ONLINE CLASS: The Business of Playwriting

Taught by friends of the Center Amy Atzel and Jon Garon, and Affiliated Writer May Lee Yang
Tuesdays, February 13 through April 2
Online via Zoom
$175 for Members, $200 for Non-Members


The business side of being an artist can be intimidating, discouraging, and sometimes elusive. This 3-part class will focus on key elements of the career and life of being an artist, focusing primarily on theater and playwriting. 

Artists and Taxes
Artists will learn basic business setup, income and expense tracking, time management, and organizational practices for freelance work.

Artists and The Submission Process
Artists will gain a deeper understanding of the submission process and application cycle, primarily focusing on writing the artistic statement and project descriptions for grants and other creative writing opportunities. 

Artists and The Law
Artists will learn about copyright law, how to read and advocate for themselves in contracts and agreements, and how to identify legal issues during the production process. 

This class is for you if you:

  • Need to create better bookkeeping practices.
  • Work from home or work freelance.
  • Want to update your current submission materials.
  • Feel lost in the submission process. 
  • Have questions around protecting your work or legally using the intellectual property of other artists. 
  • Want to advocate for yourself and your work when collaborating with theaters and other organizations using your work. 
  • Are interested in learning more about Amy Atzel, May Lee Yang, and Jon Garon’s work and experience in the business of the theater arts.

What to expect:

  • Materials to help track income and expenses.
  • Gain skills to enhance your basic business practices.
  • Examples of successful submission materials.
  • Information and resources to better advocate for yourself and protect your work.
  • Create, share, and give feedback on drafts of your submission materials with your peers.
  • Connecting and engaging with students and the instructor online via Zoom and Google Classroom.

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: Theater Industry             

Class Level: All levels are welcomed

Class Dates: Tuesdays, Tuesdays, February 13 through April 2

February 13th, February 20th, March 12th, March 19th, March 26th, and April 2nd (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, Breakout groups, Workshopping, Bookkeeping assignments, Q&A

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.


It's important to be PRO-active with respect to finances rather than RE-active. A good strategy cannot be achieved at the last minute. Best to have a plan and execute it!


Amy Atzel is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and is the Founder & President of GigTaxx, a nationwide tax firm catering to Gig Workers, Freelancers, Authors, Artists & Creative Adventurers.


This topic is helpful in demystifying the submission process and how your submission materials should be in conversation with each other to tell a larger story about who you are as an artist. 


May Lee-Yang is a Twin Cities-based playwright, poet, prose writer, and performance artist. Her theater-based works have been produced at Theater Mu, Out North Theater, Intermedia Arts, The National Asian American Theater Festival, The Minnesota Fringe Festival, and others. She has received grants from the Bush Leadership Fellowship, the National Performance Network, the Playwright Center McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting, the Playwright Center Many Voices Fellowship, the MN State Arts Board, MRAC, the Jerome FoundationTravel Grant, and she is a current Finnovation Lab Fellow. In 2016, she received an Ordway Sally Award for Arts Access. She is also co-founder of Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK), a group that uses comedy to combat the dehumanization of Asian women. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota where she also currently teaches.


Playwrights and other creative artists are motivated by their desire to create new works and explore the ideas and emotions at the heart of their artforms. Success, however, takes both artistic skill and a hard head for business. Understanding the legal topics is essential for authors and creators to control their work, to ensure they are compensated for their effort, and to protect the attribution and integrity of their name and the work they produce. Through an understanding of the legal and business practices involved in the process of theatrical production, authors and creators can help protect their work and create new opportunities for financially as well as artistically rewarding successes.


Jon M. Garon is Professor of Law and Director of the Intellectual Property, Cybersecurity, and Technology Law program at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, teaching Constitutional Law, Contracts, Privacy Law, Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property Law and additional courses. He has published over 60 books, book chapters, and academic articles, and he has presented at more than 300 programs. A Minnesota native, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1985 and his juris doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1988.

Professor Garon served as dean for NSU’s Shepard Broad College of Law from 2014 to 2020. Prior to joining Nova Southeastern University in 2014, Professor Garon was the inaugural director of the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Law + Informatics Institute, serving from 2011-2014. He served as dean and professor of law at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota from 2003 to 2008 and interim dean of the Hamline Graduate School of Management from 2005 to 2006. Before Hamline, Professor Garon taught Entertainment Law and Copyright at Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire and Western State University College of Law in Orange County, California. Professor Garon has been named a Senior Scholar at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School’s Center for Intellectual Property X Innovation Policy and an Affiliated Faculty Member at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law.

Most of Professor Garon’s published articles are available without charge at NSU Selected Works ( and the Social Science Research Network

Professor Garon's recent and forthcoming books include Metaverse: Using Online Platforms, Games, NFTs, and Blockchain in Education (Rowman & Littlefield 2024) (forthcoming); How AI, Crypto,
NFTs, and Cyber will Upend the 21st Century: The Battle for the Metaverse (Edward Elgar Publishing 2023) (forthcoming); Intellectual Property Law and Practice: A Contemporary Approach (2023 West Academic) (forthcoming); Parenting for the Digital Generation−The Parent's Guide to Digital Education and the Online Environment (2022 Rowman & Littlefield); Law Professor's Desk Reference (2021 Carolina Academic Press); A Short and Happy Guide to Privacy and Cybersecurity Law (2020 West Academic); The Independent Filmmaker’s Law & Business Guide to Financing, Shooting, and Distributing Independent and Digital Films (A Cappella Books, 3d Ed. 2021); Entertainment Law and Practice (Carolina Academic Press 2020); The Entrepreneur’s Intellectual Property & Business Handbook (2d. Ed. Manegiere Publications 2018); and The Pop Culture Business Handbook for Cons and Festivals (Manegiere Publications 2017); as well as Professor Garon’s debut novel, Burn Rate (Manegiere Publications 2019).


TEXT: Business in Playwriting (Tuesdays, February 13th through April 7th TOP IMAGE: Amy Atzel, Founder of GigTaxx MIDDLE IMAGE: Headshot of May Lee-Yang, a woman with long, dark hair smiling BOTTOM IMAGE: Headshot of Jon Garon, a white-haired beard in sui