celebrating Black women writers

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Playwriting as Activism for Black women writers | 4-Week Online Writing Workshop

Reginald Edmund Wednesdays, October 9-30
9p-12a ET
6p-9p PT
8p-11p CT
4 class sessions

By signing up for a class, you agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here.

This workshop Playwriting as Activism for Black women writersis designed to empower aspiring playwrights to use their craft as a tool for social change. We will delve into the rich history of activist theater, exploring how playwrights have used their voices to challenge the status quo, spark dialogue, and inspire action. Join us on this journey to discover the power of playwriting as activism!

Over four weeks, we will cover:

  • The Foundations of Activist Playwriting: Explore the history of political theater, the role of the playwright as an activist, and the key elements of dramatic structure
  • Crafting Your Message: Learn how to use language, symbolism, and character development to effectively communicate your message and inspire change
  • Bringing History to Life: Discover how to research and incorporate historical events and social issues into your plays, drawing inspiration from mythology and folklore
  • Performance and Impact: Explore the practical aspects of staging your play and engaging with your community, as well as how to measure the impact of your work

Throughout the workshop, we will draw inspiration from the works of renowned playwrights and activists, including August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Mojisola Adebayo and Nambi E. Kelley. By the end of this workshop, you will have the tools and knowledge to write plays that not only entertain but also ignite conversations, challenge assumptions, and inspire action.

This workshop is ideal for:

  • Emerging and Veteran Playwrights: Writers who are passionate about social justice and want to explore how their plays can make a difference
  • Activists and Community Organizers: Individuals who want to learn how to use theater as a tool for community engagement and advocacy
  • Educators and Students: Those interested in incorporating activist theater into their classrooms or academic pursuits

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.


Meet Your Instructor:
Reginald Edmund

Reginald Edmund is the Co-Founder and Managing Curating Producer for Black Lives, Black Words International Project. In 2021, his work with BLBW was recognized by the Gard Leadership Award. His nine-play series titled The City of the Bayou Collection, include Southbridge, Juneteenth Street, The Last Cadillac and All the Dying Voices were developed at esteemed theaters including Pegasus Theatre-Chicago, Deluxe Theatre, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Bush Theatre (UK), Theatre @ Boston Court, The Landing Theatre, Playwrights’ Center and The National Theatre (UK). Reginald Edmund received his BFA in Theatre-Performance from Texas Southern University and his MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University.

Course Takeaways

  • The Fundamentals of Playwriting: Learn about dramatic structure, character development, dialogue, and other essential elements of crafting a compelling play
  • The Power of Storytelling for Social Change: Understand how playwriting can be used as a tool to raise awareness, spark dialogue, and inspire action around important social issues
  • The Historical Context of Activist Theater: Gain knowledge of the rich history of political theater and the role of playwrights as agents of change
  • The Importance of Finding Your Own Voice:Be encouraged to explore their own unique perspectives and passions, and to use their writing to express their truth
  • The Practical Skills to Bring Your Play to Life: Learn about staging, community engagement, and measuring the impact of their work
  • A Supportive Community of Like-minded Artists: Have the opportunity to connect with and learn from other aspiring playwrights who share their passion for social justice.

Course Expectations

  • Each week students will be assigned to write a ten page scene and read a script selected by the instructor for in-class discussion 

Course Skeleton

  • Week 1: Foundations of Activist Playwriting History and Purpose: Explore the history of political theater and activism through playwriting. Discuss the role of playwrights as "preachers, politicians, and prophets" and introduce the five roles of revolution and how playwrights fit into this framework. Examine the importance of a strong narrative structure (goal + obstacle x lack of compromise = conflict) in creating impactful plays
  • Week 2: Crafting Your Message Tools of Activism:Discuss the use of heightened language, onstage manifestation, and perception shifts to communicate a message effectively. Explore who you write for and what issues resonate with you. Learn how to create compelling characters with opposing viewpoints and conflicting goals
  • Week 3: Bringing History to Life Historical Context: Examine the evolution of theater from ancient storytelling traditions to modern political dramas. Discuss how to research historical events and social issues to inform your writing. Learn ways to incorporate mythology and folklore to add depth and symbolism to your plays
  • Week 4: Performance and Impact Staging Your Play: Learn the practical aspects of staging a play, including set design, costumes, and directing. Explore ways to engage with your community through your play and create a dialogue around the issues you address. Discuss how to assess the impact of your play on your audience and community
  • Final Project:Participants will present their final playwriting projects, incorporating the techniques and concepts learned throughout the workshop. 


We offer full refunds for cancellation with written notice up until 7 days before your class start date. From 6 days to more than 24 hours before class begins, we offer a 25% refund. If you drop a class less than 24 hours before the class begins or after it has started, you are ineligible for a refund.