Online Seminar: Playwriting for Human Rights and Social Justice

Catherine Filloux
Monday, September 27th from 7:00pm - 8:30pm CST
Online via Zoom
$5 for Members, $15 for Non-Members

Class Type: Playwriting Craft                         Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome

When: Monay, September 27 7:00pm - 8:30pm CST 

(5:00pm PST, 6:00pm MST, 8:00pm EST)

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

Structure: Lecture, discussion, writing prompts, and exercises 

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

“The moral power of individuality and the poetic power of suffering are the two indispensable components of truth.”

         —Rachel Cusk


In a climate where human rights and social justice are obscured by “fake news,” we will explore writing plays that expose truths for students passionate to make change.  I love to set a tone that inspires you to focus on diverse perspectives.  It is exciting to tell a story from a unique angle, or about a community we don't often get to hear from. I encourage you to write about not just what you know, but also what you care deeply about.  This promotes an inclusiveness and diversity that students bring from their wide range of interests.  We will come together as a community in this Membership Class, discuss your ideas, do exercises, share work, and come to next steps forward together.  A communal workshop atmosphere will prevail so that you will engage in a collaborative approach.

This is the class for you if you:

  • Are interested in discussing and learning about writing on topics related to human rights and social justice
  • Want to learn about making change through writing and building community surrounding the writing
  • Want to engage with diverse perspectives and subject matter
  • Want to connect with other writers and their unique stories while learning about communities we don’t often get to hear from
  • Are interested in discussing what you care deeply about
  • Are a new playwrights/all writers/comedy lovers/writers of faith

Important Things to Note:

  • There are a couple of assignments that all participants are encouraged to complete prior to the seminar
  • This spring semester, Catherine Filloux will be teaching Topics in Playwriting: Human Rights and Social Justice (PWC 310) through the Playwrights' Center's University Course Program. If you have an interest in taking this semester-long class, contact the Director of University Programs and Partnerships, Sarah Myers
  • Payment plans are available as needed, please contact Membership Programs Associate, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, to discuss payment options


This is my favorite class to teach, and I can draw on my decades of experience as a playwright in this field and in the field.  I have mentored many students through the decades and been thrilled to share my students’ enthusiasm for a variety of topics surrounding human rights, social justice, survival in a challenging world, and building a shared community where we can all listen and grow.


Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for over twenty-five years. Her plays have been produced around the U.S. and internationally. Catherine has been honored with the 2019 Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship; the 2017 Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre; and the 2015 Planet Activist Award. Filloux is the librettist for four operas, produced nationally and internationally; her new musical Welcome to the Big Dippper is a 2018 National Alliance for Musical Theatre finalist. Recent plays include: White Savior at Pygmalion Productions in Salt Lake City, Utah; her web drama about deportation and children, "turning your body into a compass," livestreamed by CultureHub, and "whatdoesfreemean?" produced in New York City by Nora's Playhouse. Filloux's plays have been widely published and anthologized. She received her MFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' Dramatic Writing Program and her French Baccalaureate in Philosophy, with Honors, in Toulon, France. She is a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders; and the first Art & Peacebuilding Scholar at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego; as well as an alumna of New Dramatists. Catherine has taught playwriting at many universities and colleges including Vassar College, Wesleyan University and Bennington College. Filloux has served as a speaker/panelist at playwriting, human rights conferences and organizations around the world.

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