Online Workshop: Self-Producing for Playwrights 101

taught by Olivia Lilley
Tuesdays April 5th,19th, May 3rd, and 31st @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm CT
Online via Zoom
$150 for Members, $175 for Non-Members

Class Modality: Hybrid Asynchronous

Class Type: Playwriting Career Development           

Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome

Class Dates: Tuesdays April 5th,19th, May 3rd, and 31st @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm CT

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

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

Structure: Lecture videos, discussion (in class and via postings), writing prompts and exercises, projects, assignments, readings, and film viewings

Questions: Email Alayna at

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


“Self Producing” or “Indie Theatre” is the act of responsibly and ethically realizing your visions onstage independently. A majority of theatre in the United States can be defined as “self-producing” even though it might appear to be produced by a company. In this crash course, we will look at the history of theatre producing in the United States in the 20th century, audience building, marketing, budgeting, fundraising, the Non Profit Industrial complex, and how commercial theatre works. In our 21st century world, “Self Producing” is one of the most viable ways to build a career as a playwright or director. Over these 7 sessions, I will help you flesh out a project you’re hoping to realize from all angles. You’ll leave this course with the confidence to set goals and move forward with what you’re trying to do. 

This is the class for you if you:

  • Are interested in creating your own opportunities.
  • Are interested in the production process.
  • Want to create a high-quality self-production.
  • Are an independent playwright, director, and anyone on a Creative Team who wants to add a producer to your title.
  • Want to make the work you want to see in the world happen.
  • Are interested in how to ethically and inclusively produce theatre in person and online.
  • Want to learn how to empower artists to take back their agency and control from institutions.
  • Are interested in exploring theater in your own city.

What to expect:

  • A big treasure hunt of research in the region your are based
  • An Introductory Course on how to Ethically and Inclusively (Cast, Audience, Creative Team) produce theatre in person and online from a staged reading through to a world premiere production.

Important Things to Note:

  • 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 Associate, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, to discuss payment options.

What is a hybrid asynchronous class?

This multi-week workshop is a hybrid asynchronous course. This means a portion of this class will have a set, scheduled time to meet with the instructor as a group, while the rest of the course will ask students to complete assignments and access resources on their own schedules.

Asynchronous learning allows flexibility in your learning schedule within a specific timeframe. Your instructor will assign weekly writings, readings, video viewings, posts to respond to, and other independent homework assignments to complete and submit by deadlines given by your instructor.

To learn more about synchronous and asynchronous classes click here.


Olivia Lilley is a screenwriter, director, playwright, and producer who came up in Chicago's DIY scene. She uses a devised process to create and develop her work that she's been honing since 2013. Olivia's projects often ransacks classics or non fiction with a collective and build a new story for the current moment. Olivia is the Artistic Director of Prop Thtr. She was the founding Artistic Director of The Runaways Lab Theatre (Voted Best New Theatre Company in the Chicago Reader's Best of 2014). She is a Board Member at The National New Play Network. She's also the Executive Director at Pop Magic Productions. Olivia’s feature screenplay “The Snowpeople” was selected for Full Spectrum Features Producers’ Lab 2020. She was selected for Broadway for All's Theatre Producers of Color: Commercial Producing 101 Inaugural cohort. She's taught at DePaul's Theatre School, The Playwright's Center, Chicago Dramatists, and The Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. Olivia attended Carnegie Mellon School of Drama for Directing, and Interlochen Arts Academy for Music Composition. She is currently working on her MFA in Screenwriting from The University of Nebraska at Omaha.


 Sign Up Below! 

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

Olivia Lilley