Festival Stage of Winston-Salem - Professional Theatre Company - Winston Salem, North Carolina New York

New Plays for a New Age

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Festival Stage and Wake Forest University Theatre


A national new script competition, a festival of new plays,
and a forum for new ideas and a community conversation

Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival and O'Neill Theatre Center are just a few of the theatres known for their work with new plays. Almost every play or musical of the past few decades has first been seen in one of these programs. Festival Stage's goal is to join these ranks with a program that develops, and, in time, ultimately produces dynamic new work for the American theatre.

A national new script competition will be held, juried by representatives of 6 area colleges and universities, from which 3 distinguished new plays will be selected.

This is how a play first "tests its legs." Actors take the stage with scripts in hand, giving the audience a unique and intimate insight into the process of how a play is made - followed by informative discussions with the artists about the plays' subjects and its journey. Audiences become involved in the life of the play in unique new ways. "I forgot the actors were carrying scripts," was one festival patron's response to a staged reading.

In the next phase, production and technical aspects are added, along with more rehearsal time, and artists and audiences take another step to bring the play to life.

Finally, the journey is complete as the play receives the full production values you've seen at Festival Stage.

Festival Stage and Wake Forest University Theatre are planning, for Spring 2015, a pilot program of the first two steps, a national competition and a festival of staged readings of the 3 winning plays. Additionally, each play will be a source of education and outreach events inspired by the plays' content, creating a week of performances, talks, and workshops involving Triad actors, artists, and audiences - and setting the stage to add the step of full productions in future seasons.

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie performance for high schools

Lunch at the Picadilly

Lunch at the Picadilly: Clyde Edgerton book signing


During the production of Hatchetman, Festival Stage also offered the first reading of visiting playwright David Wiltse's new play Stone, which recently received its first N.Y. reading. (Above: seated, actors Michael Huie, Amy DaLuz, Mary McCool; standing, Wiltse and Creative Director Steve Umberger


As we plan and fund the inaugural 2016 New Plays for a New Age festival, we have created a New Play Club exclusively for friends and sponsors. As a Festival Stage supporter, you can be invaluable in helping reach the modest financial goals, and in spreading the word about this innovative new program.