ONLINE WORKSHOP: Horrific Playwriting

taught by Affiliated Writer C. Meaker
Thursdays, October 13th through December 1st
Online via Zoom
$150 for Members, $175 for Non-Members

Class Modality: Hybrid Asynchronous - Alternates between online meetings and online lessons/assignments on your own via Google Classroom.

Class Type: Writing Craft & Genre                         

Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome

Class Dates: October 13th through December 1st

Thursdays, October 13th, November 10th, and December 1st (3 "in-person" online sessions total)

Class Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm CT 

(5:00pm PT, 6:00pm MT, 8:00pm ET)

Where: Online via Zoom, check out this quick video on the process.

Structure: Lecture/presentation, Discussion, Writing prompts, Exercises, In-class readings, Online forums for further community connections and sharing resources

Questions: Email Alayna, Membership Programs Manager at

Captioning: For all sessions, we enable Zoom's auto-generated captioning. However, live captioning can be requested (with 2-weeks' notice) via the Membership Programs Participation Form shared in the detailed confirmation email.

Recordings: If you cannot attend a portion of the seminar, we have a Teaching Assistant and/or PWC facilitator taking in-depth notes. These written notes will be shared with all participants at the end of each session. (We record all of our sessions for internal use only. We do not share recordings with participants.)

Participants must register to join this class, Sign Up at the bottom of the page.


This course takes as its premise that the horror genre has much to offer a new or experienced playwright in developing their craft and voice. From Grand Guignol in France to the contemporary Hookman by Lauren Yee, horror offers the potential to critique political infrastructure, cultural givens, and societal expectations under the guise of a bloody knife or unfriendly specter. Horror sneakily offers power to the Other, a vehicle to empathize with traumatic experiences, and the opportunity to up-end equivocating binary notions of good and evil.

In this hybrid course we will unpack a multiplicity of horror tools a crafty playwright might use in creating any play they write, whether it’s horror or not. Some topics we will cover include: Monster Theory, hauntings and ghosts, and using horror tropes thoughtfully.

In class, we will discuss those readings and participate in writing exercises to develop a healthy practice of theatrical experimentation and an understanding of how performance impacts the work of a playwright. Hopefully, the hybrid nature of the course will allow enough time for students to craft a longer work experimenting with horrific elements we explore.

This Is the Class for You if You:

  • Are a new or experienced playwright wanting to experiment with horror in your work.
  • Are interested in monster theory
  • Are interested in creating suspense in your storytelling
  • Are interested in the historical contexts of a horror story

What to Expect:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the metaphors of horror, in particular those of monsters and ghosts.
  • To develop one or more ideas about a new play and have several exploratory pages written on that idea created through various exercises.
  • To develop familiarity with other plays and playwrights experimenting with horror.
  • To gain a deeper understanding of how horror and history work together.
  • Some students may walk away with a substantial amount of a new play written.

Important Things to Note:

  • When you sign up, you will receive an auto-confirmation email. The next business day you will receive a detailed confirmation email with important information about the seminar including (1) Membership Programs Participation Form (2) The Zoom link (3) Pre-assignments from the instructor and (4) Information about the PWC Membership and Education Team. If you have not received this email by the next business day, please check your spam folder or reach out to Alayna and she will make sure you have the information you need for the seminar or class.
  • All participants must complete and submit a Membership Programs Participation Form for each seminar or class they want to attend. A link to this form is included in the detailed confirmation email.
  • This class will be using Google Classroom. Therefore, you must have or create a Gmail account to fully participate in the class.
  • Payment plans are available as needed. Please contact Membership Programs Manager, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, to discuss payment options.


Horror is history and metaphor. Knowing how to blend history and metaphor to tell your story will serve you in any future writing you undertake.


C. Meaker’s plays have been performed and developed across the United States including the Kennedy Center and National New Play Network, Seattle Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Annex Theatre, About Face Theatre, Macha Monkey Theatre, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and the Playwrights’ Center. Meaker's plays have been published with Dramatic Publishing and Original Works. Meaker describes their work as "reality-adjacent" often playing with conventions outside of kitchen-sink realism that focus on queer characters and feminist themes that tend to be bleak and funny at the same time. They're a Stranger Award Genius Nominee and a Gregory Award Outstanding New Play Nominee. They're an alumna of Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Writers Group and previous Walter E. Dakin Fellow at Sewanee Writers’ Conference. They're a graduate of University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights’ Workshop and a previous Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center. 

 Sign Up Below! 

Questions? Email Membership Programs Manager, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, at

Headshot of C. Meaker, a queer white person with blue hair smiles at the camera. They wear a pink tank top on a sunny day with a white background.