top of page


Created by Jackalope Company Member and acclaimed playwright, Calamity West, the Jackalope Playwrights Lab is the staple course offered by Jackalope and has led to the development of dozens of new plays further developed and produced around the country. Through an application process, Playwrights Lab pairs an Instructor with eight participants to meet for eight weeks as they develop each participant’s full length play.

PLAYWRIGHTS LAB: Winter Session with Calamity West
Feb. 17th - Apr. 6th, 2024

Sessions meet in-person on Saturdays from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM CST at Jackalope Theatre in Loyola Park, 1230 W Greenleaf Ave


This in-person winter session of the Jackalope Playwrights Lab spanning eight-weeks will offer you weekly workshops, reading assignments, reflections on playwriting fundamentals, conversations on the creative process, and of course - the support you need to leap into the world you're creating. Hope you can join us!

COST: $350 paid in two installments.


- This Playwrights Lab Session is open to everyone - whether they have a first, second, 100th, or no draft at all.
- Applicants must be avail
able for the entirety of the dates and times.

APPLICATIONS OPEN: Applications accepted starting January 26th, 2024.

APPLICATIONS CLOSED: Application deadline is Feb. 11th, 2024 at midnight. 

APPLICANTS NOTIFIED: All applicants will be notified by Feb. 13th, 2024, by end of day.


Please send a one-page statement of intent describing the play you want to develop in Playwrights Lab along with a 10-page sample from said play. Email all materials as individual attachments to during the application timeframes with the subject line: APPLICATION: WINTER 2024 - [Name]
Financial assistance may be available, upon request.

Screen Shot 2024-01-22 at 10.01.42 AM.png

Through 2025 Calamity West will be developing her work at Primary Stages as a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group. She is currently  developing her newest play "Sgt. Hank Cole's Drama Club of Algona" in said residency. Additionally, West is working on her play "FEAST!" at The Lortel Theatre as an awardee of Alcove At The Lortel. Calamity is a Chicago-based, award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been presented by The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Roundabout, The Goodman, Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, and Primary Stages – to name a few. Calamity teaches playwriting at the University of Chicago and literature at her alma mater of Webster University. She is a proud company member of Jackalope Theatre Company where she founded the Playwrights Lab in 2018. West is represented by CAA and managed by Curate.



Jackalope is a proud partner in the Chicago Parks District providing free courses for adults and youth in the Edgewater and Rogers Park neighborhoods. Sign up through the Parks portal and don't let financial barriers keep you from professional theatre training. 

ACTING for Youth at Loyola Park

FREE. Mondays, 4:00-5:00 PM. Jan. 29 - Mar. 25, 2023. 

Participants will learn about storytelling as they prepare a short performance inspired by a piece of Chicago history. This class develops skills in stage presence, vocal confidence, and teamwork, while building civic awareness. Students will receive direct training from industry professionals. All experience levels are encouraged to join.

PLAY PRODUCTION for Adults at Loyola Park

FREE. Mondays, 5:00-6:00 PM. Jan. 29 - Mar. 25, 2023. 

Participants will learn about acting, playwriting, and production as they prepare a short performance inspired by a news article. This class builds new play development and ensemble skills while engaging with current events. Students will receive direct training from industry professionals. All experience levels are encouraged to join.





The Young Ones, written for Jackalope Playwrights Lab in the summer of 2018, went on to receive a staged reading with First Floor Theater .



littlespace, or the daddy play, which was developed in the Summer 2019 session, will receive its world premiere production with NoMads Art Collective in May of 2020. 



Mosque4Mosque, written in the Summer 2018 Lab, was a runner up for Theatre Viscera's Queer Playwriting Contest and won the National Queer Theater's 2020 Playwriting Contest. It will receive a staged reading at the New Voices Festival.

T  Y  A 

this is what is chose no i'm not sorry and yes if you'd ask i'd do it again by Daria Miyeko Marinelli is a new play about choice that offers agency to young actors, flexibility to educators, and tries to make sense about loss. Company member Will Kiley directs the development process.


this is what i chose... was originally developed in 2017 & 2018 in partnership with Broadway Training Center of Westchester under Artistic Directors Jason Brantman and Fiona Santos. Through a collaboration with director Will Kiley, this is what i chose...has since received a reading at the University of Texas at Austin, acceptance into the 2020 Cohort of The Kennedy Center & TYA-USA’s New Visions New Voices via Jackalope Theatre, and a year-long workshop at Weiss High School.

ABOUT THE PLAY:  Even after William’s death, high school life has trudged on. But when Sara & Aimée start planning “Alive Together” to honor William, his sibling Vivian finally takes a stand and ask-demands Sara to cancel the event.

But should Vivian get to decide, given that William and Sara were “a thing, like romantically” and The Band has been planning their debut for the event? And did anyone think to ask Brett and Aüge who really knew Will, but have been cutting class all year? And what’s going on between Brett and Aüge anyway?

With three moments of decision and eight play tracks, this is what i chose and no i'm not sorry and yes if you'd ask i'd do it again is a birufcating modular play that explores who has ownership over a tragedy, when to stand by your friends, and what it is to try and make sense of a loss when you still have to show up and survive school every single day.

bottom of page