Will Dunne Workshops
Workshop members hear their scenes read by actors and get feedback from the group.


Will Dunne Dramatic Writing Workshops is one of the Bay Area’s longest running story development programs. Designed for playwrights and screenwriters, the program currently features two types of weekend intensives: Story Weekend – offered monthly and supplemented by our New Writers/ New Works staged reading series – and Shorts workshops – offered periodically. Other special classes are also offered throughout the year.

All workshops currently meet online. Otherwise, most workshops meet in the downtown San Francisco theatre district at the Phoenix Theatre Annex, Fourth Floor, 414 Mason Street near Geary – about a block from Union Square.

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Saturdays, 10 AM-4:30 PM Pacific

Sundays, 12-4:30PM Pacific

Meeting monthly, this unique series of story development weekends is designed for experienced playwrights and screenwriters who are working on a script and want guidance and feedback along the way.

Beginners and other observers can participate by purchasing a Weekend Pass that lets them follow along during writing exercises, and observe scene readings and critiques.

Each self-contained weekend offers an intensive blend of creative and analytical activities to help you develop your play or screenplay in a supportive environment.

Will Dunne Workshops

Workshop members hear their scenes read by actors and get feedback from the group.


10-AM-12PM PT • Scene Writing
Step-by-step guided writing exercises to spark new discoveries about your characters and story. Arrive with a rough idea of what might happen next in your script and leave with a completed scene.

12-2PM PT • Offline for Writing and Lunch

2-4:30PM PT • Scene Reading and Analysis
Actor readings and group critique of a scene that you wrote before this weekend and want to evaluate.


12-1PM PT • Story Development
Global writing exercises to help you analyze and clarify the “big picture” of your story.

1-2PM PT • Offline for Writing and Lunch

2-4:30PM PT • Scene Reading and Analysis
Actor readings and group critique of either a second scene that you wrote before this weekend or the new one from the Saturday session.

You also become eligible for our New Writers/New Works staged reading series in which selected scene work is assigned to directors for casting and rehearsal, and presented to the public at local theatres.

Story Weekend is offered three times each quarter and gives you the option to sign up for one, two, or all three weekends. Many writers use the program as an ongoing resource for script development.

You can receive a significant tuition discount if you sign up in advance for a quarterly series of three workshops. This level of enrollment also gives you the option to use a tuition payment plan to extend payment beyond the first session. See Workshop Schedule & Fees for further details.


Sundays, 10-11AM Pacific


Meeting weekly on Sunday mornings, 10-11 AM Pacific time, this one-hour online workshop features a variety of step-by-step writing exercises to help you flesh out characters, develop scenes, and explore your story. Designed primarily for playwrights and screenwriters, but applicable to fiction writers as well, it’s a creative and analytical workout that can help spark new ideas, work through writing problems, and overcome writer’s block. And because it’s online, it’s available to anyone anywhere with Wifi access.



This unique, creatively focused weekend intensive offers simple theme elements, step-by-step writing exercises, group feedback, and actor support to trigger and guide the development of a new short play. Arrive on Saturday morning with absolutely nothing prepared and take a creative leap into the blank page. By late Sunday afternoon, you will have not only written a new play but seen it performed!

The workshop is designed for writers with some playwriting experience and has been successful with confident beginners. It also offers a boost for those who feel blocked, rusty, or just want a writing change of pace. Saturday play development runs from 10 AM to 5 PM (including a one hour lunch break). Sunday stage presentations run from 1 to 5 PM and include group comments.


Founded in 1992, New Writers/New Works is a staged reading series that showcases the talents of emerging stage and screen writers by presenting directed and rehearsed excerpts from their works-in-progress before a public audience at a local theatre. As a member of the Story Weekend workshop, you gain opportunities to participate in the series and see your work on stage.

Will Dunne WorkshopsEach program features scenes from about a dozen writers, typically runs two hours, and attracts an audience of about 150. Admission is free, and all are welcome. Most programs are followed by a reception where writers, directors, actors, and audience members can interact informally to discuss the work.

In addition to the showcase, we facilitate staged readings of full-length scripts developed in the workshop. As a member, you can receive individual assistance with obtaining low-cost theatre space for your reading, finding the right director and cast, and bringing in an audience so you can get a useful response to your work.


The ongoing workshop program is periodically supplemented by special classes offered on a one-time or short-term basis. These classes focus on such areas as: in-depth script analysis of master plays and screenplays, improvisational writing as a tool for character and story exploration, and master classes for advanced writers.