Immersive Experiences. Inspired Learning.

Our adult workshops offer an opportunity for audiences to enhance their experience with select productions. We seek to create an environment that fosters curiosity, conversation and personal discovery. All workshops take place at the Playhouse.

Building Suspense on the Page

Twisting Your Characters & Plots with Jessica Strawser

Cost: $50 | Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon

This special two-hour session is like two workshops in one. First, you’ll learn a nearly foolproof technique for making characters inherently suspenseful, and how to employ this “acting out of character” trick on a large scale (propelling an entire plot) or a small one (adding twists, turns and interest) to create page-turners sure to satisfy. Think of the meek heroine who suddenly lashes out, the reliable parent who runs off or the villain who shows an unexpected kindness — all make you want to know why. Then, discover 10 more tips for crafting suspenseful stories, including some gleaned from Jessica Strawser’s own interviews with the genre’s best: including Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner and Stephen King himself.

Jessica Strawser ( is editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she was editorial director for nearly a decade. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You and Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month selection and Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick for March 2018 (both St. Martin’s Press). Her third novel, Forget You Know Me, is forthcoming in February 2019. She has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and others, and is a popular conference speaker. Connect with her on Twitter at @jessicastrawser and on Facebook @jessicastrawserauthor.

Participants may purchase copies of Almost Missed You and Not That I Could Tell  before and after the workshop.


Tea at Pemberley

Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: $60

You’re cordially invited to tea at Pemberley! In this immersive workshop, we'll celebrate the themes of our production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, presented by Leading Ladies. You'll step back in time to play Georgian-era parlor games, learn country ball dances and enjoy a delightful tea service catered specially by The Bonbonerie. Georgian-era costumes are encouraged but not required.

The menu features:

  • Homemade veggie cream cheese spread with fresh peppers
  • Boursin cheese spread with fresh cucumbers
  • Curried chicken salad with almonds, celery and golden raisins
  • Mini-slice of homemade quiche
  • Thumbprint cookie
  • Mini-double fudge brownie
  • Cup of fresh fruit
  • Bagged cut-out cookie
  • Served with your choice of black, herbal or green tea
*Menu subject to change.


Rhythm & Percussion

Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50

Do you love percussion and idolize legendary musicians like King Records session drummer Philip Paul? Have you always wanted to learn how to play but never pursued lessons? Are you excited about the music in our world premiere production of Cincinnati King? In this adult enrichment workshop, learn the fundamentals of drumming from rudiments to tuning to reading tabs.


Improv with The Second City

Saturday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50

Learn the basics of improvisation from members of Chicago’s acclaimed comedy troupe while they're here for The Second City — It's Not You, It's Me! The Second City's Improv for Beginners class focuses on teaching the building blocks of improvisation to adults with little to no experience as they have a great time learning and playing with the troupe’s touring company members. The Second City's educational programs are based on the idea that improvisation in all forms can improve your life by encouraging teamwork and collaboration, building confidence, tying success to a model of listening and support of others, and creating a safe space to take risks and encourage creativity.


Family Improv

Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to noon

Family Workshop | Cost: $50

Looking to switch it up for family game night? Explore the world of improv in this enrichment workshop! You and your family will enjoy creative games, interactive scenes and Family Feud-style comedy sports for a new twist on family fun. Cost of $50 covers up to five family members.



Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50

Get an introduction to the world of writing for the stage while the world premiere production of The Last Wide Open  is on the Playhouse stage. You'll learn how to build the foundation of a story by creating memorable characters, writing memorable dialogue and crafting a compelling plot.


A Taste of Acting

Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50

Have you always wanted to try your hand at acting but haven’t been sure where to start? Take the first steps of your acting journey in this fun and interactive workshop. Lessons will be taught by a distinguished actor and cast member of the Playhouse’s production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running.


Writing and Performing Sketch Comedy

Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50

Have you ever dreamed of being on Saturday Night Live? In this adult enrichment workshop, learn how to write sketch comedy and satire. You’ll get to perform an original sketch by the end of the workshop!


Illustrating Cartoons

Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50

Do you seek out the humor in everyday life and enjoy reading the funny section of the newspaper? In the spirit of our production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, learn how to illustrate your own cartoon characters and bring your comical stories to life for all to enjoy. Go ahead — share a laugh.


Building a Tiny House

Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50

Do you dream of finding meaning in minimalism? Do you have a desire to shrink your world to its essentials in pursuit of easy living? In the spirit of our production of Tiny Houses, come learn the basic building blocks of constructing your own tiny house.


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