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New Play Development

New work is the future of theatre, and this is where you’ll find in-depth content about best practices for its development, as well as pieces about specific work. Consider starting with the essay “Rules of Engagement for New Play Development” and Notes to the Note-Givers; or, Embracing the Paradox.” For musings on the power of new work, watch the video of Todd London’s keynote for the 5th Annual ORIGINKC: NEW WORKS FESTIVAL or read the transcript.

The Latest

Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival
Essay
Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival
by Yaşam Özlem Gülseven, Mikheil Charkviani
5 January 2023
Reinventing Malawian Theatre for a New Generation
Podcast
Reinventing Malawian Theatre for a New Generation
by Fumbani Innot Phiri, Jack Musumba
7 December 2022
Tending the Garden: Organic Observations on Playwriting
Essay
Tending the Garden: Organic Observations on Playwriting
by E. M. Lewis
7 November 2022
An actor sits on a pure white stage with a white background and a human-sized laptop behind them.
Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival
Essay

Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival

5 January 2023

Yaşam Özlem Gülseven interviews Mikheil Charkviani about his work on Exodus, a production that traded grand historical narratives for granular perspectives on the impact of war in Georgia. Their interview, like the production, hinges on an important question: how do we learn to live with the past?

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Reinventing Malawian Theatre for a New Generation
Podcast

Reinventing Malawian Theatre for a New Generation

7 December 2022

Jack Msumba, creative director of Youth Developers Collaboration Theatre, has big ideas for the future of Malawian theatre. In this interview, he shares his plans to eventually build Malawi’s first theatre house by producing work consistently in schools, communities, and commercial settings.

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks’ Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks’ Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 5 December 2022
New York City, New York

Watch Me Work is a performance piece, a meditation on the artistic process, and an actual work session featuring Suzan-Lori Parks working on her newest writing project. Traditionally hosted on the mezzanine of the Public Theater Lobby, this version will bring the program to your home via Zoom sessions and HowlRound livestreams.

A large selection of fresh grown vegetables lined up and organized by type on the grass.
Tending the Garden: Organic Observations on Playwriting
Essay

Tending the Garden: Organic Observations on Playwriting

7 November 2022

Writing from her little family farm in Oregon, E.M. Lewis applies the lessons learned in the garden to her experience as a librettist and playwright.

Event poster for it's a mystery with Saymoukda Vongsay and Ellen Lewis.
It's a Mystery!
Video

It's a Mystery!

Using an Old Story Form to Ask New Questions in the Theater

Tuesday 23 August 2022
United States

E. M. Lewis (Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Artists Repertory Theatre) and Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay (Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Theater Mu) presented the conversation It's a Mystery! livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 23 August 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7)/ 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5)/6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Put Some Respect on Black Theatre with Lisa B. Thompson
Podcast

Put Some Respect on Black Theatre with Lisa B. Thompson

16 August 2022

In this episode, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview artist/scholar Lisa B. Thompson. They discuss navigating life as a Black feminist artist/scholar, putting some respect on Black theatre, and why Black theatre is an integral part of Black Studies.

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

Livestreaming a Conversation: Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

Monday 15 August 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 15 August 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

A screenshot of 3 actors on Zoom performing a musical in costume.
The TikTok Revolution
Essay

The TikTok Revolution

9 August 2022

Katy Zapanta champions TikTok as a platform with the potential to revolutionize the theatre industry’s systemic issues.

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 8 August 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 8 August 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 1 August 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 1 August 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Playwrights Under the Radar
Video

Playwrights Under the Radar

Literary Managers and Dramaturgs From the United States, Mexico, and Canada Share Twelve Playwrights and Play-Makers Whose Work You Should Know

Thursday 28 July 2022
United States, Mexico, Canada

Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas presented the conversation Playwrights Under the Radar livestreaming on the commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 28 July 2022 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 25 July 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 25 July 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Actors performing a stage reading.
The Cimientos Experience: One Playwright’s Perspective
Essay

The Cimientos Experience: One Playwright’s Perspective

19 July 2022

Playwright and designer Tommer Peterson reflects on his experience participating in Cimientos, IATI Theater’s play development program.

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 18 July 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 18 July 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Two actors pointing at the ceiling.
Theatre as Laboratory: Exploring and Forging Humanity with Les Inachevés / Théâtre comme Laboratoire: Explorer et Fabriquer l'Humanité avec Les Inachevés
Essay

Theatre as Laboratory: Exploring and Forging Humanity with Les Inachevés / Théâtre comme Laboratoire: Explorer et Fabriquer l'Humanité avec Les Inachevés

A Conversation with Moïse Touré / Une Conversation avec Moïse Touré

5 July 2022

Michelle Haner interviews Moïse Touré, artistic director of Les Inachevés, about the company’s ongoing project on the theme of hospitality and the decision to reframe the company’s work as a laboratory.

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences
Podcast

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences

With Addae Moon

29 June 2022

This episode is an interview with Addae Moon, the associate artistic director at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta, Georgia. We discuss his journey as a theatre artist; his playwright development lab, Hush Harbor Lab; and his own artistry and creativity.

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 27 June 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 27 June 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
CANCELED: Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

CANCELED: Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 13 June 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presents Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 13 June 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 23 May 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 23 May 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 16 May 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 16 May 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Livestreaming a Conversation: Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Livestreaming a Conversation: Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 9 May 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presents Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work—a playwriting masterclass—livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 9 May 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Six people standing together for a photo.
"The Molecules Changed in the Room": Creating a Play from Real Asian Women’s Desires, Dreams, and Heartaches
Essay

"The Molecules Changed in the Room": Creating a Play from Real Asian Women’s Desires, Dreams, and Heartaches

3 May 2022

Danielle Iwata sits down with Amy Zhang to discuss the creation and significance of her show Ascend!, which featured a cast and crew entirely made up of Asian women.

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work event poster.
Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work

A Playwriting Masterclass

Monday 2 May 2022
United States

The Public Theater in New York City presented Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work — a playwrighting masterclass — livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 2 May 2022 at 12 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 1 p.m. AKST (Juneau, UTC -9) / 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 22:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 23:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).

Three actors performing outdoors.
On Hauling Water: Outdoor Theatre as Re-Enchantment amidst Climate Crisis
Essay

On Hauling Water: Outdoor Theatre as Re-Enchantment amidst Climate Crisis

2 May 2022

Theatre artist Elle Thoni shares their experience working on the outdoor theatre production of a futuristic musical, Queen B, and challenges institutional ideas on how and where theatre can take place.

event poster for the pacific playwrights festival.
Pacific Playwrights Panel
Video

Pacific Playwrights Panel

Conversations with the playwrights of the Pacific Playwrights Festival

Sunday 10 April 2022
United States

South Coast Rep presented a Playwrights Panel livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Sunday 10 April 2022 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).