NewPlayFest Playwrights

The Class of 2016

Congratulations to the winning playwrights of the 2016 AACT NewPlayFest and to the seven Producing Theatres!

Lighthouse, by William Baer

Windsor Community Playhouse - Windsor, Colorado
September 25 – October 10, 2015

William BaerWilliam Baer, a recent Guggenheim Fellow, has received the James Wilson Playwriting Award and the New Works of Merit Playwriting Award.  His plays have been produced or read at more than 25 American theatres, including the 13th Street Theatre in New York City, Chicago Dramatists, and the Metropolitan Playhouse of New York.  Morons, one of his 10-minute plays, was chosen “best in show” at the Camino Real Playhouse's ShowOff Festival, and his most recent full-length play, Three Generations of Imbeciles, was chosen for the 2013 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Saginaw, Michigan.  A former Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, he’s also been the recipient of a NEA Creative Writing Grant for fiction.  A graduate of Rutgers, New York University, Johns Hopkins, and University of Southern California, he’s the author of 18 books, including Times Square and Other Stories, Classic American Films: Conversations with the Screenwriters, "Borges" and Other Sonnets, Conversations with Derek Walcott, and Elia Kazan: Interviews.

Gracefully Ending, by Anthony DeLauder

Theatre Arlington - Arlington, Texas
July 1-17, 2016

Anthony DeLauderAnthony DeLauder is a native of West Virginia and works as an actor and playwright for a small but resilient company in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, called Theatre On The Lake. Gracefully Ending (2014), in addition to being part of AACT’s NewPlayFest, also was semi-finalist for the Silverthorne New Play Contest, and semi-finalist Playwright’s First Best New Play Competition. Other works include The Jungle Books (2013, adaptation) produced in Theatre on the Lake’s 2013 season and by Preston High School of Kingwood, WV in 2014, as well two other full-length plays, A Dirtbag Airman (2014) and Destiny Recalculated (2015). Anthony holds a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland University College, and he is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Writing for Stage and Screen at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. He resides in Aurora, West Virginia, along with his wife, two small boys, two cats, and one nervous dog.

Get Out of Dodge, by Jeanne Drennan

Omaha Community Playhouse - Omaha, Nebraska
July 22-24, 2016

Jeanne DrennanJeanne Drennan is a playwright, librettist, and lyricist whose works have brought her seven fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her plays have been produced or developed at theatres across the country, from Under St. Marks in New York to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Recent activity has included a new production of Asparagus in Pittsburgh; a workshop of Waxworks with PICT Classic Theatre and another with the Blank Theater Company in Los Angeles; a workshop of Atlas of Longing at the 2010 Bay Area Playwrights Festival; and a workshop of her musical with composer David Berlin, Dear Boy, produced by Pittsburgh’s PICT Classic Theatre. Her play 12 Dogs was the 2008 winner of Boston TheatreWorks’s new play festival, after development at the Open Stage Theatre, the InterAct Theatre, and the North Coast Repertory Theatre. In progress are Whiteface, and the small musical Juiced! Jeanne is managing director of Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh, an incubator for new works of musical theatre, and is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild.

The Emperor of North America, by Thomas Hischak

Silver Spring Stage - Silver Spring, Maryland
Dates TBA, Fall 2016

Thomas Hischak Thomas Hischak is an internationally recognized author, playwright, and teacher in the performing arts, and author of 38 published plays. Awards include the Stanley Drama Award for Cold War Comedy and the Julie Harris Playwriting Award for The Cardiff Giant. He is also the author of 24 books, including The Oxford Companion to the American Musical, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia, Broadway Plays and Musicals, Through the Screen Door, The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopedia, Off-Broadway Musicals Since 1919, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, Broadway Lyricists, American Literature on Stage and Screen, Theatre as Human Action, The Film Composers Encyclopedia, and The Oxford Companion to American Theatre. Four have been cited as Outstanding Non-fiction Books by the American Library Association, and The Oxford Companion to the American Musical was cited as an Outstanding Reference Work by the New York City Public Library. As Professor of Theatre at the State University of New York at Cortland, he has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity, and Outstanding Achievement in Research Award. A Fulbright Scholar, he has taught and directed in Greece, Lithuania, and Turkey.

Shades of Valor, by Karen L. Lewis

Twin City Stage – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Dates TBA, Fall 2016

Karen LewisKaren L. Lewis grew up in Alexandria, VA where she spent many happy years working in every conceivable backstage capacity at LTA.  Her playwriting was interrupted by a career writing for soaps – primarily All My Children, which resulted in five Emmys and three Writers Guild awards.  Her plays have been performed in regional theatres and off Broadway. Her play, The Perfect Wife, won The 2012 Stanley Drama Award, was a semi-finalist for both the 2012 Eugene O’Neill Theatre’s National Playwrights Conference, and 2012 Panndora’s Box Festival, a finalist in the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte’s 2013 nuVoices Playwriting Festival, and was premiered in NYC this past spring by The Ivy theatre Company.  Even--the one-act that became Shades of Valor--was nominated for the Susan Nims Distinguished Playwriting Award at The Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and was chosen for The 2013 Pittsburgh New Plays Festival.  The full-length play Shades of Valor was a finalist in the 2014 Panndora’s Box New Play Festival.  A member of The Writers Guild of America and The Dramatists’ Guild, Karen divides her time between New York City and Saranac Lake, NY.

Laguna Beach, Ohio, by Malcolm MacDonald

Stage Right Productions/2nd Street Theatre – Bend, Oregon
March 25 – April 9, 2016

Malcolm MacDonaldMalcolm MacDonald is a playwright, painter, and teacher from Southern California, whose first play, One Bean, premiered at the Brooklyn Art Theater while he was working as the graphic artist for the legendary modern choreographers Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis.  His play, the beetles, was written in a month-long residency with the great Lanford Wilson.  The L.A. Times called the beetles, "a strange but intriguing specimen, a sort of mash note to the beauty of living dreams, stylistically and expertly accomplished... as sure-footed as Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine."  His screenplay of the beetles was a semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival.  MacDonald's award-winning play, Coyote's Christmas Carol, continues to be performed throughout the world.  It was written in Guadalajara, Mexico where MacDonald lived with his wife and kids for five years, teaching theatre and art.  In 2014, Coyote's Christmas Carol was published as a children's' book with illustrations by MacDonald.  He has also worked as a choreographer and designer in the dance world; his own pieces include Fin de Siecle, and Dream of Consciousness. MacDonald's other plays include Wonder of the World, El Niño, and Ant in Pant.

Wash, Dry, Fold, by Nedra Pezold Roberts

Chicago Street Theatre/Community Theatre Guild – Valparaiso, Indiana
May 20 – June 4, 2016

Nedra Pezold RobertsNedra Pezold Roberts is a native New Orleanian, and passed her childhood and early adult life falling in love with her city--a love affair that hasn’t diminished in over 40 years away from that home. This former English and drama teacher is now an emerging playwright based in Atlanta. Several of her plays have won competitions over the past few years, including the 2013 Southern Playwrights Competition and the 2013 AACT NewPlayFest. For AACT, The Vanishing Point produced at California Stage in Sacramento, California, won seven Elly Awards, among them Best Script, in the 2014 awards announced by the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance. In 2014 she had plays in California, Alabama, Ohio, and New York; in 2015 she has had productions in Houston, Tampa, and New York, and staged readings in Montgomery and Ashville. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Working Title Playwrights, and serves on the board of the Atlanta Writers Club. For additional information about Nedra’s writing projects, please see her website,



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