|Will Dunne is an author, playwright, scriptwriter, and teacher who brings more than 30 years of practical experience to the consultations and workshops he conducts. His plays have generated many international, national, and local honors.
In addition to developing dramatic scripts, Will Dunne has published two books for playwrights and screenwriters through the University of Chicago Press and has a third book now under contract. The Dramatic Writer’s Companion (April 2009) offers sixty-two in-depth writing exercises that can be adapted to virtually any individual writing process and script in progress. The Architecture of Story (April 2016) offers a detailed technical script analysis of three successful contemporary American plays and includes hundreds of questions to help writers analyze their own scripts. In April 2017, the Press will release More Tools from the Dramatic Writer’s Companion: Digging Deeper into the Script, which will offer more than forty new character, scene, and story exercises to help writers develop their scripts. All three books are nonlinear reference guides -- use any self-contained chapter in any order any number of times -- and are part of the Press’s prestigious series Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Books by Will Dunne are available at most major bookstores and can be purchased directly from the publisher at www.press.uchicago.edu.
While continuing to offer weekend intensives in San Francisco, Will Dunne is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists where he is now developing plays and teaching classes. Through his association with Chicago Dramatists, his short comedy Deep Gardens was presented at Chicago’s Second City in the summer of 2006. More recent Chicago area productions include The Ascension of Carlotta at the 16th Street Theatre (2008), How I Became an Interesting Person at Chicago Dramatists (2009), Two Men on a Train Platform Just Before the Apocalypse at Artistic Home (2012), In the Dark at Intuit (2012), and Love and Drowning at the 16th Street Theatre (2012). His play The Roper was produced at The Den Theatre (2014) and received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best New Work.
In the 35-year history of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Will Dunne is one of only five playwrights to be selected three consecutive times for the U.S. National Playwrights Conference under the Artistic Direction of Lloyd Richards. How I Became an Interesting Person (1998), Love and Drowning (1997), and Hotel Desperado (1996) were each one of ten plays chosen annually from about 1,500 submissions nationwide for presentation at the O’Neill Center.
How I Became an Interesting Person received the 1998 Charles MacArthur Fellowship founded by Helen Hayes for outstanding comedy that “exemplifies the comic irreverent spirit of Charles MacArthur.” The play also was presented as an international selection at the 1999 Australian National Playwrights Conference in Canberra, New South Wales, and in a Croatian translation at the National Theatre of Istria in Pula, Croatia, in 1999. Hotel Desperado was translated into Russian by the Moscow Theatre Union and presented as the international selection at its 10th annual festival of new plays in Schelykovo, Russia, in 1997.
||He has twice been a finalist for the Heideman Award at the Actors Theatre of Louisville for his short plays Moonrise (2000) and Good Morning, Romeo (2007). The latter was published in Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, Fourth Edition, by Janet Burroway (Pearson, 2014).
U.S. productions of his work – such as Eleventh Hour, I Married a Werewolf, Between Quakes, and The Bridge – have received four Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, two DramaLogue Playwriting Awards, and a Best-of-Year mention from the San Francisco Examiner. His toll-taker play The Bridge also was selected as a project of the 50-Year Celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge. He has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, BackStage, and San Francisco Chronicle, and has served as a juror for Marin Arts Council playwriting grants in the Bay Area.
His playwriting background is supplemented by years of acting, directing, and producing. He received a Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance in Eleventh Hour which he also wrote. His acting instructors include Stella Adler and Jean Shelton. Will Dunne was a co-founder of San Francisco Actors Theatre and also of the Bay Area Playwrights Association. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
In addition to theatrical feature-length screenwriting, Will Dunne has written, directed, and/or produced more than 100 short semi-theatrical educational scripts for such companies as Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Films, Walt Disney Educational Media, and Viacom Enterprises in association with Twentieth Century Fox.
These programs have generated nearly 40 media awards in such competitions as the International Film and Television Festival of New York, Chicago International Film Festival, and U.S. Industrial Film Festival. Captain Mathuse’s Math Mission, a prototype interactive videodisc which he directed, received a Silver Medal from the New York Film Festival and was selected for screening at the Cannes Video Festival. Zoo Film – an animated film which he wrote, directed, and co-produced – was adapted as a television commercial for zoos across the U.S., from the Bronx Zoo to the Los Angeles Zoo.
Since 1988, Will Dunne has taught more than two thousand dramatic writing workshops through his own program in San Francisco and through Chicago Dramatists where he is a Faculty Member as well as a Resident Playwright. In 1999, he attended the U.S. National Playwrights Conference as a dramaturg and, in 1999 and 2000, the Australian National Playwrights Conference as a guest playwriting instructor. He also has taught playwriting workshops through Theatre Bay Area, film animation workshops through San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and writing classes at University of Illinois at Chicago Circle.