New Play-Reading Festival

New_Play_RGB_300About the New Play-Reading Festival:

Did you ever wonder how new plays are chosen for production? Here’s your chance to find out–and, if you wish, participate in the process!

In our New Play-Reading Festival, four brand-new plays for young audiences, chosen from  over 100 submitted works, will be read by professional and community artists in a casual setting. Following each reading, the entire family can participate in discussion of the work with our professional team. One of the four plays will be selected to become a fully mounted production in 2019! Bring the family for this unique theatre event! 

SUBMISSIONS OPEN for Our 2018 – 2019 Season! CLICK HERE


2nd ROUND of Readings: April 13-15, 2018


Our 2017 – 2018 Finalists:


JOHN HENRY by Elise Forier Edie

2nd Reading: Friday, April 13th at 7:30PM

Based on the American folk-ballad, “John Henry” takes place in a railroad camp a decade or so after the Civil War. When Boss Huntington announces the C & O railroad will be using steam drills instead of two-man teams, to blast through the Allegheny Mountains, John Henry must use all his strength to prove a man can be better than a machine.  Meanwhile, his son John Junior must fight his own battles, as he faces discrimination in the burgeoning industrial world.

About the playwright:

Elise Forier Edie is a California-based author and playwright. Her hit show “The Pink Unicorn,” is produced this season in New York, at Urban Stages, and in Fort Lauderdale, at Primal Forces Theater. You can find her fiction in bookstores, most recently in “Haunted Nights,” a collection of Halloween stories edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton, and online in The Enchanted Conversation, Cast of Wonders and the Lorelei Signal. Elise is the Director of Theater Arts at West Los Angeles College. You can learn more about her at


2nd Reading: Saturday, April 14th at 4:00PM

Thirteen-year-old Mallory Li’s world is about to be turned upside-down and inside-out, and she is not happy about it.  But who would want a new stepmom who is making you leave your beloved New York City to move to a new weird place called Suburbia?  Refusing to accept all this change, Mallory runs away.  With her little sister Lily in tow, Mallory gets swept away into a fantastical land full of interesting (and sometimes scary!) creatures like Alliterators, Conundrums, and Cliffhangers.  With their lives in peril, can Mallory and Lily find their way home?

About the playwright:

Molly Powers Gallagher is a New York City-based writer, performer, and teaching artist. She was recently commissioned by Urban Stages to write and perform in THE MIGHTY PATSY MINK!, a solo show about the first woman of color elected to Congress, and THE MYSTERY OF THE 12 CURIOUS COUSINS, a modern adaptation of THE 12 DANCING PRINCESSES by the Bros. Grimm. As an educator, Molly has worked with Girl Be Heard, Wingspan Arts, Boston University, among others. She has also had the pleasure of performing with Trusty Sidekick Theater Company/Classic Stage Company, Open Arts Alliance, and Honest Accomplice Theater.  Molly has been a Finalist in the New Plays for Young Audiences competition and awarded the BU in LA Comedy Writer Grant. MFA: Boston University BA: Fordham University Lincoln Center.

TO THE WEST by Jessica Field

2nd Reading: Saturday, April 14th at 7:00PM

To The West takes us to a Viking clan on the brink of change during the nine day festival before raiding season. Young Halvard wishes to go raiding instead of following his father’s footsteps as a rune carver. Sif and Inger, young thralls who have been slaves their whole lives, realize this is the perfect week to make their escape. Kari, an exceptional young warrior, must find a way out of an arranged marriage or else give up fighting forever. All the while recently widowed Dagmar faces off against top raider Eirik to lead the raids, knowing in her heart that the clan is ready to change and seek new fortunes by sailing for the first time to the West. Our heroes have only the nine days of the festival to fight for what they want in this action-packed feminist adventure play.

About the playwright:

Jessie Field is a New York area playwright and director and recent graduate of Brandeis University. Prominent playwriting works are musical collaborations with her brother, Jared Field. They include Rachel, a musical about the life of nature writer and biologist Rachel Carson and winner of the Harold and Mimi Steinburg award for Best Original Play and the Outstanding Musical award in the 2015 Fresh Fruit Festival, and La Maupin, a musical about French bisexual swordswoman and opera singer Julie d’Aubigny. Jessie directed the world premiere of La Maupin in last summer’s NYC Fresh Fruit Festival. She also served as the 2015/16 directing apprentice to Capital Stage, a professional theatre company in Sacramento, California, where she directed the apprentice showcase Subculture by Steve Yockey, and assistant directed A Doll’s House and The Totalitarians. Other favorite directing credits include Proof, Into the Woods, and My Romantic History. Read more about Jessie’s work at

ROBIN’S HOOD by Anne Negri

2nd Reading: Sunday, April 15th at 2:00PM

In a not-so alternate world, where food and water are scarce, a young girl named Robin runs to the Sharewood Forest with four garbage bags full of food.  With “the law,” Sheriff and Marian, in hot pursuit, Robin must convince a ragtag team, Little J and Tuck, to help her.  As Robin struggles with her choice to steal the food, alliances are built, relationships are revealed, and a big plan takes shape.  This play puts a modern, feminist, and dystopian twist on a classic tale of heroism and the struggle to make difficult decisions in times of trouble.

About the playwright:

Anne Negri is a K-8 Drama Specialist in the Evanston, Illinois public schools. She’s a graduate of Arizona State University (M.F.A Theatre for Youth) and Ripon College (B.A Theatre, French, K-12 Education). Her first play for young people, With Two Wings, published by Dramatic Publishing, has received major awards from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the Kennedy Center and has been produced nationally (Childsplay/AZ, The Growing Stage/NJ, Northwestern University/IL, Hangar Theatre/NY, Northeastern University/IL) and internationally (Theatre Ma/Japan, National University of Tainan/Taiwan).  Some of her other produced or workshopped plays for young audiences include Girls Who Wear Glasses (Childsplay/AZ), Cave Boys (Paradise Valley Community College/AZ), Maddi’s Fridge (Childsplay/AZ), Robin’s Hood (Northwestern University/IL) and Not a Test (Utah State University/UT) and The Dancing Dog! Her youth theatre play, The JunGirl Book, has been produced by several theatres across the country in youth / educational productions (DC Ranch/AZ, The Rose Theatre/NE, Childsplay/AZ).


Some of the Past New Play-Reading Finalists include:
Boy Sees Flying Saucer (2017 WINNER, 2018 Main Stage Production) by Mike Czuba 
The Box of Stories (2016 WINNER, 2017 Main Stage Production) by J. S. Puller
The Book of D (2015 WINNER, 2016 Main Stage Production) by Cody Daigle-Oriens
And Then Came Tango (2014 WINNER, 2015 Main Stage Production) by Emily Freeman
The Secret Life of Hubie Hartzel  (2013 WINNER, 2014 Main Stage Production) by Susan Rowan Masters
City of Ember (2013) by Merissa Stewart
What We Lost Along the Way (2013) by Corrine Esme Glanville
Julie of the Wolves (2013) by Brian Guehring
With Two Wings (2012 WINNER, 2013 Main Stage Production) by Anne Negri
Lizzie Bright and Buckminster Boy (2012) by Joan Cushing
Convivencia (2012) by R. N. Sandberg
Theatre For Your Mother – The Little Red Riding Hood Show (2012) by Russell Davis