Online Workshop Intensive: Creating TV Characters and Keeping the Stakes High

taught by Core Writer James Anthony Tyler
Wednesday, May 19th 6pm - 9pm
Online via Zoom
$5 for Members, $15 for Non-Members

Class Type: TV Writing Craft                         Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome

When: Wednesday, May 19th from 6 pm - 9 pm CDT

(4pm PDT, 5pm MDT, 7pm EDT)

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

Structure: Presentation, discussion, writing prompts and exercises

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


This 3-hour intensive will focus on creating characters for television and learning dramatic writing skills to ensure that you're keeping those characters active and involved in high stakes drama. Participants will be taught techniques for making complex characters that both push the story forward and speak in dialogue that is rich and contains subtext. What is it to create a character arc over multiple episodes? Why does an audience want to follow them for several seasons? At the end of this intensive, participants will leave with a complete picture of their protagonist to start writing a pilot script.

This is the class for you if you:

  • Want to know more about television writing and character building
  • Are interested in creating high stakes drama
  • Are curious of episodic structure
  • Want to develop your pilot script

Important Things to Note:

  • There is an additional workshop intensive with James Anthony Tyler, focusing on the pilot script, on May 26th from 6pm - 8pm CST. This workshop is capped at 10 participants who have attended the May 19th intensive.
  • Participants are encouraged before class to watch the pilots for MAD MEN (AMC Network), BREAKING BAD (AMC Network), SEX EDUCATION (Netflix), EMPIRE (FOX), and QUEEN SUGAR  (OWN Network). The instructor will be referring to these Hour Dramas during the workshops and familiarity with them will be essential. 
  • Payment plans are available as needed, please contact Alayna to discuss



James Anthony Tyler is the recipient of the 3rd Annual Horton Foote Playwriting Award. He is also one of the inaugural playwrights to receive a commission from Audible’s emerging playwrights fund. His plays include Artney Jackson (World Premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival, 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award), Some Old Black Man (Berkshire Playwrights Lab at St. James Place and 59E59 Theaters NYC), Dolphins and Sharks (LAByrinth Theater Company and the Finborough Theatre in London), hop tha A (Texas Sate University's Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, Ars Nova, The Drama League and Asolo Rep), Talkin' to This Chick Sippin' Magic Potion (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, SPACE on Ryder Farm), and The Drop Off (Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Playwrights' Center, The Juilliard School). He was a member of Harlem's Emerging Black Playwrights Group, a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow, a 2015-2016 Playwrights' Center's Many Voices Fellow, a 2016-2017 Ars Nova Play Group Resident, a 2016 Working Farm Playwrights Group Resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm, a 2016 Theatre Masters Visionary Playwrights Award recipient, a Nashville Rep Ingram New Works Playwright, a 2018-2019 Amoralists Wright Club Playwright, a 2018 Djerassi Fellow, and a 2018 MacDowell Fellow.

He has a MFA in Film from Howard University and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, where his concentration was Playwriting, and is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. He recently was the Staff Writer for the new OWN Network show Cherish the Day (set to premiere in Winter 2020) created by Ava DuVernay.

 Sign Up Below! 

Questions? Email Membership Programs Associate, Alayna Barnes, at 

A headshot of James Anthony Tyler. He is looking at the camera with a slight smile on his face.