Master Class: Warren Leight

Special Event
Theater 2–5:30pm
  • Regular $75
  • Media Center Members $50


In this Master Class, Warren Leight, a Pulitzer Prize-cited playwright and the award-winning showrunner of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Law and Order: Criminal Intentand In Treatment will guide writers and producers through how to take advantage of all that New York City has to offer as a backdrop and character in your show.

In the first part of the presentation, Leight will tackle the common mistakes (and how to avoid them) in writing scripts set in the City, and also elaborate on the creative strategies he's used to tackle episodes based the diverse neighborhoods and people here. In the second part of the day, Leight will speak to his experiences as a writer-showrunner, and discuss how to produce your show here in NYC and keep your costs down. Plus, he'll talk about running a writer's room right here in the City.

  • 2:00 PM – Master Class: NYC State of Mind: How to Write Your City-Based Show
  • 3:30 PM – Coffee and Snack Break with Leight
  • 4:00 PM – Master Class: Take It to the Streets: Shooting, Producing, and Showrunning in NYC
  • 5:30 PM – Day Ends


Warren Leight was showrunner and Executive Producer of the NBC drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2011-2016 (Imagen, NAACP and PRISM Awards). He was showrunner and Executive Producer of HBO's Peabody Award-winning In Treatment, as well as the FX drama Lights Out, and the Edgar-winning Law and Order: Criminal Intent. All four of these shows were written and produced in New York City. Warren is currently developing new projects for Sony’s television division.

Warren's play “Side Man” won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play, and was a 1999 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. Other plays include “No Foreigners Beyond This Point" (Drama Desk nomination), “Home Front”, “Fame Takes a Holiday,” “Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine" (ATCA nomination), and “The Loop”. Warren wrote the book to the musicals “Mayor" (Drama Desk nomination), and “Leap of Faith” (Drama Desk nomination, Tony nomination for Best Musical). Two collections of one-acts, “Dark, No Sugar," and “Stray Cats,” have been published by DPS.

Warren is the former President of the Writer’s Guild of America, East, and is a current member of the Dramatists Guild council. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of the 24-hour Play Festival. Warren is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives with his wife and daughters in New York City.

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