University Courses: Faculty

Philip Dawkins

A headshot of playwright Philip Dawkins 

Philip Dawkins is an educator with more than 20 years of experience in the classroom and a professional playwright whose plays have been performed all over the world. At the university level, Philip has taught playwriting fundamentals, playwriting for young audiences and young voices, Tiny Gothic, Playwriting Sequence, and Playwriting II at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Independence Community College, and Loyola University Chicago. As a teaching artist for Chicago Dramatists, Pegasus Players, Timeline Theatre, and others. Philip spent a decade in Chicago Public classrooms at every grade level, including ESL classes and programs for students on the Autism spectrum. As an international artist, Philip has traveled the country teaching his own Kung Fu Playwriting Course which integrates the teachings of Master Bruce Lee and Jeet Kun Do with the fundamentals of playwriting. Philip has also acted as a writing coach for several published authors, motivational speakers, and playwrights, and he has mentored and taught through multiple theaters and training programs across the country, including online. For four years, he also led the Artists Development Workshop for writers with and without disabilities at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater. PWC 300 will be Philip’s fifth time leading a class for the Playwrights’ Center, where he is a proud Affiliated Writer. 

Philip’s plays include Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens Theater), Le Switch (About Face Theatre, The Jungle), The Homosexuals (About Face Theater), The Burn (Steppenwolf for Young Audiences), Dr.Seuss’s The Sneetches, the Musical with composer David Mallamud and Spamtown, USA (both with Children’s Theater Company, Minneapolis), The Gentleman Caller (Raven Theatre, Chicago; Abingdon Theatre, NY), Charm (Northlight Theatre; MCC), Miss Marx: Or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living (Strawdog Theatre), and his solo play, The Happiest Place on Earth (Sideshow Theatre/Greenhouse Theater Center). He’s been a fellow at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Scotland and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Many of Philip’s plays are available through Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Inc., and Dramatic Publishing.

Watch Philip Dawkins Discusses His Pedagogy and Playwriting PWC 300 on

Tori Sampson

A headshot of playwright Tori Sampson   

Tori Sampson a native of Boston, MA is proud to be from “The City of Champions” and even prouder to be a human rights activist and Black Woman storyteller. By introducing her daughter to the genius that was Carroll O'Connor, Tori’s mother opened her eyes to the art and power of comedy for “goodness sake”. And it was on and poppin’ from there. Today, Tori focuses her imagination on creating comedies for the stage. Her plays include If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons, 2019), This Land Was Made (Vineyard Theatre, 2018), and Cadillac Crew (Yale Repertory Theater, 2019). Her plays have been developed at Great Plains Theatre Conference, Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Ground Floor residency program, Victory Garden’s IGNITION Festival of New Plays, Playwrights Foundation, Ubuntu Festival and Vineyard Theater. Tori is a 2017–18 Playwright’s Center Jerome Fellow and a 2018-19 Mcknight Fellow. Two of her plays appeared on the 2017 Kilroys List. Her awards and honors include the 2016 Relentless Award, Honorable Mention; the 2016 Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting from The Kennedy Center; the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, Second Place; the Alliance Theater’s 2017 Kendeda Prize, Finalist; the 2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Finalist. Tori is currently working on commissions from Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Atlantic Theater Company. Tori is currently a writer for Hunters on Amazon Prime, and she has developed shows for HBO. She holds a BS in sociology from Ball State University and an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama.