Refracted Theatre Company — RefrAction Lab

Refracted Theatre Company is now accepting applications for the 2022 inaugural RefrAction Lab, a compensated playwriting opportunity for emerging Chicago playwrights to create full-length plays through a “Refracted” lens. As a company new to the Chicago area, Refracted is looking to the talented Chicago playwriting community to help us develop a new program geared toward creating nuanced, innovative work.

About RefrAction Lab: 

RefrAction Lab is a playwriting lab for emerging Chicago playwrights interested in developing plays by way of a specific point of entry as the writer. We’re asking: how can a playwright turn a question into the action of a play?

Playwrights will generate questions that look at divisive social and interpersonal issues from multiple sides. Over the course of eight months of bi-monthly meetings with a cohort of fellow playwrights and the Refracted artistic team, playwrights will:

  • Curate these questions
  • Research the “two sides” of the story, identifying prevailing biases on all sides of the issue
  • Use this research to create characters and plot
  • Generate and workshop pages of their script
  • Ultimately, present their work at a RefrAction Lab showcase

The goal of this program is to support playwrights in creating a strong first draft of a full-length play (with the option of that being a one-act play) generated from scratch by the final RefrAction Lab meeting in February 2023.

Each playwright will be supported with:

  • A $400 playwright stipend
  • Monthly and bi-monthly playwright cohort meetings
  • The ongoing support and guidance of Refracted’s artistic team
  • 15 hours of rehearsal over two weeks of a 30 minute section of their developed work, including actors and a director chosen by the playwright (all collaborators will be paid with a small stipend)
  • A RefrAction Lab showcase of a 30 minute section of their developed play for an audience in December 2022
  • An optional final meeting in February 2023 to review final drafts or any rewrites based on any showcase feedback
  • The opportunity to have developed work considered for a proper commission by Refracted’s artistic leadership for a full production in a future Refracted season

To Apply:

For full details about the program and how to apply, please visit All applications should be sent to with the subject line “RefrAction Application.” Deadline to apply is May 2, 2022.