ONLINE WORKSHOP: Self Producing for Theatre

taught by Olivia Lilley
Tuesdays, May 16th through June 20th
Online via Zoom
$150 for Members, $175 for Non-Members

Class Modality: Synchronous - Meeting online once every week.

Class Type: Business of playwriting, Business of Theater                         

Class Level: All levels are welcomed

Class Dates: May 16th through June 20th

Tuesdays, May 16th, 23rd, 30th, June 6th, 13th, and 20th (6 "in-person" online sessions total)

Class Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm 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, Breakout groups

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.


In this class, I will take you through the fundamentals of producing: including marketing, fundraising, budgeting, and audience building from the perspective of responsibly self producing in the Independent theatre world in the US, specifically in non equity situations. We will cover everything from self producing within a festival, workshops/readings, and full productions (2 week+ runs).

This Is the Class for You if You:

  • Are a writer who wants to get their work onstage in some capacity!
  • Want to learn more about the business side of playwriting and theater.
  • Are interested in becoming a producer or running your own theater company.

What to Expect:

  • We will learn about all of the different elements you need to think about and plan for when you embark on self-producing anything.
  • There will be breakout group discussions.

Important Things to Note:

  • When you sign up, you will receive an auto-confirmation email. About a week before the first session 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 within a week of the first session, 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 the Membership Programs Manager, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, to discuss payment options.


I do not believe some people are naturally more talented than others. All skill is developed through intentional work backed by drive and passion. I meet all of my students’ where they are at and do my best to aid them in questioning and growing the ways in which, they work.

If you don't know how to self-produce, you have no agency when it comes to getting your work in front of other people publicly. Otherwise, you're putting your power in the hands of gatekeepers. 


Olivia Lilley is a screenwriter, director, theatremaker, and producer who came up in Chicago's DIY and Storefront Theatre scenes as well as Downtown NY's Avant Garde. Olivia is the Artistic Director of Prop Thtr and a Board Member at The National New Play Network. She was the founding Artistic Director of The Runaways Lab Theatre (Voted Best New Theatre Company in the Chicago Reader's Best of 2014). 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 has taught at DePaul's Theatre School & School of Cinematic Arts , The Playwright's Center, Chicago Dramatists, Phoenix Theatre, and School for the Blind in Indianapolis. Olivia attended Carnegie Mellon School of Drama for Directing and Interlochen Arts Academy for Music Composition. She has her MFA in Screenwriting from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. She's about to start her MS in Cinematography from DePaul University in Fall 2023.

 Sign Up Below! 

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

Headshot of Olivia Lilley, a mixed race Middle Eastern and White woman with dark hair in a black leather jacket sitting on a chair.