What makes a history play a TimeLine play, and how could we create a home for writers?
Literary Manager Ben Thiem

Beginning in 2013, the Playwrights Collective has been a beloved facet of TimeLine’s mission. Under the leadership of Literary Manager Ben Thiem, a group of emerging and established writers have access to time, space, and support while they explore how to link past, present, and future.  We welcome playwrights who want a home base with artistic facilitators and playwright collaborators; need time to research, rewrite, question, and develop new work without the stress of production deadlines; and share an affinity for TimeLine’s mission. The Playwrights Collective has so far resulted in three productions being slated for production at TimeLine (To Catch a Fish, Relentless, and Campaigns, Inc.), as well as two digital public programs based on their work, and an inaugural staged reading festival in December 2018.

Don’t miss the free FIRST DRAFT: Playwrights Collective Festival, December 3 – 12, 2021

This year, TimeLine’s FIRST DRAFT festival will introduce four new plays by Chicago writers Dolores Díaz, Kristin Idaszak, Osiris Khepera and David Rhee, the members of TimeLine’s 2020-21 Playwrights Collective. Each play will be presented as a staged reading twice during the festival. Tickets are free but advance reservations are required. LEARN MORE …


Read the announcement … and stay tuned for more updates on what this cohort is up to! 


At the conclusion of the second cohort’s residency with the Collective, TimeLine presented the first-ever First Draft Festival. Over a weekend (and a Monday) in December 2018, TimeLine patrons were introduced to the work of the four playwrights. Read more on the festival and the four staged readings …


The first cohort of the Playwrights Collective focused on a group of local writers who were familiar with our work and shared a strong connection with our mission. Over three years, the playwrights met monthly to share research, interview guests, read scenes, ask questions, and offer feedback. Read our blog series exploring the work of the six inaugural Collective playwrights …

Read more about the Playwrights Collective

Looking to explore the Playwrights Collective more? Look no further: 

Read Ben Thiem’s blog post, which introduces a series exploring the work of the inaugural cohort

Hear from Brett Neveu about his process and how the Collective fostered his work

Explore our virtual public programs for Relentless and Campaigns, Inc.