Seminar: Increasing the Stakes

Sunday, November 17, 2019 - 2:30pm
Monday, November 18, 2019 - 6:00pm
Taught by Jerome Fellow Courtney Meaker
$10 for Member, $20 for Non-Members

Class Type: The Play , Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome

"The depth of the protagonist’s primary internal action determines the depth of his character and the depth of his character determines the depth of his conflicts with the other characters, and these, in turn, determine the depth of the play." - Motti Lerner

As playwrights we hear, “Raise the stakes” often in regards to a scene or moment that’s feeling slow or purposeless. In a knee-jerk reaction we move into “life and death” mode – “I’ll give the character cancer!” “Someone comes in with a gun.” “UNEXPECTED DEATH” – But are these the most interesting choices and are they serving our scripts? In this seminar with Jerome Fellow Courtney Meaker, we’ll talk about ways to think beyond literal life and death when raising the stakes and find tools we can pull out to make sure we’re making the right choice for our characters to propel the story forward in an exciting, but far less predictable, way. 

This is the Seminar for you if:

  • You've heard "raise the stakes" in regard to your work
  • You are interested in the creation of dramatic tension
  • You want to switch up a play you are working on

PostScript: A couple years ago, Courtney wrote a show that included lines and stage directions about only female-identified characters. The one-person show triggered a national conversation about the depiction of female characters onstage. 

November 17, 2019 from 2:30pm - 5:30pm CST: ONLINE ONLY Registration CLOSED

November 18, 2019 from 6:00pm - 8:30pm CST: ONLINE ONLY Registration CLOSED

Questions? Email Education Coordinator, H. Adam Harris, at

Class type: 
In-person (MSP)