Jul 7 - Aug 29
Screenwriting: Crafting Your Comedy Feature
Registration is open until June 9, 2021
Lindsay Stidham

Course applications are now being accepted. APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 9 at 2pm PT. 

Acceptances start after the deadline, and occur on a rolling basis.

Learn how to give shape and form to the outline of your comedy screenplay with experienced screenwriters as your guides. In this live, online course, you move from idea to outline through a review of the foundations of good storytelling, and lessons on character, conflict, dialogue, and the components of the various comedy genres.

In class sessions, you will analyze clips from comedy films, complete interactive exercises, and discuss concepts with course advisors. Weekly homework designed to move your concept to a completed outline is reviewed by your advisor. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor focused on your project. 

By the end of the course, you will:

  • learn an overview of the genre.
  • learn the difference between a beat sheet, an outline, and a treatment.
  • review the foundations of screenwriting, including three-act structure.
  • sharpen your main and secondary characters.
  • create mood and manage the tone of your story.
  • identify jokes that serve the story.
  • build your story world.
  • identify your character arcs and set up character conflicts.
  • effectively use dialogue to bring your characters to life and move the plot forward.
  • learn how to process notes from your peers, collaborators, and studio execs.

This course is ideal for:

  • first-time writers who would like to understand the core concepts of comedy screenwriting and how to move their project forward.
  • experienced writers who want a more formal setting and/or the guidance of an experienced comedy writer.

Course enrollment is approximately 50 participants per session, with a participant to advisor ratio of twelve to one. To apply, you must have an idea for a comedy screenplay.


The course will be held live in our virtual classroom. All sessions are recorded for registered participants who are unable to attend live.

Sundance Co//ab provides accommodations and support services to participants with disabilities. Accommodations and services are designed to meet the needs of each participant. Please email us at collab_courses@sundance.org to arrange for services. .

  • DURATION: Eight weeks, July 7 - August 29
  • SCHEDULE: Wednesdays, 10am - 12pm PT
    • Extended first class session: Wednesday, July 7 - 10am - 12:30pm PT
    • Extended last class session: Wednesday, August 18 - 10am - 12:30pm PT
    • One-on-one mentoring sessions are held between Aug 23 - Aug 29
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 9 at 2pm PT


Click the yellow “Apply Now” button on the top right of the page.

Lindsay holds an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. She has overseen two scripts from script to screen as a writer/ producer. SPOONER, starring Matthew Lillard (SLAMDANCE), and DOUCHEBAG (SUNDANCE) both released theatrically. Most recently Lindsay sold PLAY NICE starring Mary Lynn Rajskub. more...

Join the Discussion