympic (now iO) under the direction of Charna Halpern and the late, Del Close. Rich played on iO house teams, co-created several shows and performed with early casts of Chicago’s longest-running improv show:”The Armando Diaz Experience, Theatrical Movement and Hootenanny”. Rich has appeared in small roles on MADtv, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the feature film, High Fidelity. Rich has appeared in several TV commercials, most notably A&W Rootbeer’s“Mr. Dumass”.


A.D.D. COMEDY with Dave Razowsky – Rich Talarico

IMPROV NERD with Jimmy Carrane #61 Rich Talarico






Back by popular demand! This course is now in its third iteration after selling out the first two sessions.

In this eight-week ONLINE course, we will delve into the art of writing plays that engage, delight, and move audiences. Using writing exercises, examples, discussion, and feedback from your instructor and peers, you will improve your ability to craft believable, multifaceted characters, write memorable dialogue that drives the play forward, and find the structure that works best for your plot and keeps your audience riveted. We’ll also discuss how to market your work, including strategies for promoting yourself, in-person and online networking, and submitting to contests and development opportunities.

June 21 – August 9
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Tuition: $200

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced playwright looking to learn new techniques,
this course will give you the tools you need to write plays that get produced.




Ten Ways to Get a Laugh

This is a practical course focusing on humor in plays, movies, web content, and television. Laughter is one of the most potent energetic shifts in the course of a scene, and it’s essential for a writer to know why it works, when to use it, and most importantly, how to get it. Through case studies, discussion sections, and practical exercises, students learn ten distinct ways to earn the laugh.

This 5-week course will include a weekly recorded lecture accompanied by a live virtual class. Each recorded lecture will end with an assignment for students to work on in preparation for the virtual class. Lecture recordings will be sent out on Mondays with the virtual class held on the following Thursdays. For those only interested in the recorded lectures, we have a prorated tuition available.

May 7 – June 4
6:00 – 7:00 pm

Week 1: Introduction & The Structure of Humor
Week 2: Working with Your Audience (Tools 1-3)
Week 3: It’s All in the Words (Tools 4-7)
Week 4: Collaboration (Tools 8-10)
Lecture will be sent on 5/25
Week 5: Time and a Place for Every Tool
Lecture will be sent on 6/1

Tuition: $150 (Lectures & Virtual Class)
Recorded Lecture Fee: $75
(Recorded lectures only)

We will be scheduling another session of this course soon.
Please contact Justine if you would like to purchase the recordings.




“Rich Talarico is one of the all time great Caucasian Improvisers.”
– Tina Fey


Bring in a 5 page or less sketch or a pitch and work it out in a hands-on setting. This class will be run “WRITERS’ ROOM STYLE.” Students bring in first drafts or ideas for sketches and Rich shares insights from working 15+ years in late night TV (SNL, MADtv, Key & Peele, The Tonight Show) and from experience having written five resident company shows for Second City in Chicago. Open to all levels but some experience is helpful. Students will learn how to contribute to others’ ideas and pitches as well.

*Steve Rogers Photography Austin, TX


Upcoming class:


3:00 – 6:00 pm (PT)
Student Tuition: $75
Auditor Tuition: $30

Rich will work with students in the order of registration.


Student registration closes at 12 noon (PT) on preceding Fridays.