October 28 - November 15, 2015 in Goodman's Owen Theatre

Around 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 (Full Stagings of a New Play in Process)

  • Octavio Solis

    Mother Road

    By Octavio Solis
    Directed by Juliette Carrillo

    October 28 - November 14, 2015

    Inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of WrathMother 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 (Script-in-Hand Concert Readings

  • Dael Orlandersmith

    Lady in Denmark

    By Dael Orlandersmith
    Directed by Chay Yew

    Saturday, November 14 at 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.


  • Jordan Harrison

    The Amateurs

    By Jordan Harrison
    Directed by Oliver Butler

    Saturday, November 14 at 2pm

    Mr. Larking is God. Or at least he plays Him in a 14thcentury production of the story of Noah’s Flood. As the Black Death chases Larking and his ragtag group of players across medieval Europe, the actors (and their brilliant but childlike props master) hope that a successful performance for the Duke will win them salvation. But the arrival of a mysterious new actor threatens to send them to a more hellish destination. Just when hope runs out, the Playwright arrives to explain it all to us. Or at least he tries. From the mind of Jordan Harrison comes this wild and woolly tale of plagues, purpose, and the origins of creativity: When does a crisis kill art, and when does it set it spinning?


  • Martín Zimmerman

    On the Exhale

    By Martín Zimmerman
    Directed by Marti Lyons

    Sunday, November 15 at 10:30am

    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.