“If you’re a New Jersey playwright, or want to be, and you want specific, honest, and supportive guidance in writing and rewriting your plays, the New Jersey Play Lab’s workshops and programs are the answer.

“Writing a play is hard. PlayGym makes it easier.”

Testimonials from PlayGym playwrights

PlayGym: A New Play Development Forum 


PlayGym is a unique forum for playwrights to hear their work read and to receive feedback from professionals in a supportive environment. At each session, playwrights have access to professional actors trained in new play development and a professional dramaturg to guide the process.

Virtual Summer PlayGym

For writers working on completed drafts of full-length or long one-act plays

with dramaturg Emily Dzioba

Wednesdays, 7pm-10pm
July 8, 15, 22, 29 August 5*
*Class will run 4 or 5 weeks, depending upon enrollment

Fee: $150

Class Limit: 4 writers

About the Dramaturg

To read Emily’s bio, please click here.

Virtual Session Overview

Week One: Introductions to each other, the plays, and the PlayGym dramaturgical process.
Weeks Two–Four/Five: Each playwright is given one three-hour session in which to hear their play read aloud by professional actors, followed by a facilitated discussion.
Follow-Up Conferences: In the week following the reading of their play, each playwright has an individual phone conference with the dramaturg. These conferences provide an opportunity to reflect on the feedback received and to discuss next steps. Playwrights have the option to submit revised work in advance of this conference.

A full roster of Fall 2020 PlayGym sections
for writers working on full-lengths and/or short plays and early drafts will be announced mid-summer.


How do I know if I’m ready for PlayGym?

Long ago we decided that this was not for us to determine—if you feel ready and able to do the work based on the description of the class, then you probably are! However, there are some things that our PlayGym playwrights share:

  • You have some basic training in playwriting and understand the terminology of the craft.
  • You are self-directed in setting goals, writing and rewriting outside of class, and determining what material you want to bring in and articulating specific goals you have in wanting to hear it read.
  • You are genuinely open to feedback and have a desire to further develop your play.
  • You are willing to give thoughtful feedback to your fellow playwrights through a structured, facilitated discussion.

If this sounds like you, then PlayGym is for you! If you have questions and would like to discuss further, please contact

I’ve never worked with you before. Do I need to submit a sample of my work?

If we are not familiar with your writing, then please do submit a sample of your writing—ideally a piece you plan to work on in session. You can submit to with “PLAYGYM SAMPLE” as the subject of your email. 

I really want to take PlayGym, but I am not available at the times you are currently offering it. What do I do?

We really appreciate your interest! Since each PlayGym section is only designed for a small number of writers, we are constantly assessing the need to add additional sections. Please sign up here to indicate your interest in additional sections and indicate the times you would be available to attend. 

I have actors that I really like to work with. Can I bring them into the process for my reading?

How wonderful that you have found actors that you feel “click” with your work! The New Jersey Play Lab has a company of actors who are trained in new play development who we work with regularly. However, we want to serve playwrights in the development process as best we can, so we are always open to new suggestions of actors.

Our forums are designed for a small number of students to allow for a more intimate experience. However, keeping our forums small means that we must meet that enrollment in order to run them.
Please note that cash refunds will ONLY be issued in the event that a section is cancelled by The New Jersey Play Lab. An enrolled student may withdraw up to one month prior to the start of the session and receive a credit for a future semester.

For any questions, please contact

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