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

Applied Theatre for Community Development in Nigeria
Essay
Applied Theatre for Community Development in Nigeria
by Kofoworola Owokotomo
26 July 2021
“Layers of Distance”: On Loop as a Pandemic Play
Essay
“Layers of Distance”: On Loop as a Pandemic Play
by Kate Purdum
13 July 2021
Unrehearsed Futures
Video
Unrehearsed Futures
Episode 14: Offerings of Possibility
Thursday 8 July 2021
South Africa
A group of women and children.
Applied Theatre for Community Development in Nigeria
Essay

Applied Theatre for Community Development in Nigeria

26 July 2021

Kofoworola Owokotomo shares the theatre for development processes she undertook with a team of students to tackle issues of drug abuse, tribalism, and poor attitudes towards education in two Nigerian communities.

one actors posing in front of a wheel while two actors watch
The Rest of Our Lives
Video

The Rest of Our Lives

With Reactor's Laboratory for creation and experiment

Sunday 25 July 2021
Cluj, Romania

Reactor presented a performance of The Rest of Our Lives livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Sunday 25 July 2021 at 20:00 EEST (Cluj, UTC +3) / 19:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 18:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 10 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7).

an actor at a microphone stands behind actor holding a computer facing the camera.
Interior-Light
Video

Interior-Light

With Reactor's Laboratory for creation and experiment

Tuesday 27 July
Cluj, Romania

Reactor presented a performance of Interior-Light livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network, date to be announced.

A woman drinking water and sitting down on a chair surrounded by other chairs and onstage "woods".
“Layers of Distance”: On Loop as a Pandemic Play
Essay

“Layers of Distance”: On Loop as a Pandemic Play

13 July 2021

Kate Purdum shares the challenges and successes of creating a hybrid virtual and in-person production of On Loop at Barnard College.

event poster for unrehearsed futures episode fourteen.
Unrehearsed Futures
Video

Unrehearsed Futures

Episode 14: Offerings of Possibility

Thursday 8 July 2021
South Africa

Unrehearsed Futures: Offerings of Possibility livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 8 July 2021 at 7 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 1 p.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2).

event poster with artist headshots and text for inflections.
Second Generation Productions (2g) presents INFLECTIONS
Video

Second Generation Productions (2g) presents INFLECTIONS

Healing Over Hate Episode Three: Featuring new works by Philip Kan Gotanda & Shinji Eshima, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Ren Dara Santiago, Jade Wu and Max Yu

Monday 28 June 2021
United States

Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) presented Inflections, the third episode of its ongoing monthly ConFest Virtual Series, Healing Over Hate on Monday 28 June at 1 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10), 3 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8), 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7), 5 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC -6), 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5), 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

actors scattered across stage wearing red and blue clothing in performance.
Performance: (IN)CORRECT
Video

Performance: (IN)CORRECT

With Reactor's Laboratory for creation and experiment

Friday 25 June 2021
Cluj, Romania

Reactor presented a performance of (IN)CORRECT livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 25 June 2021 at 20:00 EEST (Cluj, UTC +3) / 19:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 18:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 10 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7).

three actors in green shirts standing on stage behind an actor in a rabbit onesie on a couch.
I Like Sushi
Video

I Like Sushi

With Reactor's Laboratory for creation and experiment

Saturday 19 June 2021
Cluj, Romania

Reactor presented a performance of I Love Sushi livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Saturday 19 June 2021 at 20:00 EEST (Cluj, UTC +3) / 19:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 18:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 10 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7).

actor's face against blue and red background.
Performance: Exeunt
Video

Performance: Exeunt

With Reactor's Laboratory for creation and experiment

Thursday 17 June 2021
Cluj, Romania

Reactor presented a performance of Exeunt livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Thursday 17 June 2021 at 20:00 EEST (Cluj, UTC +3) / 19:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 18:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 10 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7).

A blue thing surrounded by indoor palm trees.
Pandemic Dreams
Essay

Pandemic Dreams

8 June 2021

Jonathan Mandell reflects on his experience of A Dozen Dreams, an art installation that began when twelve New York City-based women playwrights were asked: “What are you dreaming about right now?”

black background with white text taylor talks above black and white portraits of artists.
Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac
Video

Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac

Episode 9: Normandy Sherwood

Tuesday 18 May 2021
United States

HERE presented Taylor Talks: Episode 9 with Normandy Sherwood livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 18 May 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

poster with headshots R to L: Candrice Jones, Heather Raffo, and Tamilla Woodard.
ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: New Frameworks for Performance—Now and Beyond
Video

ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: New Frameworks for Performance—Now and Beyond

With Candrice Jones, Heather Raffo, and Tamilla Woodard

Tuesday 27 April 2021
United States

Playwrights' Center presented ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: New Frameworks for Performance—Now and Beyond with Candrice Jones, Heather Raffo, and Tamilla Woodard livestreaming on the global, common-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 27 April 2021 at 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

black background with white text taylor talks above black and white portraits of artists
Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac
Video

Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac

Episode 7: Minor Theater

Tuesday 20 April 2021
United States

HERE presents Taylor Talks: Episode 7 with Minor Theater livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 20 April 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Puppet is standing behind a desk made to scale with tiny lamp and white phone. Newspaper clippings compose the backdrop.
Puppets in Space
Essay

Puppets in Space

Dramaturgical Thinking and the Mosaic Scale for Puppetry

9 April 2021

Emily LeQuesne discusses space as it relates to puppetry and shares a practical, five-step dramaturgy system for puppet theatre, which she developed, called the Mosaic Scale.

headshots of artists over red and purple gradient background.
Empowering Directors and Playwrights
Video

Empowering Directors and Playwrights

A summit for theater practitioners on creation, collaboration, and communication

Wednesday 31 March 2021
United States

Playwrights’ Center presented Empowering Directors and Playwrights: A summit for theater practitioners on creation, collaboration, and communication keynote address livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 31 March 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

black and white photos of artists in zoom window boxes.
Virtual Translation: Bringing Piehole's Disclaimer to Zoom
Video

Virtual Translation: Bringing Piehole's Disclaimer to Zoom

Join Piehole members for a (free) technical skill-share and discussion on adaptation across mediums

Monday 29 March 2021
United States

Piehole presented Virtual Translation: Bringing Piehole's Disclaimer to Zoom livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 29 March 2021 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

NO SUMMARY with John Eisner, Jamil Khoury, and Torange Yeghiazarian
Video

NO SUMMARY with John Eisner, Jamil Khoury, and Torange Yeghiazarian

Online conversations with artists that don’t fit in a box

Friday 26 March 2021
United States

Golden Thread Productions presented NO SUMMARY: a conversation with with John Eisner, Jamil Khoury, and Torange Yeghiazarian livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 26 March 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

four actors posing for a photo
Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway
Essay

Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway

Virginia Grise’s Stage Adaptation of Helena Maria Viramontes’s Their Dogs Came with Them

17 March 2021

Manuel Muñoz reflects on Virginia Grise’s adaptation of Their Dogs Came with Them, which took place in fall 2019 under the colossal concrete freeway ramps of the I-10 freeway that dissect South Tucson from the edge of the Sonoran Desert.

zoom video chat of several people
Using Critical Fabulation for History-Based Playwriting
Essay

Using Critical Fabulation for History-Based Playwriting

3 March 2021

Holly Derr and Calley N. Anderson sit down to talk about how Calley adopted historian Saidiya Hartman’s theory of critical fabulation when writing her new play The Story and the Teller about the effect of the Memphis yellow fever epidemic of 1878 on African Americans and immigrants.

digital theatre screenshot
Reverse-Engineering Zoom with Isadora
Essay

Reverse-Engineering Zoom with Isadora

Site-Specific Performance for the Internet

4 January 2021

Barbara Fuchs chats with director and designer Jared Mezzocchi about his digital theatre production Russian Troll Farm, how to reverse-engineer Zoom, Isadora as the way forward, and more.

Afro-Futurism and the Jamaican Stage
Video

Afro-Futurism and the Jamaican Stage

10 Weeks In Jamaica: Theater Conversations from Jamaica to The World!

Sunday 3 January 2021
Jamaica

Akiba Abaka Arts presented the conversation Afro-Futurism and the Jamaican Stage as a part of the 10 Weeks in Jamaica series livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 3 January 2021 at 1 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 4 p.m. EST (Kingston, UTC -5).

Title and details of event, with headshots of the participants, and a photo of people on a stage under blue light kneeling with arms raised.
Leaders of a New Stage
Video

Leaders of a New Stage

10 Weeks In Jamaica: Theater Conversations from Jamaica to The World!

Sunday 27 December 2020
Jamaica

Akiba Abaka Arts presented the conversation Leaders of a New Stage as a part of the 10 Weeks in Jamaica series livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 27 December 2020 at 1 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 4 p.m. EST (Kingston, UTC -5).

Indecipherable handwritten text
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Play
Essay

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Play

14 December 2020

E. M. Lewis shares thirteen ways writers can think about the plays they’re writing, including the stakes, the world, and the music.

Trans [Plays] of Remembrance Short Play Festival (Live-captioned)
Video

Trans [Plays] of Remembrance Short Play Festival (Live-captioned)

Three nights of short plays written by up-and-coming trans* playwrights followed by roundtable discussions

Monday 16 November to Wednesday 18 November
United States

Presenting Trans [Plays] of Remembrance livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Monday 16 November to Wednesday 18 November 2020 at 4 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 6 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 7 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

Photo of three conversation participants, with the event title and producers listed.
On Radical Imagination and The Black Feminine Divine
Video

On Radical Imagination and The Black Feminine Divine

With Star Finch, Ellen Sebastian Chang, and Lisa Marie Rollins, presented by Crowded Fire and Campo Santo.

Tuesday 27 October 2020
United States

Crowded Fire and Campo Santo presented the conversation On Radical Imagination & The Black Feminine Divine livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 27 October 2020 at 2 p.m. HST (UTC -9) / 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).