Category : New Works Contest

2017 New Works Contest Results

MultiStages was founded in 1997 to give voice and opportunity to underrepresented playwrights and artists who challenge society, convention and traditional theatre, embrace multiculturalism and a variety of artistic disciplines in their work. This year’s Contest received 185 multidisciplinary and multicultural script submissions from around the world. We are thrilled to offer a platform for these deserving artists.


MultiStages 2017 New Works Contest Winner:



by Desi Moreno-Penson








OMINOUS MEN, tells the story of three men who get together in the sub-basement of the derelict and abandoned Concourse Plaza in The Bronx for a night of drinking, smoking, camaraderie, and a game of “Bones.” The eerie sound of falling pebbles on the steps, the ghostly sobs of a woman long dead, the angry apparition of a Jewish Holocaust survivor, and the appearance of a sinister stranger turn their party into a supernatural night of the soul. And it all happens during the 1977 NYC Blackout. 

If you were able to catch Desi’s play, COMIDA DE PUTA (F%&king Lousy Food), produced by MultiStages in 2015, get ready to be blacked out by this one!  A full production of Ominous Men will be produced in late 2018 or early 2019.


Desi Moreno-Penson’s plays have been developed/produced at Ensemble Studio Theater (EST), INTAR, Perishable Theater (Providence, RI), Henry Street Settlement, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, SPF-Summer Play Festival, terraNOVA Collective, The Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF) @the Cherry Lane, Urban Theater Company (Chicago), Teatro Coribantes (San Juan, PR), among others. Her play, BEIGE received Honorable Mention on The Kilroys List 2017, and is the winner of the 2016 National Latino Playwriting Award sponsored by the Arizona Theater Company, a finalist for the 2016 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, a finalist for the 2017 New Works Festival at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, and a semifinalist for the 2016 Princess Grace Award for emerging artists. In addition, the play was selected for the inaugural list of 50 Playwrights Project’s Top 8 Best Unproduced Latinx Plays for 2017, and was nominated for the 2018 Mentor Project at the Cherry Lane. Another play, COMIDA DE PUTA (F%&king Lousy Food), is the winner of the 2013 MultiStages New Works Contest, a finalist for the 2014 O’Neill NPC, received Honorable Mention on The Kilroys List 2015, and given its world premiere production at the West End Theater (NYC), produced by MultiStages Theater Company, and directed by Lorca Peress. Her plays, GHOST LIGHT, DEVIL LAND, LAZARUS DISPOSED, and 3 TO A SESSION: A MONSTER’S TALE are published by Broadway Play Publishing, and a ten-minute play, SPIRIT SEX: A PARANORMAL ROMANCE, was selected for the short plays anthology, “Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2010,” published by Smith and Kraus. She has an MFA in Dramaturgy and Theater Criticism from Brooklyn College, and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, and the Going To The River Writers Unit at the Lark New Play Development Center in New York City. Desi lives in The Bronx with her wonderful husband Anthony, and their cat, Choo-Choo.



MultiStages 2017 New Works Contest Finalists:

LA RUTA by Isaac Gomez
HANG MAN by Stacy Osei-Kuffour
ATALANTA K.O. by D.L. Siegel

The Finalist plays will be presented in the New Works Finalist Festival in Spring 2019.



Thank you to the amazing judges for your expertise, dedication, and heart. Thank you to the playwrights who submitted their exceptional work to MultiStages. You made this our most challenging and exciting New Works Contest since its inception in 2001.

The next Contest and guidelines will be announced at a later date. 

2013 | New Works Festival


COMIDA DE PUTA (F%&KING LOUSY FOOD) by Desi Moreno-Penson –– Phaedra in the Bronx. A bodega owner’s wife is obsessed with her husband’s son, the lunch counter boy, and not even her confidant, the neighborhood ‘spiritual’ woman, can help her.

This full-length play began as a ten-minute play in the 2011 Going To The River Festival (plays by women of color) at NYC’s Ensemble Studio Theatre. “As a writer, my literary objectives have been to present a revisionist, expressionistic view of contemporary U.S. Latino consciousness, devoid of the need for abject sentiment or apology.” Desi Moreno-Penson holds an MFA in Dramaturgy and Theatre/Literary Criticism from Brooklyn College. Her awards include the 2004 Samuel Levenson Memorial Scholarship for academic and creative achievement, three-time recipient of the BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Fellowship for playwriting/live performance, finalist for the 2007 Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, and a finalist for the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard. Her work has been developed and/or produced at New Georges, 59E59, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Urban Stages, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Perishable Theater, INTAR, SPF Summer Play Festival, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Henry Street Settlement, among others. Her play, 3 To a Session: A Monster’s Tale won Best Play at the 2005 Downtown Urban Theater Festival at the Cherry Lane and received its international premiere at Teatro Coribantes in San Juan, PR. Her solo show, Dos Mujeres (2 Women), was presented as part of the 10th Annual soloNOVA Arts Festival produced by terraNOVA Collective. She’s been a featured playwright in the bilingual theatre arts publication, OLLANTAY. Her plays Devil Land, Ghost Light, Lazarus Disposed, 3 To a Session: A Monster’s Tale are published through Broadway Play Publishing and Spirit Sex was selected as part of the short plays anthology THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS OF 2010 published by Smith and Kraus. Her play, Devil Land will receive its Midwest premiere by Urban Theater Company in Chicago in spring 2014.



PUPPET MAN by Andrew Black – In the early 2000’s, the warden at North Central Correctional Institute in Marion, Ohio authorized a puppet theater program for children visiting their fathers at the facility. This play is inspired by real-life events and the inmates who started the puppet theater.

Andrew Black changed his life by re-locating to Athens, Ohio to pursue graduate studies in playwriting at Ohio University. His thesis play, Puppet Man was accepted into the National Puppetry Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Center. He has co-written or written seven full-length plays and many short plays. Most of them have been produced.

WITCHES VANISH by Claudia Barnett – In a series of stylized, highly visual vignettes employing puppetry, poetry, and surrealism, the weird sisters from Macbeth explore the stories of women who disappear, whether by choice or force. Inspired by history, astronomy, and Shakespeare, Witches Vanish examines the nature of change and the value of human life.

Claudia Barnett’s plays have been produced regionally as well as in NYC. Awards and commissions include the Distinguished Creative Activity Award (Middle Tennessee State University, 2012), Semi‐finalist, Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship (Princess Grace Foundation, 2010), Finalist, 10th Annual EstroGenious Festival (Manhattan Theatre Source, 2009); Residencies include Downstage Left Playwright Residency, Stage Left Theatre Chicago, Ingram New Works Playwright Residency, and Tennessee Repertory Theatre. Witches Vanish received a workshop at LeapFest 9 at Stage Left Theatre in Chicago.

SUNDAY EN LA CASA DE GRANMA by Chris Longo – Longo takes us on a wild ride in a pedicab decorated with Che Guevarra’s portrait deep into a far-off world of Music, Magic, and Mystery in Havana.

Chris Longo is a New York-born playwright who has lived in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Monte Carlo, Italy, and now Seattle after a twenty-five year residence in Argentina working as a professor of literature and theater, and artistic director of the bi-lingual Buenos Aires Cabaret Theatre. He is a three-time MultiStages New Works Finalist. Other awards: Nantucket Short Play Competition, National Repertory Foundation Award, John Golden Award for Creative Writing, and three Office of Advanced Drama Research nominations. He published a science fiction novel, The Last Gene, in the US, and a bi-lingual edition of his play Abracadabra in Argentina. During his Los Angeles residence, he developed a KCET Public Television project, Aztecs in a Field of Flowers funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Footprints of the Pheasant in the Snow (American-Chinese co-production for Tower Film Corporation), and Bugatti on the life of Ettore Bugatti for John Travolta Productions (Orion Pictures). Currently a member of Northwest Playwrights Alliance in Washington, his play Little Voices will receive a reading workshop at Seattle Repertory Theater this fall. His play, I’m Outa Here! is scheduled for a production in Los Angeles in 2014.

JANUARY by Paula Cizmar – is a play about two mothers (the mother of a child who was murdered, and the mother of a child who is a murderer), the media exploitation of tragedies, and gun control.

Paula Cizmar’s plays aim to discover a poetic way to explore human issues and are concerned with the way stories get told in a culture and who gets left out of the discussion. She wrote SEVEN – a documentary play about human rights –with Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith, and Susan Yankowitz. (Published by Dramatists Play Service), which has received performances around the world. Awards include Center for Scholarly Technology 2012 C3 Grant; 2011 Creative Capital Fund Grant, National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Grant (for Seven); National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship; DramaLogue Critics Award for Outstanding Playwriting; Susan Smith Blackburn Literary Prize (Runner-up/Special Commendation); Rockefeller Foundation International Residency at Bellagio, Italy; Jerome Foundation Commission/ Women’s Theatre Project of Minnesota; O’Neill National Playwrights Conference; Sundance Playwrights Lab; Envision at Bard. 

2011 | New Works Festival


By Isabella Russell-Ides, directed by Lorca Peress; with Jen Anaya, Joshua Torrez, Gabriel Gutierrez, Fidel Vicioso, Miguel Sierra, Laura Lebron-Rojas, Robmariel Olea, Denia Brache, Lillian Rodriguez

This love story slips between the portals of the past and the present, and takes us on a timeless and exciting journey.

ISABELLA RUSSELL-IDES, winner of Echo Theatre’s Big Shout Out 2010 (The Early Education of Conrad Eppler), Nora’s Playhouse, NYC Outstanding New Play 2009 (Leonard’s Car), DFW Critics Forum Best New Play 2008 (Coco & Gigi). Lawson Taitte: “A tour de force…ingenius, proof that once is not enough.” Mark Lowry: “More significant than any new work by a local playwright…in my nine years of attending festivals.” Alexandra Bonafield: “Brilliant…the charmed audience holds its collective breath.” In 2009 the playwright’s inter-racial romance The Big Bend opened simultaneously in NYC (Estrogenius) and L.A. (TowneStreet). In 2010, The International Center For Women Playwrights selected Seventeen Tiaras and Pagan Babe for “Babes And Beginnings (Mother/Daughter monologues)” Volume I. Also a published poet and essayist, this post-historical Queen of Spain is still looking for the new world and she sees signs everywhere.


By Jeffrey Harper, directed by Robert Kalfin; with Sam Guncler, Jason Collins, Ylfa Edelstein, Michael Lawrence Eisenstein, Michael-Kennan Miller, Natalie Mosco, Larry Pine, Joseph Urla

An imaginative and expressionistic meditation on memory, where three friends encounter the savant Solomon Sherashevsky as they desperately attempt to survive Stalin’s Terror and make life and death choices about who and what they will choose to remember.

JEFFREY HARPER: In the Valley of the Shadow, a true-crime drama with gospel music (winner Playwrights First Award, readings in NYC and Los Angeles w/Tim Daly and Andrew McCarthy); My Mariners, co-written with Damon Dimarco (2004 Sundog Theatre); If You Could See: The Alice Austen Story, book and lyrics by Harper, Louis Tucci composer (NYC 2011); Eden, about Rwandan genocide (readings at Jermyn Street Theatre in London, NYC w/ Tony nominee Jayne Atkinson and David Margulies); Borderlines, a political thriller (readings in NYC and Los Angeles w/Bruce Davison and Richard Portnow; optioned by Zuckerman Entertainment Film). Harper is a past playwright-in-residence at New River Dramatists in Healing Springs, NC, was awarded a Canada Council playwriting grant for A Cross for Vimy Ridge, a drama about WWI veterans; and is a graduate of Harvard University where he was awarded the Eliot Director’s Bowl. heatre Representation: Marta Praeger at Robert Freedman Dramatic Agency; Film/TV: Jeffrey Thal of Ensemble Entertainment.


By Chris Longo, directed by Tea Alagic; with Richarda Abrams, Alec Beard, Michele LaRue, Christiana Nelson, Anna O’Donoghue, Keoni Scott

An Evening of Dreams and Poetry with the Absolutely Fabulous Katherine Mansfield in a fusion play that charts the brief life of the early 20th Century feminist short story writer.

Chris Longo born and raised in the US, has lived in Italy, Latin America, and was been a permanent resident of Argentina for twenty years, where he teaches, writes, and works in theatre and film. His plays have been produced in NYC, Hawaii, Los Angeles and Argentina: The Assassin’s Notebook; Abracadabra; The Yankee Doodles Blues; The Street of Dark Shops; Machu Picchu; A Tango for Two Women; Piccola Memoria; Saturday Night at the Thundering Hooves Motel; Take Off Those Wings, Faye Seraphim; I Hear Ya Knockin’ But Ya Can´t Come In; White Tennis Shoes. Memberships: Theatre West, The Group Theatre, First Stage, Actors Studio West, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Writers Guild Of America, West And Actors Equity. AWARDS, HONORS: Nantucket Short Play Contest Winner (2nd) 2005, 2009; MultiStages New Works Playwriting Contest (Finalist); The National Repertory Foundation Award; Office Of Advanced Drama Research Selection (Three Times); The Peter Pauper Press Prize; The John Golden Award For Creative Writing. Films: Adventure in the Andes (Translation and adaptation of screenplay originally entitled Magic Week, KCET Public Television; Aztecs in a Field of Flowers (developed for public television, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.); Footprints of the Pheasant in the Snow (American-Chinese co-production filmed in Mainland China, Tower Film Corporation, a division of Cyrus Eaton Enterprise); Bugatti (writer/developer project on the life of Ettore Bugatti, John Travolta Productions, division of Orion Pictures).


2009 | New Works Festival


by Adam Kraar, directed by Giovanna Sardelli; with Quincy Dunn-Baker, Sanjiv Jhaveri, Annie Purcell, David Sajadi, Sarah Garza

Deborah and her foreign correspondent husband are a young American couple living in New Delhi in 1963. A relationship with an Indian bookseller leads Deborah to discover a mysterious spiritual connection to ancient Indian myth, but myth spills into reality in this powerful, political, and poetic piece.
ADAM KRAAR is a playwright whose work includes New World Rhapsody (Manhattan Theatre Club commission); The Spirit House (finalist, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival; premiered at Performance Network of Ann Arbor); The Abandoned El (Illinois Theatre Center; Urban Stages reading); Storm In The Iron Box (National Play Award runner-up), and The Lost Cities of Asher (New River Dramatists fellowship). His work has been produced and developed by Primary Stages, N.Y. Stage and Film, N.Y. Shakespeare Festival, Ensemble Studio, Theatreworks U.S.A, Rude Mechanicals, H.B. Playwrights Theatre, Geva Theatre, Bloomington Playwrights Project and others. Awards: Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Inge Center for the Arts fellowship, Millay Colony (Berilla Kerr fellowship), Southeastern Theatre Conference, Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellowship; MultiStages 2007 New Works Finalist. M.F.A., Columbia University. Plays published by Dramatic, Applause and Smith & Kraus. Adam grew up in India, Thailand, Singapore and the U.S.


by Michael Bettencourt, directed by Elfin Vogel; with Sandra Berrios, Freedome Bradley, Carlton Byrd, David L. Carson, Bruce Faulk, Dennis Fox, Bryant Mason, Douglas Taurel, Afton Williamson, Natasha Yannacañedo

After Jesse Colton’s wife is lynched in Mississippi for allegedly being a communist, he escapes to Harlem, joins a revolutionary movement and heads to Spain to fight Franco. Step back in time to the 1930s in this passionate, bilingual play that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

MICHAEL BETTENCOURT is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, and monthly columnist for Scene4, an online arts journal. He has received awards for 17 plays for stage and screen, including Ostrander Award (Memphis TN) for Best Original Script); Silver Medal in the Pinter Review Prize for Drama; Winner, Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition – Alleyway Theatre, Buffalo NY; Best Play in the 7th Annual Turnip Theatre 15-Minute Play Festival; Winner of the Boston Theater Works BTW Unbound Festival of New Plays; Winner of the American Alliance of Theatre and Education Unpublished Playreading Project; Winner, Eric Bentley New Play Competition of the New Phoenix Theatre of Buffalo, NY; Region II Finalist in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival; Finalist in the Lamia Ink International One-Page Play Competition; Finalist, Sundance screenplay competition; Finalist, Filmmakers Screenplay Competition; and others. All of Michael’s scripts are at Many thanks to his wife, Maria-Beatriz.


by Karen Hartman and Phil Lebovits; directed by Vince Pesce, music director Mark Hartman; with Danny Beiruti, Sandy Binion, Debra Cardona, Zachary Clause, Natalie Charle Ellis, John Haggerty, Karla Mosley, Ronica Reddick, Alison Scamarella

Opera diva Alice Silverstein (the "Oprah of Opera"), is receiving a Kennedy Center Honor when her abandoned, drunk, teenage son Dwyane, crashes onto the stage triggering a scandal hat brings this diva down. See Alice rise and fall, and rise again, in this one-of-a-kind rock ‘n opera fusion.

KAREN HARTMAN (Co-writer, Composer) is a comedy writer/performer, composer, lyricist and librettist. She began as an opera singer, winning the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Audition on the West Coast. Unable to keep a straight face with opera, she wrote a stand up act and entered the comedy world. One of the first female comediennes, she was a regular at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles for ten years, and developed a one and a half woman show, Diva Takes a Dive which toured nationwide. Writing/ Music credits include HBO Comedy Specials, Showtime, and nationally syndicated television. She appeared and starred in movies and television series, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild, National Board of Review, AEA, SAG and AFTRA. She is winner of Caroline’s Comedy Competition, “The Funniest Woman in America,” and L.A. First Class as “The Best of the Best.” Karen lives and laughs with her husband in NYC.
PHIL LEBOVITS (Co-writer) has been a comedy writer for over 20 years. Credits include The Dennis Mille Show, Comic Strip Live, and working with Jason Alexander on such TV projects as “The Whitey Show” and “Liquid Soap.” A graduate of Syracuse University, Phil founded Guilty Children, one of Boston’s most successful comedy troupes. Following his stint with the group, Phil wrote sixteen comedy murder mystery shows that have been produced in over 40 cities. As a musician and lyricist, Phil wrote the opening song “Shop Til I Drop” for the movie The Debtors starring Michael Caine and Randy Quaid. He’s currently developing two reality series with BBC America.  

2007 | New Works Festival


by Mary Fengar Gail, directed by Lorca Peress

On the Caribbean Island of Dolphina, exiled marine biologists Gwendolyn and Marlin Welles await the birth of their daughter. No one knows why the expectant Gwendolyn’s skin has a silvery glow or why she consumes live fish from the aquarium until an ultrasound reveals her secret. Enter a strange new world that explores the future consequences of global warming, toxic oceans, motherhood and the magic of voodoo.

MARY FENGAR GAIL’S plays include Drink Me, Opaline, and Devil Dog Six. She has had plays developed at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the New York Stage and Film Company, and the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Full productions were performed at the InterAct Theatre of Philadelphia, the New Jersey Repertory Company, the Seanachai Theatre of Chicago, and Theatre Conspiracy of Florida. Ms. Gail is a recipient of the Arnold Weissberger Award administered by New Dramatists, the National Children’s Theatre Award, and the Playwrights First Award. She recently received commissions from New Jersey Repertory, the Salt Lake Acting Company, South Coast Repertory, and the National New Play Network, as well as a playwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council.


by Adam Kraar, directed by Gregory Simmons, with Katie Atcheson, Rosalyn Coleman, Leland Gantt, Dion Graham, Peter Handy, Jake Myers, Kevin Orton, Franny Silverman

June 1964: Black Civil Rights workers teach non-violent tactics to hundreds of white volunteers en route to Mississippi to help register blacks to vote. Jessica, a young white volunteer, has no idea how dangerous ─ emotionally and physically ─ the project will be until she falls in love with a young black Civil Rights worker and three workers disappear in Mississippi.

ADAM KRAAR’S plays include New World Rhapsody (Manhattan Theatre Club commission); The Spirit House (finalist, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival; premiered at Performance Network of Ann Arbor); The Abandoned El (Illinois Theatre Center); Storm In The Iron Box (National Play Award runner-up), and The Lost Cities of Asher (New River Dramatists fellowship). Plays produced and developed at: Primary Stages, N.Y. Stage and Film, N.Y. Shakespeare Festival, Ensemble Studio, Theatreworks U.S.A, Rude Mechanicals, H.B. Playwrights Theatre, Geva Theatre, Bloomington Playwrights Project and others. Awards: Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Inge Center for the Arts fellowship, Millay Colony (Berilla Kerr fellowship), Southeastern Theatre Conference, Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellowship. M.F.A., Columbia University. Plays published by Dramatic, Applause and Smith & Kraus. Adam grew up in India, Thailand, Singapore and the U.S. Visit


by Nick Zagone, directed by Jose Zayas, with Pete Barker, Nicole Becker, Thursday Farrar, John Fitzgibbon, Maurice Peress, Peter Schuyler, Paul Siemens, Monica Steuer, Ed Trucco, Robert B. Watson

In this mythical tale told with music, dancing, and puppetry, a Soviet submarine sinks off the coast of Hawaii and President Nixon relies on Howard Hughes’ brilliance and money to raise the sub and their spiraling careers. Aided by an aging starlet and subservient Mormon counsel, Nixon gains access to the ailing, drug addled Hughes, and the rest is history, or is it?

NICK ZAGONE’S plays have been enjoyed throughout the US and the world. Awards include: Mark A. Klein Playwriting Award, Artistic Director’s Achievement Award by San Fernando Valley Theatre League Alliance, Los Angeles Ovation Award Nomination, Fulton Opera House Award, JAW Festival Selection, Northwest Playwright’s Series Finalist, Seattle Times Footlight Award, Prospect Theatre Project Competition Winner, Northwest Playwright’s Series Finalist and Winner of Lamia Ink! One-Page Play Competition. Nick is the Founding Member of Open Circle Theatre in Seattle WA. Theatre Companies include: Cal-State Stanislaus, Stage 3, No-Shame Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT & Printer’s Devil. Commissions include: Sierra Repertory Theatre, Iron Ring Theatre and Prospect Theatre. Nick is also a screenwriter and is published by Dramatic Publishing and Black Box Press.


2005 | New Works Festival


by Abi Basch, directed by Tania I. Kirkman, with Brendan Bradley, Thursday Farrar, Jessica Hedrick, René Keller, Francisco G. Rivela, Rebecca White

Fear of a Führer is a performance collage of the unexpected, told through song, puppetry, poetry, and a mix of theatrical genres. A cacophony of sound, music, and historical dialogue is interwoven through a love story of searchers for peace in a time of war.

Abi Basch is a playwright and director whose plays and performance installations have been presented at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Brave New Works in Atlanta, Fusebox, PulseWorks, and Out of Ink in Austin, Best Feet Forward in Minneapolis, hotINK! in New York City, and Transeuropa in Hildesheim, Germany. She’s received three Austin Critics Table award nominations, been a finalist for the Weissberger Award at Williamstown and for PlayLabs at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and received Best of Fest in Fronterafest. She has developed plays and performance installations collaboratively with Live Action Set and the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and Refraction Arts Project and Physical Plant Theater in Austin. Abi is a core member of Austin Script Works, has received two Jerome Fellowships from the Playwrights’ Center, and a Fulbright Fellowship for research on collaborative physical-theater methods in Germany. She holds an AB in History from Brown University and an MFA in Playwriting from The University of Texas at Austin.


by Pamela A. Popeson, directed by Lorca Peress, with Mauricio Bustamante, Joe Cross, Veronica Cruz, Charles Everett, Marin Gazzaniga, Raquel Gutiérrez, Daniel Hicks, Ward Nixon, Dan Teachout, Lane Trippe

What Comes Next treks cross-country in a timelessly traveling wagon train of abstract realism. On the trail we meet Ulysses S. Grant, Marilyn Monroe, and Charlie Parker Atlas. With humor and pathos, we are forced to examine our country, people, and endless struggles.

Pamela A. Popeson’s first full-length play, The Bigger Thing, premiered Off-Off Broadway at the Red Room (Born Slippery Productions, May 2002), it was optioned by True Love Productions for Off-Broadway following performances at Fringe ‘02 in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Bedlam Theatre. Other full-lengths: Miss Weekends (developed and read at The Living Room in New York City, January 2004), and What Comes Next, began during a granted residency at the Norcroft Writer Retreat for Women in Minnesota, 2004. One-acts: The Moat (premiered at the New Orleans Center for Contemporary Art as “Featured Artist” in Dramarama 12 Performing Arts Festival, 2005), The Spy (8 Minute Madness Festival, Turtleshell Productions, NYC 2004), Up on the Beach written for Terrepin Productions, 2004, The Climber (New Orleans Dramarama 11), and Alas Poor Spike. Popeson is a frequent contributor to NYARTS Magazine and COVER Magazine, writing articles on art and art culture. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and The Playwright’s Center.


by Nicole Quinn, directed by Chris Silva, with Joe Ambrose, Denise Collins, Tamara Green, Leanne Hutchison, Adam LeFevre, Melissa Leo, Michael Patterson, Shawn Randall, Mindy Raymond, Seret Scott, Arie Thompson

The Torment takes us back to a time of blacks who owned slaves, concubines, and the fight for freedom in turbulent antebellum New Orleans. The mysterious and dramatic plot twists and turns until it reveals tormented truths buried under the skin.

Nicole Quinn has written for HBO, Showtime, the networks and Jodie Foster’s Egg Pictures. Her play, War at Home, written with award-winning writer Nina Shengold and some 40 high school students and community members, is published by Playscripts, Inc. and in the anthology Under Thirty, Vintage Originals. Playscripts will publish Odds & Ends, a collection of Quinn’s short plays in 2005, and Information in 2006. Information was a 2005 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Play Festival participant. She is a member of Actors & Writers. Quinn’s current endeavors are to be found at, featuring Melissa Leo and David Strathairn.


2003 | New Works Festival


by Chris Longo, directed by Elowyn Castle with Mary Albertoli, Sandra Berrios, Rudolfo Diaz, Shawn Elliott, Stephen Innocenzi, Said Jimenez, Vivienne Jurado, Alicia Kaplan, Miguel Sierra

Skeletons of a man and woman locked in an erotic embrace are unearthed by an American archaeologist in 1930’s Peru in this thrilling mystery of secrets, spirits, and love.

CHRIS LONGO is New York born and raised, and received a BA from Queens College and an MGA in Playwriting from the University of Hawaii. He has spent his life teaching, writing and working in amateur and academic theatre. He has lived in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Monte Carlo, Florence, Rome and Lima, Peru. He currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he writes, teaches and performs in English language theatre. Awards include John Golden Award, Peter Pauper Press Prize, National Repertory Theatre Foundation Award, and the Office of Advance Drama Research Sponsorship. As a film writer, he has written for John Travolta Productions (Orion), Fata Morgana Films (Argentina), KCET Public TV (Los Angeles), and others.


by Lavonne Mueller, directed by James B. Nicola with Eric Bondoc, Marissa Ignacio, Valorie Niccore, Linh-Dan Pham, Stephanie Wang, Nancy Wu

This poetical play of comfort women in WWII Japan was inspired by the author’s interviews of Korean women abducted as teenagers and forced into prostitution. Lavonne Mueller is the recipient of numerous awards, including NEA and Rockefeller fellowships

LAVONNE MUELLER is the author of numerous plays, including Letters To A Daughter From Prison about Nehru and daughter Indira (First International Festival of the Arts in NYC, and on tour in India); Violent Peace (London production; Time Out Magazine "Critics Choice"); Little Victories (Bryna Wortman directed at the Women’s Project; Riho Mitachi directed at Theatre Classic Productions, Tokyo); The Only Woman General (Bryna Wortman directed at the Women’s Project, starring Colleen Dewhurst; Edinburgh Festival "Pick of the Fringe"). Awards include Roger Stevens Playwriting Award, a Guggenheim Grant, a Rockefeller Grant, three National Endowment for the Arts Grants, a Fulbright to Argentina, an Asian Culture Council Grant to Calcutta, and a U.S. Friendship Commission Grant to Japan. Ms. Mueller is a Woodrow Wilson Scholar and a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Writing Fellow. Her plays and monologues are published by Dramatist Play Service, Samuel French, Applause Books, Performing Arts Journal, Theatre Communication Group, Heinemann Books and Baker’s Plays. Her play Hotel Splendid was in a 2001 festival with Boston Theatre Works, and received the 2001 award for outstanding drama opposing war and injustice, given by Peace Writing, directed by Dick Bennett, and sponsored by the consortium of peace, research, and development (COPRED). Ms. Mueller also taught at Columbia University for five years.


by Mary Fengar Gail, directed by Scott C. Embler, with Sabrina Avila, Eugenie Bagur, Iresol L. Cardona, Scott Evans, Lea Michele, Francisco G. Rivela, Julie Tolivar, Amirh Vann, Anita Velez Mitchell

On a fictitious Argentine island, a widower father of an infant with a defective heart decrees that she be raised in a paradise where all language is sung, all yearnings fulfilled and all men are absent.

MARY FENGAR GAIL plays include: Drink Me, Fuschia, Jambulu, The Garden on F Street and The Wormwood Chronical. She has had readings, workshops and productions at Sundance Institute, The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Lark Theatre, the InterAct Theatre of Philadelphia, and the Kitchen Dog Theatre of Dallas. Her awards include Arnold Weissberger Award (New Dramatists), the TheatreFest Playwrighting Competition, the National Children’s Theatre Festival Award, Stanley Drama Award (Wagner College), Santa Fe Performing Arts Co. Playwriting Competition, Crossing Borders Playwriting Contest (Wharf Rat Productions), and the Rte 66 Great American Playwriting Competition (Vortex Theatre, New Mexico). She has received commissions from South Coast Repertory of Costa Mesa and the National New Play Network; and a playwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council.


2001 | New Works Festival


by Naomi Lazard, directed by Robert Kalfin, with Veronica Cruz, Tovah Feldshuh, Clark Huggins, Jane Lowe, Valerie Niccore, Francisco G. Rivela, Stephanie Wang, Richard B. Watson

The Elephant And The Dove by NY poet and NEA grantee, Naomi Lazard, is the story of Frida Kahlo, a woman whose life is a constant struggle for survival of the spirit, the flesh, and as an artist in relation to Diego Rivera, her husband, tormentor, and deepest love; accompanied by a plot in which contemporary moviemakers create a film that will exploit her life story.

NAOMI LAZARD started writing as a poet in a workshop with John Logan at the University of Chicago. She has published six books of poetry, a book of translations of the poetry from the Urdu of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (the beloved 20th century Pakistani poet) (Princeton University Press); a book for children (Greenwillow), short stories, screenplays and is the author of “The Elephant and the Dove.” Awards and Grants: Ann Stanford Memorial Award (1998); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Translation (of Faiz Ahmed Faiz from the Urdu) (1996); Ordinances selected as best book by Writers’ Choice (1985); Traveling and Writing Grant; University of Montana (1981); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (Poetry) (1981); CAPS Grant: New York State Council on the Arts (Poetry) (1979); Ferguson Award; Friends of Literature in Chicago for The Moonlit Upper Deckerina (1978); di Castagnola Award; The Poetry Society of America for Ordinances manuscript (1977); 1976: FELS Award for poems from Ordinances (1976); CAPS Grant: New York State Council on the Arts (Poetry) (1975) Ms. Lazard is working on a new comedic play entitled “With all Due Respect.” In addition to writing, she is a graphic artist, and very involved with the Hamptons International Film Festival. A Dramatist Guild member.


by Michael Murphy, directed by James Cunningham with William Joseph Brookes , Stacie J. Dotson, Mark Lien, Jane Lowe, Stina Nielson, Jerry Rago, Ken Wiesinger

Lions On The Nile by Michael Murphy (a recent NYC transplant via San Francisco) is an epic docudrama set in 1855, that follows the historic expeditions of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton and Captain John Speke as they search Africa for the source of the Nile, and the scandalous relationship that develops between them.

MICHAEL MURPHY "Lions on the Nile" received a staged reading at FirstStage, a new play development group founded by the Sundance Theatre Lab, and a Brown Foundation Development grant for historical plays. Michael is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London, which sponsored the Burton-Speke expeditions dramatized in the play. His play, "The Debating Society,” appeared at Denver Center Theatre’s TheatreFest this past June, directed by Randall Myler. "The Legendary St. Vincent Design" appeared at the Wings Theatre in New York this past July/August, directed by Jules Ochoa. Both plays were developed at The Playwrights Lab in San Francisco, a playwrights collective that received a NEA grant for new play development. Other plays: "Absolute Reality" (Nat Horner Theater, NYC), "The Book of Jeremy" (White-Willis New Play Award; Finalist, Jerome Fellowship; Finalist, Julie Harris Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Festival); "My Mother Danced with Frank Sinatra" (Finalist, ALR New Play Search), "The Hatmaker" (Finalist, Key West New Play Festival) and "Like Noah Rain" (Blue Bear Theatre). Screenplays: the short film, "Time’s Arrow" (1996), and the feature, "The Light of Day" (Honorable Mention, Monterey Film Festival and currently under option for production in 2001). Michael moved to NYC from San Francisco last year. A Dramatist Guild member.


by David Muschell, directed by Elowyn Castle with Gena Bardwell, William Joseph Brookes, Milton Carney, Daniel Hicks, Mark Lien, Stina Nielson, Lorca Peress, Carolyn Tenney

SURF by Georgian playwright David Mushcell is a two-act play that brings the internet to the stage through a contemporary chat room, and the emotional relationships that result. The play presents an original concept: the actual chat room dialogue is projected onto the stage.

DAVID MUSCHELL’s work as a playwright has resulted in four national and five regional awards, including the Southeast Playwrights’ Competition, the Little Nashville Competition sponsored by Feedback Theatrebooks, and the Stage3 New Play Competition. Ten of his plays have been published. His most widely produced, “Mixed Emotions,” has been seen in twenty-three states, Canada, and Japan. He also writes nonfiction, including two books on word origins, Where in the Word? and What in the Word? He is an assistant professor at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he teaches English, speech, and creative writing. Mr. Muschell just completed a one-act comedy, “Muriel and Abby Find Irving,” about death and friendship; and two new plays will be coming out this fall from Baker’s Plays of Boston: “The Jesus Trip” and “The Golden Nest.” A Dramatist Guild member.


by C. Rusch, directed by Lorca Peress, with Gena Bardwell, Hadley Boyd, Daniel Hicks, Everton Lawrence, Jane Lowe , Francisco Rivela, Miguel Sierra,

The Charity Fish Fry Tinikling Show by South Carolinian C. Rusch, is an absurdist romantic comedy with a comedia del arte sense. This one-act play weaves a wacky romantic story which includes a show, a botched romance, a philanderer, a professor, a sex pot, a fortune teller, buried treasure, a magic tree, and more with tinikling dance (a dance performed with wooden dowels that are rhythmically beaten on the floor).

CHRISTINE RUSCH has been a founding artistic director of a playwrights theatre in Greenville, NC; with the NC Humanities Committee, she created the educational program Human Values in New Works for the Stage; was a founding board member of the NC Writers Network, and is a 2000 Drama Fellow of the SC Academy of Authors. Studies include: John Ford Noonan, Arthur Giron, Bill Hardy, Harvena Richter, M.Ed. Temple Univ. Fellowships/Admin: The VA Center for the Creative Arts, Dorset Colony House, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Mars Hill, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, Rabun Gap, The Millay Colony for the Arts, various Artist in Residencies; Playwrights Fund of NC, Best Lunch Theatre Ever, and Southeastern Playwrights Conference. Productions/ Awards: NC Black Repertory, Performance Network, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville National Playwrighting Competition (Semifinalist), Works by Women, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Love Creek Short Play Fest, Theatre Works, New Ensemble Actors Theatre, Turnip Theatre Fest, and numerous others. Publications and anthologies include Café La Mama Issue of Lamia Ink! Upcoming production: “Trane: Behind the Blues” (Dallas; Oslo); and “Sarajevo” (Cauchemar Literary Journal). Dramatists Guild and The Authors League member. 


Lorca Peress MultiStages Artistic Director
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