New Stages Festival 2016

September 21 - October 9, 2016 In the Owen

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.

Download a PDF calendar for all New Stages performances.

Developmental Productions

  • Sep 21 - Oct 8
    Abe Koogler Abe Koogler

    Blue Skies Process

    By Abe Koogler | Directed by
    Henry Wishcamper
    September 21 - October 8, 2016

    To make something new. That's the task facing co-workers Amy, Peter and Kenny. To bolster their efforts, the team’s visionary leader has mandated a “blue skies process”: no hierarchy, everything is on the table and everyone's equal. Except they're not. Underneath the veneer of workplace civility, an epic power struggle is unfolding. Hilariously absurd and darkly menacing, Blue Skies Process pokes fun at office politics but takes the process of creation very, very seriously.


  • Sep 23 - Oct 9
    Ellen Fairey Ellen Fairey

    Support Group for Men

    By Ellen Fairey | Directed by Kimberly Senior
    September 23 – October 9, 2016

    Every Thursday night in an apartment on the border of Wrigleyville and Boystown, four men gather—not to blow off steam at a Cubs game, but as a make-shift support group complete with invented Native American names, a baseball bat/talking stick, and most importantly a ‘no women’ policy that is strictly enforced. But when a gender non-conforming visitor abruptly crashes their party, the guys’ traditional notions of masculinity are upended. This topical comedy spotlights the many ways gender functions in an increasingly non-binary world—and proves help can sometimes be found in the most unlikely places.


  • The King of Hell's Palace

    By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig | Directed by
    Tea Alagic
    September 25 – October 9, 2016

    When the Henan Ministry of Health begins paying citizens for blood plasma which is then sold to pharmaceutical companies, impoverished farmers in the province's remote villages sell blood to buy fertilizer, mend their houses and create a better life for their children. As corrupt health officials cut costs to maximize profits, safety standards are ignored, bringing potential catastrophe to China's most vulnerable population. Inspired by true events, this gripping drama explores the conflicts that arise when a community's greatest source of capital becomes their own bodies.



Staged Readings

  • And Moira Spins | SOLD OUT

    By Kirsten Greenidge| Directed by vanessa stalling
    Saturday, October 8 | 10:30am

    Determined to have a perfect vacation with her sisters, Lavinia has dropped off her kids at camp and rented a summer house. Her siblings, however, bring along their own baggage that threatens to ruin Lavinia’s meticulously planned week. And when their long-estranged stepmother shows up out of the blue, dormant tensions boil to the surface, forcing the women to face their cherished notions of family and how far they will go to preserve those beliefs.



    sold out

  • Florissant & Canfield| SOLD OUT

    By Kristiana Rae Colón
    Directed by Monty Cole
    Saturday, October 8 | 2pm

    Colliding in the fevered arena of a civil rights renaissance, a newly formed alliance of protesters is forced to put their nascent ideologies to the test in the quest for new visions of justice. Located at the intersections of tear gas and teddy bear memorials, of policeman Darren Wilson and teenager Michael Brown, of looting and liberation, Florissant & Canfield refracts the realities of Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

    sold out

  • Amy and the Orphans | SOLD OUT

    By Lindsey Ferrentino | Directed by Scott Ellis
    Sunday, October 9 | 10am

    When their 85-year-old father dies, sparring siblings Maggie and Jake must break the news to their sister Amy, who has Down syndrome and lives in a state care facility. As they travel to their father’s memorial service with Amy and her straight-talking caregiver in tow, Jake and Maggie try to save the family by reintegrating Amy back into their lives—but soon must confront the truth about how truly far apart they’ve all grown. 


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