Wright Now Play Later

Four months and four secret sites. A dozen playwrights. Twelve live-streamed performances. Twenty actors. And one awesome live-meets-digital theater project!

Spinning off our already successful Wright-Right-Now micro-commissioning series (#WRN), which puts playwrights in lobbies and on the street to produce patron-prompted short plays on demand, Center Stage is excited to debut a new social media-driven project: Wright Now, Play Later (#WNPL). 

This collaborative effort unites patrons, playwrights, and performers to produce a trio of new plays, progressing publicly from prompt to performance. Learn more.

Performances will be streamed live on Facebook, and Twitter via Periscope.

The project will proceed in four waves, the second week of each month from October, 2016 through January, 2017. Each week will follow a similar template, but generate completely different experiences and results:

  • Monday you’ll meet that month’s team of Wrights, who will take public prompts via social media. Writing from such far-flung haunts as Chicago, San Diego, Austin, and even locations overseas, the playwrights will have 24 hours to turn out short plays based on these prompts.
  • Wednesday, the public votes for their favorite play from each of that month’s participating Wrights.
  • Finally, on Thursday, actors will rehearse and perform the plays in pop-up locations—local businesses and public spaces in Baltimore, transformed into performance venues. These performances will be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. 

Oct 10–13, 2016 | Performance & Livestream: Thu, Oct 13 at 1 pm
Nov 14–17, 2016 | Performance & Livestream: Thu, Nov 17 at 1 pm
Dec 12–15, 2016 | Performance & Livestream: Thu, Dec 15 at 1 pm
Jan 9–12, 2017 | Performance & Livestream: Thu, Jan 12 at 1 pm

Each month will feature new playwrights, new actors, a new performance venue—and, naturally, brand new plays!

Center Stage strives to foster dramaturgs in their many capacities, and dramaturgy-driven projects have been central to the theater’s vision for developing new work. Now YOU can step into the shoes of a dramaturg every month: commissioning new plays, serving as evaluators during the voting round, helping promote and interpret the project on social media, and ultimately helping to produce a mini new play “festival” by week’s end. 

As part of Center Stage’s commitment to emerging writers and exciting new work, and our core value of Access for All, WNPL taps into the vibrant world of social media to give new plays new immediacy, accessibility, and energy. 

So, suggest prompts, vote on your favorite plays, and come out (or log on) every month: let your voice be heard!

Meet This Month's Playwrights:

Miranda Rose Hall
Center Stage’s 2013/14 Hot Desk Resident Playwright

Miranda Rose Hall is a playwright from Baltimore, MD. Her plays have been produced at Yale School of Drama, Yale Cabaret, Yale Summer Cabaret, DC Fringe Festival and Longacre Lea for the DC Women's Voices Theater Festival. Miranda was the 2013-2014 Hot Desk Playwright in Residence at Baltimore's Center Stage, where she developed several new plays and helped launch the program Wright Right Now. She is currently Resident Playwright and ensemble member with LUBDUB. Theatre Company, a New York-based physical theater company. She has taught playwriting as a visiting lecturer at Wesleyan University and as a teaching artist with many regional theaters. She graduated from Georgetown University and is an MFA candidate at the Yale School of Drama.


Lauren Yee
Recently at Center Stage: King of the Yees (Fall 2014 Play Lab)  

Lauren Yee's play King of the Yees will premiere this season at the Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by a production at ACT Theatre. Other plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts), The Hatmaker's Wife (Playwrights Realm, Moxie, PlayPenn), Hookman (Encore, Company One), In a Word (SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, Strawdog), Samsara (Victory Gardens, O'Neill Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival), and The Tiger Among Us (MAP Fund, Mu). Member of the Ma-Yi Writers' Lab. Commissions: Denver Center, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, South Coast Rep, and Trinity Rep. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD. laurenyee.com


Juliana Avery
Recently at Center Stage: Young Playwrights Festival

Juliana Avery is a DC area playwright and all around theater-nerd. As a student she participated in both Arena Stage’s Student Playwrights Project and Center Stage’s Young Playwrights Festival. Her first full-length play was produced by Baltimore’s Run of the Mill Theater in 2004. Her work has since been produced by Primary Stages, Venus Theater, the Georgetown Theater Company, the Washington Shakespeare Company, Center Stage, and the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival. She also currently serves as the Marketing and PR Manager for Forum Theatre in Silver Spring. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


Meet Previous Playwrights:

Jenny Connell Davis
Recently of the Center Stage Playwrights Collective

Jenny Connell Davis’ plays have been developed and/or produced with The Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights Center, Icicle Creek, ACT (Seattle), American Theater Company (Chicago), SPACE at Ryder Farm, Ars Nova, NAATCO, Theater MITU, Articulate Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Shrewd Productions, Scriptworks and The Gift Theatre, among others. She has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the Heideman, PlayPenn, Seven Devils, BAPF, the Nicholl Fellowship and the O'Neill. Davis’ short film, Fatakra, with writer/director Soham Mehta, played at over 75 festivals worldwide, including Toronto and SXSW, and was recognized with more than a dozen audience awards and jury prizes, including the Student Academy Award. She currently has screenplays in development with Maven Pictures and Co-op Entertainment. Jenny is an Affiliated Artist with The Playwrights' Center, and an alumna of Ars Nova Play Group, UT Austin's MFA Playwriting program, The School at Steppenwolf, the Court Theatre Resident Apprentice program, and The University of Chicago.

Coins by Jenny Connell Davis
PROMPT: I once had a small collection of foreign currency from places I’ve never been.

Collections Agent by Jenny Connell Davis
PROMPT: Working at a Collection Agency over the holiday season.

Telephone Game by Jenny Connell Davis
PROMPT: Collection of telephones. Each allows you to communicate with people from a different time period.

Marcus Gardley
Recently at Center Stage: dance of the holy ghosts (Fall 2013)

Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright who was recently awarded the 2014 Glickman Award for his play, The House That Will Not Stand, commissioned and produced by Berkeley Rep. It was also a finalist for the 2015 Kennedy Prize. Gardley was the 2013 USA James Baldwin Fellow and was awarded the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright. His play, Every Tongue Confess, was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award, the Charles MacArthur Award and was a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. His musical, On the Levee, was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. He is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild, and The Lark Play Development Center. He is a professor of Playwriting at Brown University.

Inherit by Marcus Gardley
PROMPT: Grandpa breaks down his stamp collection for inheritance.

Singe by Marcus Gardley
PROMPT: In a fire, I would save my precious Disney VHS tape collection. I would be lost without my Fox and the Hound, Cinderella, and Lion King.

The Eyes are the Windows to the Mind by Marcus Gardley
PROMPT: A sin eater, while freeing sinners from the blemishes on their souls, ends up with a collection of all the sins of a whole town.

KJ Sanchez
Recently at Center Stage: X’s and O’s (Fall 2015)

KJ Sanchez is the founder and CEO of American Records, a theater company devoted to making plays that chronicle our time (amrec.us) As a playwright, Sanchez has been produced at Asolo Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Two River Theater, Round House, Cornerstone, and Urban Stages. Directing credits include The Diary of Anne Frank and Harvey at Milwaukee Rep, 26 Miles at Round House, The Giver at Asolo Rep, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Private Lives and Mere Mortals at TRTC. As an actress she's been on stages at The Humana Festival, The Goodman, Berkeley Rep, Long Warf, New York Theatre Workshop and BAM. She is the voice of many characters on the cartoons Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go.

24 Prompts by KJ Sanchez
PROMPT: All of them. And in that order.

Dancing in the Corner by KJ Sanchez
PROMPT: I’m having a hard time collecting my thoughts after the accident.

Telephone Game by KJ Sanchez
PROMPT: I’m having a hard time collecting my thoughts after the accident.

Amy Witting and Paul Eddy

She Told Me It Was Love But She Lied by Paul Swensen Eddy and Amy E. Witting 
PROMPT: She told me it was love—she lied. 

Embrace the Tofurkey by Paul Swensen Eddy and Amy E. Witting
PROMPT: Embracing tofurkey is a revolutionary act, this time of year. Whether you want it to be or not. 

I Love My VCR by Paul Swensen Eddy and Amy E. Witting
PROMPT: Change is good, but I won’t get rid of my VCR. It lives on top of my fridge with a handful of VHS tapes. And always will. 

The Bedbug Revolution by Paul Swensen Eddy and Amy E. Witting
PROMPT: The Lights. And the smell of lavender. The spinning always starts with them. And when it does, only one thing can make it stop. How did I end up on the floor? Who are you?

Unionization of Misunderstood Clowns by Paul Swensen Eddy and Amy E. Witting
PROMPT: The pretty-or-intelligent binary! Sending scents via text! Under-wearing! Misunderstood clowns unionize!

Tegan McLeod and Ismail Khalidi

Spin by Tegan McLeod
PROMPT: The spinning starts when there is nothing to do but to do something. 

High School by Tegan McLeod
PROMPT: The lights. And the smell of lavender. The spinning always starts with them. And when it does, only one thing can make it stop. How did I end up on the floor? Who are you?

Smell ‘Em a Mile Away by Ismail Khalidi
PROMPT: A good pair of boots is absolutely necessary for joining a revolution

Steven Deitz and Allison Gregory

A Song by Steven Dietz 
PROMPT: A doorman observes old and new tenants entering and exiting the building through the revolving door. 

Spin Class by Steven Dietz 
PROMPT: How to take action when one is so dizzy? 

Laundromat by Allison Gregory and Steven Dietz
PROMPTS: The spinning starts when there is nothing to do but to do something. The world stops revolving for a day, to see how it feels to be still.

Super Moon by Allison Gregory
PROMPTS: The lights. And the smell of lavender. The spinning always starts with them. And when it does, only one thing can make it stop. How did I end up on the floor? Who are you? The pretty-or-intelligent binary! Sending scents via text!

Amy E. Witting

Amy E. Witting’s plays include The House on the Hill (Atlantic Theater Inaugural LAUNCH Commission, Abingdon Theatre New Play Reading Series, Kennedy Center ACTF/NNPN MFAPW Alumni, Semi-finalist O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, NNPN National Showcase), There’s Never A Gavin: The True Story of a Disco Roller Skater (Atlantic Theater Amplified Reading Series, nominated 2016 Weissberger Award, Finalist The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep 2016), The Midnight Ride of Sean & Lucy (Roundabout Underground Reading Series, Finalist SOURCE Festival), A BAD NIGHT (2015 Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship), Day 392 (Kennedy Center ACTF/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop, Honorable Mention Kilroy’s List, Nominated Susan Smith Blackburn prize.). She was a 2016 finalist for the Women’s Project Lab, and a 2015/2016 finalist for the Leah Ryan FEWW award. Her plays have been developed at Tofte Lake Center, The Lark Play Development Center, The Kennedy Center, NNPN, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She works as a Teaching Artist with Roundabout in New York, received her MFA at Hunter College and is a member of Mission To (Dit)mars Propulsion Lab, and The Dramatists Guild. amywitting.com

Paul Eddy

Paul Eddy is an actor and a singer/songwriter from Georgetown, KY who has recently moved from New York City to warm and sunny San Diego, CA. He has been fortunate enough to work with Amy E. Witting on many projects including Day 392 (Kennedy Center) and Road Veins (TADA Theater). He was also recently a musician for Lisa Loeb's musical Camp Kappawanna (Atlantic Theater Co) as well as an actor/musician for the OBA Nominated musical The Velveteen Rabbit (Atlantic Theater Co). You can catch him being fooled on Colby Day's Michelob Ultra failed Super Bowl commercial and on Snapchat's Super Bowl feature called Where We Dwell. For more info or to see videos of him playing around New York City paulswenseneddy.com

Tegan McLeod

Tegan McLeod was born in Iowa City, IA. She later moved to the UK where she went on to study English Literature at Oxford University. She began acting in the National Youth Theatre and her first play Never Such Rain (written at age 18) was a runner-up in the Oxford New Writer’s Festival. Upon graduating, Tegan became one of only two playwrights, internationally, to be awarded a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin as a Michener Fellow in Playwriting and Screenwriting in 2013. At UT she has had numerous productions, most recently a world-premiere of her first opera, produced in The New Works Festival, and entitled Rose Made Man; an opera about Trans identity. Her new play Girls in Cars Underwater was developed at Center Stage in Baltimore, featured in the Ignition Festival at Victory Gardens, Chicago 2016 and was selected for the 2016 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center: National Playwrights Conference. teganmcleod.com

Ismail Khalidi

Born in Beirut to Palestinian parents and raised in Chicago, Ismail Khalidi is a playwright, poet and activist, as well as an actor, educator and journalist on occasion. Khalidi holds an MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is the author of the award-winning play Tennis in Nablus. His plays have been produced and read at theaters and universities around the country and abroad, including Atlanta's Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre (Tennis in Nablus, 2010). Khalidi's other plays include Truth Serum Blues, which was commissioned and produced by Pangea World Theater (2005), Final Status, and most recently, Sabra Falling. Khalidi's writing on politics and culture has appeared in The Nation, Guernica, The Daily Beast, American Theatre Magazine, Remezcla, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. His poetry and plays have been published by Mizna, where he was recently a writer-in-residence. Khalidi is the co-editor of Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora (TCG, 2015) and is co-adapting Ghassan Kanafani's Return to Haifa for the stage. Khalidi currently lives between New York City and Chile. ismailkhalidi.com

Steven Dietz

Steven Dietz's 30+ plays have been seen at over 100 regional theaters in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway and internationally. Recent premieres include Bloomsday (2016 Steinberg New Play Award Citation); This Random World (2016 Humana Festival of New American Plays); and On Clover Road (National New Play Network rolling world premiere). Other widely produced plays include Becky's New Car, Fiction, Last of the Boys, Yankee Tavern and Lonely Planet. theatredance.utexas.edu/people/dietz-steven

Allison Gregory

Allison Gregory’s plays have been produced all over the country, and she has received commissions, grants, and development from OSF, South Coast Rep, The Kennedy Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Skirball-Kenis Foundation, ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle’s Arts and Cultural Affairs, LATC, The New Harmony Project, Northwest Playwright’s Alliance, Amphibian Stage Productions, and Austin Scriptworks. Her work has been the recipient of the Julie Harris Playwriting Award & South Coast Rep’s Playwright’s Award; Garland & Dramalogue Awards; and Seattle Times Best New Play Award, as well as finalists for the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, and American Blues Blue Ink Award. Her play Not Medea is currently receiving a National New Play Network (NNPN) Rolling World Premieres at B Street Theatre, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, and Perseverance Theatre. At ArtsGarage, the premiere of her play uncertain terms received a Carbonell nomination for best new play. Allison is an alumni of LATC’S Wordsmiths and a former Hedgebrook Women Playwright’s resident. She splits her time between Seattle and Austin, where she is the co-founder of Austin ‘Wrights, an awesome playwright collective. For more plays, including plays for young audience, kindly go to allisongregoryplays.com

Nathan Alan Davis
Recently at Center Stage: Protect the Beautiful Place (Fall 2015 Play Lab)  

Nathan Alan Davis’ plays include Nat Turner in Jerusalem (Premiering at NYTW, Sep. 2016), Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (NNPN Rolling World Premiere; Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation), The Wind and the Breeze (Blue Ink Playwriting Award; Lorraine Hansberry Award) and The Refuge Plays Trilogy: Protect the Beautiful Place (L. Arnold Weissberger Award Finalist), Walking Man, and Early’s House. His work has been produced or developed with New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, New Neighborhood, Baltimore Center Stage, Merrimack Rep., The Kennedy Center, Theater Alliance, Skylight Theatre, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, The Source Festival, Chicago Dramatists, and The New Harmony Project. He is a 2016 graduate Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and a recipient of NYTW’s 2050 Fellowship for 2015-16. MFA: Indiana University, BFA: University of Illinois. davisplays.com

Ashes by Nathan Alan Davis
PROMPT: Traveling with ashes.
Town Hall Debate by Nathan Alan Davis
PROMPT: Two aliens get out of a UFO and walk into the town hall presidential debate.   
Instant Coffee by Nathan Alan Davis
PROMPT: Being asked to make your own instant coffee while stopped at a rural diner.

Larissa FastHorse
Recently at Center Stage: The Thanksgiving Play (Fall 2016 Play Lab)  

Larissa FastHorse is an award winning playwright, director, choreographer, and performer based in Santa Monica. Larissa has received the NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, and numerous Ford and NEA Grants. Larissa's short play, Allies, was commissioned and filmed as part of Center Stage’s My America, Too project. Her other produced plays include Urban Rez, Landless, Average Family, Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation, and Cherokee Family Reunion. She has written commissions for Cornerstone Theatre Company, Artists Rep Portland, Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, AlterTheater, Kennedy Center TYA, Native Voices at the Autry, and Mountainside Theatre. She has developed plays with Kansas City Rep, Artist Rep Portland, Arizona Theater Company, the Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop and Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, and has pilot scripts in development with Fox and TeenNick. She is a current member of the Playwrights' Center Core Writers, Playwright’s Union, Director’s Lab West 2015, Theatre Communications Group board of directors and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sicangu Lakota Nation.

Travelling with Ashes by Larissa FastHorse
PROMPT: Travelling with Ashes 

Missing the Night’s Last Train by Larissa FastHorse
PROMPT: Missing the Night’s Last Train

Many Prompts Monologue by Larissa FastHorse

Hank Boland

Hank began his career as a playwright in 1995 as a collaborator with Todd Mueller and Gregg Opelka on four musical comedies, all published by Dramatic Publishing of Woodstock, Illinois. Other works include The True Ballad of Fall’s Blessings (2005), Armory (2014), and numerous other pieces including radio plays and personal essays. He received his MFA in Playwriting through Spalding University in Louisville in May 2014 and is a two-time participant in the Kenyon College Playwrights Conference. Hank is a former member of the Board of Directors of The League of Chicago Theatres. He is an ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre Company, a 30-year-old ensemble-based non-equity theater company in Chicago where he served as Managing Director from 2009 to 2011 and Artistic Director from 2012 to 2016. Hank has a B.A. in Film from Columbia College Chicago where he had been teaching screenwriting and other dramatic writing curriculum as an adjunct faculty member since 2004.

Elk Mountain Shelter by Hank Boland
PROMPTS:1. Riding a dogsled (like they use in the Iditarod) except instead of dogs, it has cats & 2. Small gnome doll/toy named Gucki who has been to 10+ countries and has lost an ear and an arm along the way.

Idle Tears by Hank Boland
PROMPTS:1. A teenage girl purchases an authentic, wool sweater from Scotland. After a rainy day of walking, while in a pub eating fish n' chips, her friends begin to question why it has been smelling like sheep all day...
& 2. Getting bad news from home while traveling in a remote area.

Ash by Hank Boland
PROMPT: Traveling with Ashes 

Playwright Showcases

Center Stage is hosting a showcase of new writing by members of the theater’s Playwrights Collective on March 21.

Area playwrights Jennifer Barclay and Liz Maestri will present work directed by Logan Vaughn and Elissa Goetschius at Center Stage’s temporary rehearsal space at 830 Guilford Avenue (the former Hott Spott Lounge).

Actors, directors, and playwrights will workshop their pieces all day and then present free readings in the evening.

Next Playwright Showcase:

Mon, Mar 21, 7 pm
830 Guilford Ave., Mt. Vernon
For more information contact boxoffice@centerstage.org.


Come early for Wright-Right-Now!

Get a personal, on-the-spot play from a playwright, starting at 6:30 pm. 

Danny by Jennifer Barclay 

Set in an African-American hair salon adjacent to Chicago's notorious Cabrini-Green housing project, Dannystraddles two different eras within one room. A play about motherhood, reinvention, and the place we call home.

The Ice Room by Liz Maestri

It’s time for Summer Bible School—and this year, it’s going to be next-level. When a clash of ideals threatens the most important event of the year, three church colleagues learn the hard way that the corporate power of American Christianity is a force to be reckoned with. An Evangelical comedy of manners, The Ice Room tackles indoctrination, passion, and hypocrisy in one of the biggest industries on earth.


About The Playwrights Collective

The Playwrights Collective is a program that allows a rotating group of writers to develop work, foster collaborative connection, and share professional mentorship within the framework of a resident regional theater. Starting in spring 2015, a group of invited writers was asked to explore ways of working in shared support, while being offered a range of association and engagement with Center Stage.

The Playwrights Collective is one of several artistic initiatives in support of new writing at Center Stage. Other programs include Play Labs, Hot Desk playwright residencies, and Wright-Right-Now.

On February 29, Baltimore/DC-based playwrights Alvin Eng, Craig S. Richie, and Rachael Knoblauch presented new works-in-progress directed by Center Stage Associate Artistic Director Hana S. Sharif and Rep Stage Co-Producing Artistic Director Joseph Ritsch:

Handle It by Rachael Knoblauch explores the challenges faced when seeking connection with another. It follows the journey of Alice, who must come to terms with her past to embrace her own sexuality and find the ability to trust another—and herself.

The Midtown Marigold by Craig Richie takes us to the beginning of the end of the titular divey gay bar in central Baltimore. Losing what feels like their home and their history, Joey and his staff make their final stand, testing their bonds and their limits in this uphill battle for the chance to hold on just a little bit longer.

Three Trees by Alvin Eng is premiered Off-Broadway with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in 2013 and explores the unique and haunting relationship between Alberto Giacometti, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and his primary muse/model of the 1950s, Japanese Philosopher/Professor Isaku Yanaihara. Three Trees is both a love story and a window into one of the lesser-known chapters in Giacometti’s life that indelibly changed the work and life of both men.




Jennifer Barclay is a Baltimore/DC-based playwright and actor, and is assistant professor of playwriting and performance at the University of Maryland. Her plays been produced and developed by Steppenwolf, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, RedCat, The Kennedy Center, The International Theatre of Vienna, and The Edinburgh Fringe, among others. Awards include: Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, Kennedy Center National Science Playwriting Award, Pinter Review, Princess Grace Finalist, and Heideman Award finalist. Fellowships include: The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Hawthornden International Writers Retreat in Scotland. Chicago-bred, Jennifer is a graduate of Northwestern University and UC San Diego (MFA under the mentorship of Naomi Iizuka), and she spent a year as the Shank Playwright in Residence at South Coast Repertory. www.BarclayStudios.com

Alvin Eng is a native NYC playwright, performer and professor of theatre at Goucher College, where he will direct Lanford Wilson’s “The Hot L Baltimore” in April. Currently, he is writing “Portrait Plays,” a cycle of historical dramas about artists, as well as a memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town. The first “Portrait Play,” Three Trees, about Parisian artist Alberto Giacometti and Japanese Philosopher Isaku Yanaihara, was presented Off-Broadway with Pan Asian Rep and also performed at The Sorbonne in Paris. The second, 33 & 1/3 Cornelia Street, dramatizes the fateful legacy axis of proto-Beat poet Joe Gould, New Yorkerjournalist Joseph Mitchell and iconic painter Alice Neel. 33 & 1/3 Cornelia Street will be performed at the 2016 HOWL! Festival and has been presented at NYU Fales Library and City Lore Gallery featuring such performers as Bob Holman, Martha Wilson, Paul Zimet and Kathleen Chalfant. As a Fulbright Specialist scholar in U.S. Studies/Theatre, Eng was artist-in-residence at Hong Kong City University. The U.S. Consulate Guangzhou invited him to perform his memoir monologue, The Last Emperor of Flushing, at XiaoZhou People’s Hall in his family’s ancestral Guangdong Province. He is honored to be a member of Center Stage’s Playwrights Collective! www.alvineng.com 

Rachael Knoblauch (Hot Desk Playwright) is enjoying her break into the world of playwriting as Center Stage's 15/16 Hot Desk Writer. Aside from playwriting, Rachael works as a professional designer in the DC/Baltimore area. Recent credits include: They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! (Scenery, Ambassador Theatre), Legally Blonde the Musical, Jr. (costumes, Adventure Theatre MTC),Henri IV Pt. 1 and 2 (scenery, Brave Spirits Theatre), and Julius Caesar (costumes, Gallaudet University). Rachael is a 2015 graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she studied theatrical design as a Linehan Artist Scholar. www.rachaelknoblauch.com

Liz Maestri‘s full-length plays include Inheritance CanyonSinner-ManHouse BeautifulFallbeilCondo Condo CondolandSomersaulting, and Owl Moon (Original Works Publishing). Her work has been commissioned, produced, and developed at Center Stage, E.M.P. Collective, Field Trip Theatre, Great Plains Theatre Conference , INTERSECTIONS Festival, The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival, Primary Stages/ESPA, Sewanee Writers' Conference, Taffety Punk, Theater Alliance, and Theater J, among others. Liz was awarded a DCCAH Artist Fellowship, Tennessee Williams Scholarship, Weissberg Foundation Award, and the DCCAH Young Artist Program Award. She has been a finalist for the Larry Neal Writer's Award, The Inkwell, and the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Liz studied playwriting with the 24 With 5 Collective at New Dramatists, received a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland, and is currently an MFA candidate at the Catholic University of America. Member: The Dramatists Guild of America, Center Stage's Playwrights Collective, and Playwrights' Arena at Arena Stage. www.lizmaestri.com

Craig S. Richie is a Philly-born, Baltimore-based playwright, director, and producer. As a student at Goucher College, he had more than ten writing and directing credits, crowned by his thesis, a multi-genre exploration of human sexuality, A Guide to Masturbation. He started his relationship with Baltimore's playwriting in the most recent One Minute Play Festival, host by the EMP Collective. He then began working with Center Stage as their first Wright-Right-Now playwright. In addition to his work with Center Stage's Playwrights Collective, he is currently producing shows out of his house and studio, Shell Home in Old Goucher.


Hot Desk Playwright Residencies

Selected playwrights are given a space to work, time to dedicate to writing, insight into the production process, and dramaturgical and developmental resources. This year’s Hot Desk Playwright is Rachael Knoblauch.


Personal, customized, on-the-spot plays

The Wright-Right-Now series, started in fall 2013, is part of our ever-expanding commitment to new work and new writers. It is a simple, fun, immediate way to promote playwrights, engage audiences, and generate nearly instant commissioned work.

One or two intrepid playwrights set up at a small, portable work station with tablet, laptop, notebook, or even typewriter. They take simple prompts from passers-by, and use those to generate typically 5-12 short plays, depending on time and capacity. The plays are either available in printed form at the end of a performance, or get emailed to the commissioner.

Nearly two dozen playwrights have participated so far, creating well over 100 new plays, in venues as diverse as the Center Stage lobby before performances, the coffee or bar line for special events, the Young Playwrights Festival, local charity auctions, and even a few Baltimore street corners. The WRN station by the weekly Burger Truck is especially popular.

Explore Wright-Right-Now plays on the LMDA website (Literary Managers and Dramaturgy of the Americas).

Upcoming events:

Election Night at the BMA (Tue, Nov 8)

WRIGHT-RIGHT-NOW Presented on election night at the Baltimore Museum of Art by Center Stage. Playwrights will take prompts from attendees and generate short plays about the election. Nov. 8. Learn more about the BMA’s Election Night Party  

Play Labs

Developing a new play doesn’t happen overnight. The process of workshops, readings, and rewrites play a vital role in helping playwrights see and hear their work—as plot holes get fixed, characters get solidified, dialogue comes to life, and the play gets on its feet. First audiences are at the heart of that effort. Center Stage Play Labs are dedicated to this cause.

Every year the theater hosts a series of diverse readings, complete with open rehearsals, that invite the audience to join the process.


Public readings are Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm. Open rehearsal times on Saturday give audiences the chance to get a taste of how a new play is workshopped and directed for a reading. 

Current Play Labs

Find Past Labs

Play Labs are made possible by The Nathan and Suzanne Cohen Foundation Fund for Commissioning and Developing New Plays.

To our friends and colleagues in the community of playwrights:

To serve our local community of artists and best honor our designation as the State Theater of Maryland—and because of the practical limits imposed by considerations such as programming slots and volume of plays under commission—we will only be able to consider new-play inquiries from Maryland-based writers

If you are an un-agented playwright from outside the state, we sympathize and realize how difficult it can be to get new scripts considered. There are, in and around Baltimore and Washington, numerous theaters and developmental bodies dedicated to producing new work who would welcome the chance to hear from you. We encourage you to seek them out, and to that end here’s a small sampling of some groups just here in Baltimore that we believe would be receptive to new work:

Rep Stage
Glass Mind Theatre
EMP Collective
Iron Crow Theatre
Baltimore Playwrights Festival
Single Carrot Theatre
Cohesion Theatre Company
Interrobang Theatre Company
Acme Corporation
If you are a Maryland playwright contacting us about a script, please use the following guidelines:

How to be Invited to Submit a Play

If you are interested in having your play considered, please send an inquiry according to the following guidelines. It is not necessary (or helpful) to bind or cover your material, and email inquiries are encouraged.

  • Send a brief letter of inquiry and introduction to Gavin Witt, Resident Dramaturg. You may mail this c/o Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202; or send your inquiry via email to gwitt@centerstage.org.
  • Include a brief (1 page or less) synopsis of your piece(s) and a cast breakdown (indicating the total number of actors required).
  • Include a script excerpt of up to 10 sequential pages (these not be the opening pages, but if not please provide some basic context).
  • You must provide a SASE/P or an e-mail address if you wish a response, including acknowledgement of receipt; if you want your materials returned, please note this and be sure to include sufficient postage to send them back.
  • For musicals, please include a CD recording of songs/music.
  • You may include a brief bio or resume, or reviews from workshops, readings, or past productions if you like, but these are optional.

Please note that, while we try to get to all submissions promptly, it may take some time for us to evaluate your materials and respond; but so long as you have provided us with the means to reply we will do so if we would like to see a full copy of your work.

Remember: You may ONLY submit an entire script by explicit invitation, or through a literary agent. We regret that we will not be able to read or return any script received without prior invitation.

2014/15 Season
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director

Amadeus By Peter Shaffer. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
Next to Normal Music by Tom Kitt. Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Directed by David Schweizer
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Adapted by Joe Landry. Directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III
One Night in Miami... by Kemp Powers. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
After the Revolution by Amy Herzog. Directed by Lila Neugebauer
4000 Miles by Amy Herzog. Directed by Lila Neugebauer

Marley Music and Lyrics by Bob Marley. Book and Direction by Kwame Kwei-Armah

2013/14 Season
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director

Animal Crackers by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. Music and Lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Adapted by Henry Wishcamper. Original Orchestrations by Doug Peck. Directed by BJ Jones
dance of the holy ghosts by Marcus Gardley. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel. Directed by Rebecca Taichman
Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones. Directed by Derek Goldman
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Directed by Gavin Witt
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang. Directed by Eric Rosen

Wild with Happy by Colman Domingo. Directed by Jeremy B. Cohen

2012/13 Season
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director

An Enemy of the People by Arthur Miller. Adapted from the play by Henrik Ibsen.
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
The Completely Fictional-Utterly True-Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe by Stephen Thorne. Directed by Curt Columbus
Bus Stop by William Inge. Directed by David Schweizer
The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
Mud Blue Sky by Marisa Wegrzyn. Directed by Susanna Gellert
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. Directed by Derrick Sanders

Beneatha's Place by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Directed by Derrick Sanders

2011/12 Season
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director

The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Directed by David Schweizer
American Buffalo by David Mamet. Directed by Liesl Tommy
Gleam by Bonnie Lee Moss Rattner. Based on the novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston. Directed by Marion McClinton
A Skull in Connemara by Martin McDonagh. Directed by BJ Jones
Into the Woods Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine. Directed by Mark Lamos. A co-production with Westport Country Playhouse

The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah

2010/11 Season
Irene Lewis, Artistic Director

The Wiz by William F. Brown. Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls. Based on the story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Directed by Irene Lewis
ReENTRY by Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez. Directed by KJ Sanchez
The Second City Does Baltimore Created for Center Stage by The Second City. Additional material created by T.J. Shanoff and Megan Grano. Directed by Matt Hovde
The Homecoming by Harold Pinter. Directed by Irene Lewis
Snow Falling on Cedars Adapted by Kevin McKeon from the novel by David Guterson. Directed by David Schweizer

Crime & Punishment Adapted by Curt Columbus and Marilyn Campbell from the novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Directed by Jason Loewith

2009/10 Season
Irene Lewis, Artistic Director

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Directed by Irene Lewis
Around the World in Eighty Days Written and Directed by Laura Eason
Let There Be Love by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Directed by Jeremy Cohen. American Premiere 
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by August Wilson. Directed by Irene Lewis
Cyrano by Jo Roets. Directed by David Schweizer

Working It Out by Aaron Sorkin, Rick Cleveland, and Lynn Rosen. Directed by Vivian Matalon

When the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced a $2 million challenge grant for Center Stage to establish the nation's first dramaturgy endowment, the first question out of many mouths was simple: "What is a dramaturg?"

The Foundation has enthusiastically endorsed the answer developed over the last 20 years by Center Stage: a dramaturg is an integral component of an artistically driven theater or theatrical production - and is worth significant financial support as well.

Center Stage has one of the country's largest and most accomplished Dramaturgical departments. Our dramaturgy staff includes a full-time resident dramaturg and a part-time Associate Artist. Visit their official blog!

Gavin Witt, Associate Artistic Director/Director of Dramaturgy, came to Center Stage in 2003 as Resident Dramaturg, having served in that role previously at several Chicago theaters. As a dramaturg, he has worked on well over 60 plays, from classics to new commissions—including play development workshops and freelance dramaturgy for TCG, The Playwrights Center, The New Harmony Project, The Old Globe, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center, and others. A graduate of Yale and the University of Chicago, he was active in Chicago theater for more than a decade as an actor, director, dramaturg, translator, and teacher, not to mention co-founder of greasy joan & co. theater, while serving as a regional Vice President of LMDA, the national association of dramaturgs. He has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago and DePaul University, and currently teaches at Towson University.