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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Lifeline Adaptation Workshop 2023-24


Deadline: December 17, 2023 - extended to December 22, 2023

Lifeline Theatre is interested and invested in bringing new and diverse voices to its stage. As a new work company specializing in literary adaptation, we believe playwrights and those who adapt books and other literary works to the stage need dramatists to bounce ideas off of, professional actors to read it out loud, and experienced theatre makers and artistic directors to engage in discussion with the work. Also, writers need TIME to digest and incorporate the results of those experiences into their play.

As part of the 2023-2024 season, Lifeline is hosting our 3rd Annual BIPOC-focused adaptation workshop and showcase to support and get to know more writers and other artists of color. 

Click HERE for Lifeline Adaptation Workshop Application 2023-24


To apply Lifeline’s organizational knowledge about new adaptation development to support BIPOC playwrights/writers who are adapting works for the stage, culminating in a public showcase with the potential to be included in future Lifeline seasons.


Submissions should outline the writer’s intent to develop a stage adaptation of a book or other literary work (e.g., short story, article, memoir, tale, poem, etc.). Proposals can be for traditional adaptations or “inspired by” approaches where the literature serves as a jumping off point, but the source material should be in the public domain. Only one proposal per writer will be accepted. Interested individuals are asked to complete the submission form and upload their script by the submission deadline of December 17, 2023.
  • If chosen, writers will be expected to:Either reside in the Chicago area, or be willing to cover their own expenses to travel to Chicago for the final reading;
  • Be available for up to six developmental/feedback sessions between January and June, 2024;
  • Devote time to write between sessions;
  • Invite like-minded artist friends/colleagues to feedback sessions to provide additional points of view;
  • Be available to attend the final reading, and its rehearsals to provide rewrites.
If chosen, writers will receive:
  • A $500 stipend;
  • A process-oriented, writer-focused, developmental experience;
  • A director and a dramaturg;
  • Regular readings of new or rewritten material with feedback from experienced Lifeline ensemble members and playwright-invited artists;
  • Administrative and casting support;
  • A final reading for an invited audience.
  • December 17th: Application form closes
  • Early-January: Finalists informed
  • Late-January: Finalist interviews
  • Early-February: Workshop playwright(s) announced

Please email workshop@lifelinetheatre.com with any questions.


Development process will be in service of the playwright and the script. Writers will choose the frequency, level, and style of feedback they want and the facilitators will coach, guide, and facilitate it in action. Support will ideally include a development team consisting of: a dramaturg, Lifeline ensemble members, playwright-invited artists, a workshop coordinator, a director for final sessions, and Lifeline’s Artistic Director as facilitator. The process will culminate in a final reading for an invited audience that will be scheduled for July 2024, exact dates subject to artists’ schedules.


There would be 5 rehearsals and a tech period for the public showcase immediately prior to the performance date. At this point it is likely there will still be small script changes, but the focus will move from playwright/script to director/performance. Some small furniture, props, and costume pieces could be utilized, with simple lighting and sound.


The showcase will be produced during Summer 2024. The number of performances may vary depending on the number of writers being showcased (e.g., One – Three weekends starting on a Friday evening, with a weekend matinee and weekend staged readings). Tickets for the showcase will be open to the public.

If you have any additional questions, please email workshop@lifelinetheatre.com!

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