Plays

For upcoming plays and past production photos, please click here.

A complete list of plays can be found here, on the New Play Exchange.

Last Ascent

Cast: 3

Run time: 80 mins

When Iris, a professional alpinist, is diagnosed with a heart condition that may prevent her from ever climbing again, she reluctantly turns to a therapist who specializes in supporting elite adventure atheletes. But Iris begins unpacking a whole lot more than she bargained for as her therapist pushes her to unfurl a tragic accident that changed her life forever. Simultaneously moving forward and backward in time, LAST ASCENT navigates grief, chronic illness, imperialism, and the ecological devastation wrecking havoc on our planet and our bodies.

Commission: The New Coordinates

World Premiere: The New Coordinates

Tidy

Cast: 1

Run time: 90 min

A struggling detective novelist recently read a self-help book about how to be happy. Actually, it’s about how to tidy. As she cleans her house, the novelist excavates her own personal history, and the history of the planet. But as she discovers troubling gaps in her memory, a series of clues lead her closer to an answer she may not want to find. Tidy examines the holes in our lives that we try to fill through consumption, and how we decide what to keep and what to leave behind. Who and what will survive the sixth mass extinction? And will it spark joy?

Commission: St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Confluence Regional Writers Project

World Premiere: Renaissance Theaterworks

Three Antarcticas

Cast: 6

Run time: 3 hr

Robert Falcon Scott's explorers perform a play to stave off polar madness during the four months of Antarctic night. A female glaciologist fights for her place in cutting-edge climate change research in 1979. A present-day couple travels to the ends of the earth to get married. THREE ANTARCTICAS explores the entire history of humans in Antarctica through the lens of gender, queerness, and climate change. Is it possible to go to the edge of the world and return unchanged?

Commission: Goodman Theatre, Playwrights Unit

Second Skin

Cast: 3

Run time: 75 min

When Quinn discovers her estranged mother is dying, she returns to a home she fled long ago. As she cares for her mother, Quinn wrestles with disturbing childhood memories. What is her mother’s secret? What do the bedtime stories of Selkies her mother once told her really mean? Told in three interconnected monologues, SECOND SKIN investigates the fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, and how one mistake can reverberate across generations.

Awards: KCACTF Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award

World Premiere: WildClaw Theatre

Revenge of the Holy Virgin Matyrs as Told by Hrotsvit of Gandersheim and Her Time Traveling Amanuensis

Cast: 7

Run time: 2 hr

Escaping from a toxic work environment and a predatory boss, Jordan takes an impromptu vacation—and accidentally travels back in time to the 10th century. Taken in by canny women who live in a medieval abbey, she joins their efforts to protect themselves from a lecherous local lord and becomes the assistant to Hrotsvit, the first female playwright in the Western canon. REVENGE is a feminist farce about healing, community, and a world beyond the male gaze.

Commission: TimeLine Theatre, Playwrights Collective

The Surest Poison

Cast: 5

Run time: 2 hr

Prohibition is in full swing, but New York City is still celebrating New Year’s Eve in style—with a batch of poisoned hooch and an immigrant woman's murder by cyanide. Cue Alexander Gettler, an obsessive chemist whose research helped create the modern field of forensic toxicology. As a blizzard envelops the city, Gettler must catch a murderer and convince the federal government to stop poisoning alcohol, with help from Lipstick, an intrepid flapper and reporter. Inspired by the real life work of Gettler and pioneering journalist Lois Long, THE SUREST POISON chronicles the dark side of the noble experiment.

Commission: Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Strange Heart Beating

Cast: 4

Run time: 90 min

Teeny and Lena grew up together in a rural midwestern town, dreaming of leaving for the big city. But now Teeny is the town sheriff and Lena is a newly-single mother. When the body of Lena’s daughter is found near the lake outside of town, their friendship is stretched to the breaking point. Have girls been going missing for years? Why are the loons acting so strange? What has the town's lake witnessed? STRANGE HEART BEATING is a darkly fantastical look at the rural Midwest, the murky nature of justice, and the prejudices that lie just beneath the surface.

World Premiere: Cloudgate Theatre

Another Jungle

Cast: 4

Run time: 90 min

The audience has arrived at the theatre to see a show about the Chicago slaughterhouses - only to find that the play has been canceled. Instead, the writer is there to give a slideshow presentation about the history of the stockyards. In trying to explore her family's Polish identity and the exploitation of stockyard workers, the writer unintentionally exposes a trauma from her own past. Inspired by Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, ANOTHER JUNGLE explores the misuse of power, the way narratives get co-opted, and the way identity accretes over the course of generations.

Award: Relentless Award Honorable Mention

World Premiere: Cloudgate Theatre

Tar and Feather

Cast: 6-20

Run time: 80 min

When Erin takes a #gaschamberselfie, it goes viral--and so does she. Her job offer gets rescinded, she's not allowed to go to class, and her family and friends abandon her. Everyone that is, except for Claudia, her best friend. Together they hatch a plan to confront Erin's anonymous online trolls. TAR AND FEATHER examines public shaming in the digital age. How close are any of us to a fall from grace? And how does a well-intended person transform into a troll?