New Stages

New Stages

October 28 - November 15, 2015 In the Owen
Approximate running time: varied

Founded in 2004, the New Stages Festival is a celebration of innovative new plays, and is designed to give playwrights an opportunity to take risks and experiment.

Since its inception, New Stages has offered theatergoers a first look at adventurous new plays, many of which have gone on to receive successful full productions at the Goodman and elsewhere—including Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined. Please join us for this year’s festival which features an exciting roster of developmental productions and staged readings. See below for a full line-up.


Developmental Productions

  • Oct 28 - Nov 14
    Octavio Solis - Mother Road Octavio Solis

    Mother Road

    By Octavio Solis | Directed by Juliette Carrillo
    October 28 - November 14, 2015

    Inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Mother Road introduces us to William Joad, who hung on to his family’s farm, but now has no blood kin to pass it down to. That is, until a private detective uncovers an unexpected relation: Martín Jodes—a young Mexican American man descended from Steinbeck’s protagonist Tom Joad. The two men meet up and travel from California back to Oklahoma, reversing the Joads’ mythic journey in an epic story about land, family and survival.


  • Oct 30 - Nov 15
    Charles Smith - Objects in the Mirror Charles Smith

    Objects in the Mirror

    By Charles Smith | Directed by Chuck Smith
    October 30 – November 15, 2015

    In 2009, Charles Smith traveled to Australia, to see a production of one of his plays, which starred a Liberian actor named Shedrick. Smith learned all about Shedrick’s journey from war-torn Liberia, through refugee camps, before his relocation to Australia. Inspired by Shedrick’s remarkable odyssey, Objects in the Mirror tells the story of a young immigrant’s search for a new family, identity and home.


  • Nov 1 - Nov 15
    Lauren Yee - The King of Yees Lauren Yee

    King of the Yees

    By Lauren Yee | Directed by Joshua K. Brody
    November 1 – November 15, 2015

    For nearly 20 years, playwright Lauren Yee’s father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Family Association, a Chinese American men’s club formed a 150 years ago. But when her father goes missing, Lauren must plunge into the rabbit hole of San Francisco’s Chinatown and confront a world both foreign and familiar.



Staged Readings

  • Lady in Denmark | STANDBY ONLY

    By Dael Orlandersmith | Directed by Chay Yew
    Saturday, November 14 | 10:30am

    In this one-woman show, Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandermsith takes us through the life of Helene, a Danish American woman who, in the wake of her husband’s death, finds solace in the music of Billie Holiday. Known for her darkly poetic style and piercing insight into human psychology, Orlandersmith weaves a narrative that explores jazz, family and the end of life.


  • The Amateurs

    Written by Jordan Harrison | Directed by Oliver Butler
    Saturday, November 14 | 2pm

    Mr. Larking is God. Or at least he plays God in a 14th century production of the story of Noah’s flood. As his co-stars prepare to perform for the Duke, the crew is plagued by deadlines, a fear of the Black Death and a secret that could divide them all. The Amateurs is a comic tale of plagues, purpose and finding your voice in the moment. 



  • On the Exhale | SOLD OUT

    By Martín Zimmerman | Directed by Marti Lyons
    Saturday, November 14 | 5pm

    A single mother by choice, a woman and her son live peacefully under an unspoken, benevolent scrutiny in the small college town where they make their home. But when their lives are forever changed by a terrible act of gun violence, the woman seeks solace in the most unlikely place: a shooting range. In this surprising and emotional new play, writer Martín Zimmerman offers a complex examination of our relationship to guns as he follows one woman down a rabbit hole of grief.



  • Rödvinsvänster (Red-Wine Leftists): 1977

    Written by Rebecca Gilman | Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg
    Sunday, November 15 | 10:30am

    Kyle, an auto worker from Reynolds, Wisconsin, has been chosen by his union to travel to socialist Sweden to see how Volvo has reimagined the assembly line for its workers. The play is part of a trilogy from Rebecca Gilman that also includes Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976, which will be produced in the Owen Theatre this spring. Presented in English, the reading will feature members of Sweden’s Göteborgs Dramatiska Teater.



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