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Write Better Monologues with Raegan Payne

Raegan Payne
TAOS, NM—Throughout this campaign season, we’ll hear plenty of short speeches about what candidates can do for us. And sure, these candidates may end up raising our wages or feeding all the starving children…but the real question is, can they make us better playwrights?

After all, what’s the difference between a stump speech and a dramatic monologue? 

On Tuesday, June 16, at 7:00 pm EST, playwright Raegan Payne will lead the online class “From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident.”

Registration is open.

The cost for the class is $35 for NCWN members, $45 for non-members. Space is limited.

Political stump speeches and plays are basically the same thing—you have precious few seconds to grab your audience’s attention, and get them fully invested in the outcome of your story, and in the end—there is always the ask. In this class, we will explore the importance of picking an appropriate inciting incident to propel our story forward, whether we’re speaking at a city council meeting or writing the opening of a new play. Using an inciting incident from our own lives, we will find the perfect jumping-off point to construct a story of change.

Registrants will be invited to participate in an online reading later this summer, where they may share work generated in this class (details forthcoming).

Raegan Payne is a published playwright whose plays have been produced from Los Angeles to Lagos. She studied Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy and improv/sketch writing at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She is a member of Ammunition Theatre Company’s Writers Group, the Dramatist Guild, Actors’ Equity, and SAG-AFTRA.

Raegan’s play “The Dying Declaration of Madge Oberholtzer” won the McNerney Playwriting Award, Long Beach Playhouse’s New Works Festival, was a Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist, and an O’Neill semi-finalist. Her play “Timeless: A Scientific Comedy” was picked by Pulitzer Prize Winner Martyna Majok to win the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Playwriting Prize, and was a finalist for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. She has stayed at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris, participated in The Royal Court Theatre’s Peckham Writers Group in London, the Scripps Ranch Theatre’s New Works Studio, the HBMG Foundation’s Winter Playwrights Retreat in Colorado, The Lark’s Roundtable Reads, and Iceland’s Klaustrid Artists Residency. In 2019, she was awarded the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Grant. She’s a graduate of the National Democratic Training Committee Communications Staff Academy.

Her website is

“From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident” is part of the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2020-2021 series of online classes.

“The Network has offered online programming since 2016,” said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. “We’re proud to already have the educational framework in place that allows us to continue to serve the writers of North Carolina, and beyond, during this time of social distancing.”

The online class “From Monologues to Stump Speeches—The Importance of the Inciting Incident” is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Tuesday, June 16, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class. The class will be archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.

Register here.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit