Chicago Works Commission

There is an astonishing number of talented playwrights in this city, but not nearly enough support for them to develop their plays. So much work goes into a new play before it's ready for rehearsal, or even ready for an Artistic Director to read it. Through our Chicago Works Commissions, we're helping to fill that need in the Chicago theatre community by providing support, resources, and guidance to playwrights as they write the next great Chicago play

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Once a playwright has completed a Neighborhood Residency, they are invited to apply for a Chicago Works Commission. The application asks the playwright to reflect on the relationship they formed with the neighborhood during their residency, and what they discovered during that process. The playwright then 'pitches' a play that takes what they learned and uses it to tell a story that illuminates who we are as Chicagoans and what it means to live in this city

The commission provides the selected playwright with financial support in the form of an $8,000 fee and development support in the form of one to three fully staffed workshops, feedback on drafts, and one to two public readings. Following the commission, Step Up will continue to support and champion the play with the aim of having it produced by a Chicago theater.