American Dreamwrights at 

Zeiders American Dream Theater

Who we Are

American Dreamwrights, led by Clyde Santana and Jean Klein, is a developmental group for serious playwrights who are seeking an arena to bring their scripts from good to great. Although we have had playwrights of all levels of experience, we expect members to have a basic understanding of the elements of dramatic structure, to continue to increase their understanding of the elements that make a story move on stage, and to share their expertise and insight, and to support others in their writing process. 

Dreamwrights meets approximately twice a month to share scripts, professional/educational guidance, expert critiques, and marketing advice. They also prepare members’ scripts for eventual presentation as staged readings and production at professional theaters, including Zeiders American Dream Theatre. 

Dreamwrights Goals

Their goal is to restore the developmental process that plays received in the early days of American theater—a collaboration by playwrights, development and revision through “out-of-town” openings, and a professional community of artisans who share the goal of revitalizing the American theatrical experience. 

Members may come from any background or experience but are expected to have (or increase) and to share their understanding of all forms of dramaturgy, to promote the work of the group, to participate in group meetings, to critique being available for collaborative meetings with other members.

The Beginning

Dreamwrights began five years ago when Clyde Santana moved his playwrights’ group from the Attucks Theater in Norfolk, Virginia, to Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach. Eventually he invited Jean Klein to join him as a workshop leader and the group has continued to grow since then.

In October of 2018, Dreamwrights presented scenes from three plays as part of the brand-new Proteus Festival at The Z. We also presented table and staged readings of approximately 15 new scripts that year in the studio or lobby of The Z as a start in their developmental process. In 2019, workshop productions included Oops by Clyde Santana, Generous Rivals by Jean Klein, and Spirit of Abolition by Benita Alane.

When COVID locked us in, we continued meeting twice a month and over the next 2 years, performed table readings and developmental critiques of over 30 scripts and musicals, as well as training in the art of telling stories on stage. 

For Membership

Anyone can attend a Dreamwrights meeting as a guest by requesting permission from Terry Flint, Sibel Galindez, Clyde Santana, or Jean Klein. There is an application and trial period for new members because the number of members we can support at any one time is limited. To apply for membership:

  • Fill out an application. Contact Terry Flint, Sibel Galindez, Clyde Santana, or Jean Klein to request an application. 
  • Attend at least 6 meetings as a guest
  • Submit a short play for consideration 

OR

Receive a recommendation from a current Dreamwrights member

 For more information and application contacts go to: www.TheZ.org/Dreamwrights

The Block Party

In 2022, as part of the Proteus Festival Block Party, we are presenting staged readings in the studio of 4 plays developed during this process. 

Also, as part of the Festival Block Party, we are providing a peek into the process of play development. This will be our first “meeting” of this season. 

The three table readings presented at the Block Party represent the range of work currently being developed by Dreamwrights.  They include:  

  • Patience First, a new short dark comedy by Jennie Brown;
  • a scene from Grace, a full-length drama currently in development, by Jean Klein and Sibel Galindez; 
  • and a scene from Good Girl Gone Single, a one-woman show by Sherilynn Cherry, which has gone from page to stage premiering to standing-room-only audiences in Florida.  

October 2022 is the 5th anniversary

of the American Dreamwrights existence

at The Z.

Plays developed at Dreamwrights include:

Already Produced:

  • Good Girl Gone Single by Sherilynn Cherry
  • It’ll Only Take a Minute by Zach Davis
  • Ophelia Chooses by Buddy White

Ready for Premiere or Further Workshop Production:

  • Nobody Knows Her Song by P. A. Wray
  • Generous Rivals by Jean Klein
  • Refraction of Light by Jean Klein
  • A Cut Above by Zach and Christen Davis
  • The Blood Cycle by Benita Alane
  • LOCO by Clyde Santana and Buddy White

Ready for Workshop Production:

  • Oops by Clyde Santana
  • The Spirit of Abolition by Benita Alane
  • Nightmare Protocol by Zach Davis
  • Molassacre by Buddy White
  • Priming the Pump by Jean Klein

Ready for Additional Table Readings

  • The Lessons by Jennie Brown
  • The Red Thread by Buddy White
  • MLK Day by Larry Brown
  • Peace of Still by Sherrilyn Cherry
  • NightSide by Jean Klein
  • Frances by Christine Anderson
  • The Truth be Told by P. A. Wray
  • Lolly’s Miracle by Clyde Santana and Valli 
  • Alphatricity (updated) by Clyde Santana, Ted Ferguson and Gail E. Davis (deceased)
  • Do You Hear What I Hear? By Buddy White