ONLINE CLASS: Challenges of Dialogue

Taught by Core Writer matthew paul olmos
Tuesdays, November 14th through December 19th
Online via Zoom
$175 for Members, $200 for Non-Members



Dialogue goes beyond a conversation between characters. It is an essential way to strengthen character development, keep the plot moving forward, and establish the world of the play. matthew paul olmos will share key tools of dialogue from writing exposition to letting characters speak with silence. Through writing assignments and in-class discussions, students will have the opportunity to sharpen their skills in dialogue to engage their audience in a more meaningful way. 

This class is for you if you:
  • Are looking for new strategies to enhance your dialogue skills.
  • Need to streamline your dialogue, or stopover-writing.
  • Want to strengthen characters and how they express their wants and needs.
  • Struggle with worldbuilding in your stories.
  • Are interested in learning more about matthew paul olmos’ work and approach to writing
What to expect:
  • Explore the tools of dialogue, specifically addressing characterization, exposition, overwriting, rhythm, and subtext
  • Engage in discussion with fellow writers, making connections with your artistic peers.
  • Gain the tools to create engaging, fully-formed dialogue that will compel audiences to lean into your work, as opposed to passively listening.
  • A strong understanding of dialogue and preparation to apply it to your next play or draft.

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.


Class Modality: Synchronous - Meeting online once every week.

Class Type: Playwriting craft               

Class Level: All levels are welcomed

Class Dates: Tuesdays, November 14th through December 19th

November 14th, 21st, 28th, December 5th, 12th, and 19th (6 "in-person" online sessions total)

Class Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm CT 

(4:30pm PT, 5:30pm MT, 7:30pm ET)

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

Structure: Lecture/presentation, Discussion, Writing prompts, Exercises

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.


While structing of plays is often taught, there are very few opportunities to focus solely on dialogue skills, even though dialogue is often a large part of writing plays. And many plays I read have interesting stories, well-defined characters, but the weak dialogue keeps the play from being as engaging as it could be.  


matthew paul olmos is a Mexican-American playwright who focuses on the creation of space for marginalized, underrepresented communities and gives them poetics and theatricality. While his work is always personal, it is aimed at reaching across socio’political boundaries, showing the ridiculous of how separate we are, and illuminating hope for future generations.

He is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, Echo Theater Company Resident Playwright, lifetime Ensemble Studio Theatre member and Sloan Commission recipient, New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer, and two-time Venturous Playwright Fellowship nominee. Previous Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival Commission, Arizona Theatre Company’s National Latine Playwriting Awardee, Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artist,  Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist, Center Theatre Group LA Playwright, Drama League nominee, Geffen Playhouse Writers Room, Ingram New Works at Nashville Repertory, INTAR H.P.R.L., a proud Kilroys nominator, New York Theatre Workshop Fellow, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab, two-time Ojai Playwrights Conference, inaugural Primary Stages Creative Development Grantee and Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, Repertorio Español Miranda Family Nuestra Voces Playwriting Awardee.

He spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by Ruth Maleczech, was chosen/mentored by Taylor Mac for Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project, and was La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard.

His work has been presented nationally and internationally, taught in university, and is published by Concord Theatricals/Samuel French and NoPassport Press.

TEXT: ONLINE CLASS: Challenges of Dialogue w/ headshot of Matthew Paul Olmos, a Mexican-American man with short brown hair and stubble, wearing a dark blue shirt