2014 Arkansas New Play Festival

June 12-15, 2014
at Walton Arts Center's Nadine Baum Studios in Fayetteville

Arkansas's flagship celebration of new work for the stage is newly expanded for 2014, featuring a fully staged production and staged reading performances both in Fayetteville and in Little Rock. You’re invited to sit in for the performances and for an intimate conversation with the playwright and cast—and help shape new works from the ground up.

New Play Passes, granting entry to all events, are on sale now for $35. Reserve your passes by phone via Tickets Northwest Arkansas at (479) 443-5600. Seating is very limited.

Download the 2014 Play Fest Fact Sheet > (PDF)

Performances in Little Rock will be held in the Black Box at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre on June 7-8, 2014.  Click here for the Little Rock performance schedule and for more information. 

2014 New Play Lineup

by Jamey McGaugh
It’s the musician’s nightmare: the audition of a lifetime with a deep-pocketed record producer and an international rock star, but the rest of the band is nowhere to be found. This fully staged workshop production directed by Sean Patrick Reilly features live rock music. Thursday 6/12, 7pm; Saturday 6/14, 8pm; Sunday 6/15, 2pm.

JUST LIKE US by Karen Zacarías
Based on the Helen Thorpe’s bestselling book, this new play follows four Latina girls whose immigration status begins to erode their opportunities — and their friendships.  Playwright Karen Zacarías is the winner of the National Latino Playwriting Award and is playwright-in-residence at Arena Stage. Friday 6/13, 6pm.

Zacarías will be the featured guest for the Fayetteville Public Library's Author Series in June, and will take part in a free public forum hosted by Kyle Kellams. Click here for more information. 

DISFARMER by Werner Trieschmann
This comedic portrait tells the story of an eccentric photographer from Heber Springs, Arkansas who charged a townsfolk and visitors to have their picture taken in the early forties—and caused a minor speculative mania decades later when New York gallery owners “discovered” his work and descended on the small Arkansas town. Returning for its third outing at the Arkansas New Play Festival in newly expanded form. Friday 6/13, 8pm.

Customer Service Superagent Meg Chambers can handle any request — she’s the last stop on the Habañero’s service line, dealing with escalated complaints about everything from exploding burritos to too-weak salsa. But when a mysterious Morse code message comes in from, apparently, 1857, she may finally have met her match.  New York-based playwright John Walch is the winner of the American Theatre Critics Association’s Osborn Award. Saturday 6/14, 4pm.



Arkansas Young Playwright Showcase
In partnership with the University of Arkansas Brown Chair of English Literacy, TheatreSquared is proud to present, for the fifth year, the Arkansas Young Playwright Showcase. A play-in-progress by an Arkansas high school student has been selected for a public reading at the Arkansas New Play Festival. Saturday 6/14, 2pm.

The 24-Hour Play-Off

TheatreSquared hosts Fayetteville fringe comedy group Ceramic Cow Productions to present the tenth annual 24-Hour Play-Off, a perennial favorite for artists and audiences. Teams of community artists will write, rehearse and perform new ten-minute plays—all in just 24 hours.  Join the judging on Sunday night and help choose the Grand Prize winner!  Sunday 6/15, 6pm.

 Apply to participate in the 24 Hour Play-Off >

The 2014 Arkansas New Play Festival is supported by a leadership gift from Barbara B. Shadden, in memory of Harry S. Shadden.  This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts — Art Works. William R. Lighton Visiting Playwrights are sponsored by the Happy Hollow Fund at Fayetteville Area Community Foundation. B Side: Myself is made possible by Sandra K. Edwards and Demara Titzer.


Key Artists

(Playwright, B Side: Myself) returns to TheatreSquared, where he appeared in the world premiere of ‘Twas the Night and the 2010 Arkansas New Play Festival. He was the writer/frontman for the NYC-based rock band Han Shot First. As an actor, his New York credits include Under Milkwood (Irish Arts Center); Ellis Island Stories (Hypothetical Theatre Co.); The Molly Maguires (NAMT New Musical Festival); and Black Sox (Atlantic Stage Co.), His regional credits include include the world premieres of Lizzie Borden (American Stage Co.) and Great Expectations (Goodspeed Musicals); as well as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Virginia Musical Theatre); My Fair Lady (Hilton Head Playhouse); An Inspector Calls (Southern Arena Theatre); and A Tuna Christmas (Blowing Rock Stage Co.). Stock credits include Blood Brothers (Mt. Washington Valley Theatre); Jesus Christ Superstar (Mac-Haydn Theatre); and The Unexpected Guest (The Theatre Barn). He holds a MA in Drama from the University of Arkansas. B Side: Myself marks his playwriting debut.

SEAN PATRICK REILLY (Director, B Side: Myself) returns to TheatreSquared, where he directed Hamlet and Period of Adjustment and appeared in Good People, The Spiritualist, and the Arkansas New Play Festival. He recently directed the Off-Broadway hit Cloud 8 by Scott Decker (Theatre 80 St. Marks); PREY (The New York International Fringe Festival); and The Dead Hooker Play (The Lucille Lortel Theatre). Past directing credits include: Tennessee Williams’ Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen (SoHo Rep.); Roger Heddin’s Terry Neal’s Future (HERE Theatre); Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me (Promenade Theatre); In Our Time (Atlantic Theater); Holy Water (Flea); Here We Are Mrs. Parker (La Mama); James McClure’s Pvt. Wars (Harold Clurman Theatre); Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Players Theatre); and Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind (Second Story). As an actor, his Broadway credits include Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts and Martin McDonough’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Other theatre credits include work at the Royal Shakespeare Company; The National Theatre, London; The Royal Court Theatre; The Public/New York Shakespeare Festival; Atlantic Theater Company; Playwrights Horizons; Signature Theatre; Alley Theatre; Naked Angels; The Cherry Lane; NYTW; Second Stage; Circle in the Square; La Mama; Circle Rep.; The Culture Project; Manhattan Repertory Theatre; Williamstown Theatre Festival; Westport Playhouse; Huntington Theatre; Cleveland Play House; Trinity Rep; American Repertory Theatre; Penguin Rep.; Dallas Theatre Center; Kennedy Center; Edinburgh Festival; among many. Film and television: A Wife Alone; Fair Game; Howl; Following Bliss; Something Borrowed; Solitary Man; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Man of the Century; Jerry Maguire; State and Main; Sleepers; “Blue Bloods”(CBS); “Bored to Death (HBO)”;“Mildred Pierce”(HBO);  “Damages ” (FX); “Third Watch” (NBC); “The Black Donnellys”(NBC); and “Law and Order” (NBC). He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was educated at Harvard and Oxford.

KAREN ZACARÍAS’s (Playwright, Just Like Us) award-winning plays include The Book Club Play, Mariela in the Desert, Legacy of Light, The Sins of Sor Juana, an adaptation of Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and many more. Her TYA musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma include Jane of the Jungle, Frida Libre, Looking for Roberto Clemente, Chasing George Washington, Einstein Is a Dummy, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans, and Ferdinand the Bull. She recently adapted Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence at Arena Stage and the celebrated libretto of The Sun Also Rises for the Washington Ballet. New projects include a play for the American Revolution series for Oregon Shakespeare Theater, a drama for Cincinnati Playhouse, the adaptation of Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea for Milagro Theater, and a Brazilian-themed musical for the Kennedy Center. Her plays have been produced at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Round House Theatre, Denver Center, Alliance Theatre, Imagination Stage, GALA, Berkshire Theatre Festival, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, San Jose Rep Theatre and more. Her awards include Her awards include: 2010 Steinberg Citation—Best New Play (outside of NYC), National Francesca Primus Prize, New Voices Award, National Latino Play Award, Finalist Susan Blackburn, and Helen Hayes for Outstanding New Play. She is a playwright-in-residence at Arena Stage in Washington, DC and teaches at Georgetown University. She is a core founder of the Latino Theatre Commons. She is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning theatre company that teaches playwriting in local public schools.

TLALOC RIVAS (Director, Just Like Us) makes his directorial debut at TheatreSqaured. He is a writer, director, and theatre-maker who creates, develops and directs new plays focusing on the complexity, diversity and history of Latina/os in the U.S. and abroad. His newest play, Johanna: Facing Forward, will premiere at the Cleveland Public Theatre in May 2015. He is remounting his production of Karen Zacarías’ Mariela in the Desert as part of the National Encuentro of Latina/o Plays at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in November 2014, and he will be directing Kirsten Greenidge’s Luck of the Irish for the University of Iowa in February 2015.  He is a co-founder of the Latina/o Theatre Commons, a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors and is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation. Visit TlalocRivas.com for more information.

WERNER TRIESCHMANN (Playwright, Disfarmer) is a writer, director and theatre instructor. He was writer and director for the world premiere productions of Mozart: Revealed and Schubert: Revealed with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His plays have been produced across the United States, Canada, England, Australia and Japan. Plays include Failing the Improv, You Have to Serve Somebody and The Clawfoot and Hot Tub Interviews. His plays have been staged by Moving Arts (LA), Ensemble Studio Theatre (NYC), The New Theatre (Boston), Mobtown Players (Baltimore) and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Little Rock). His monologues have appeared in The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 1999 and Audition Arsenal for Women in Their 20s, published by Smith & Kraus. In 2013, he was awarded an Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship in Playwriting. His play, Lawn Dart, won first prize in the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans New Play Competition. He was the first playwright to receive the Porter Prize, an Arkansas literary award recognizing outstanding achievement by an Arkansas writer. He was the first playwright to receive the Porter Prize, an Arkansas literary award recognizing outstanding achievement by an Arkansas writer. A resident of Little Rock, he teaches at Pulaski Technical College and holds an MFA in playwriting from Boston University.  

KEIRA FROMM (Director, Disfarmer) is a Jeff Award-nominated director (for Lobby Hero at Redtwist Theater), casting director, and teacher in Chicago. Recent directing credits include Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog Theatre,) The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre,) Broadsword (Gift Theatre,) Fallow (Steep Theatre,) and Enfrascada (16th Street Theater); as well as staged readings at TimeLine, Steep Theatre, About Face Theatre, Route 66, and Chicago Dramatists. While living in NYC, she served as the resident director of the popular off-Broadway shows The Donkey Show and The Karaoke Show and was the audience casting coordinator for the original Broadway production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She received her MFA in directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University and her BFA from Boston University. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and an ensemble member of the New York-based theater company Stage 13. She currently teaches audition workshops at Green Shirt Studio. Her next project will be directing the Chicago premiere of Luce at Next Theatre.

JOHN WALCH (Playwright, Just Like Us) returns to TheatreSquared, where his play In The Book Of was workshopped in 2011. Other plays include The Dinosaur Within, Circumference of a Squirrel, Turn Out To Knead, The Nature of Mutation, Tea-Totaled, Jesting with Edged Tools, Craving Gravy or Love in the Time of Cannibalism, Alice Threw the Looking Glass, Iraq: A Love Story, as well as numerous one acts, collaborations, and shorts. His plays have been produced at theaters such as Center Theatre Group (Mark Taper Forum), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Barter Theatre, Theatre @ Boston Court, Kitchen Dog, Florida Studio Theatre, New Jersey Rep, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and off-Broadway at Urban Stages. His work has been developed or commissioned through The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Bricolage Theatre, New Harmony Project, The Playwrights’ Center/PlayLabs, and the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London. Awards: Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays; the American Theatre Critics Association’s Osborn Award; the Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theatre for DoubleTime, the Charlotte Woolard Award from the Kennedy Center recognizing a promising new voice in the American theatre; the Marc Klein Playwriting Award; and three Austin Critics Table Awards. He is a two-time Sloan Fellow, and was a James Michener Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers at University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his MFA in playwriting. He served as artistic director of Austin Script Works, and has taught playwriting at UT Austin, University of Iowa, and Bennington College, among others. He lives in Brooklyn and is a resident playwright of New Dramatists.  What God Hath Wrought benefited from three weeks of residency at New Dramatists.

SHANA GOLD (Director, What God Hath Wrought) returns to TheatreSquared, where she previously directed Underneath the Lintel (2010), Reasons to be Pretty (2012), 4000 Miles (2013), and the staged reading of True Story (2013). She recently directed Spring Awakening (University of Arkansas Theatre); A Public Education (Pioneer Theatre); Firebirds Take The Field (The Lark Theatre); and In the Crossing (Studio Theatre). Other directing credits include: The Storyteller (The Kennedy Center); Food and Fadwa (New York Theatre Workshop); Goldor and Mythyka (New Georges); At the Pole (Urban Stages); and In the Crossing (The Public Theatre and The Culture Project). Her production of John Walch’s Circumference of a Squirrel received the Austin Critics Table Award for Best New Play and Best Director and the Austin Chronicle’s Top Ten List. Her work in new play development has also been seen at: Vassar College/New York Stage and Film, Epic Theatre, MCC, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theatre J (D.C.), Silk Road Theatre Project (Chicago), New Dramatists, and Manhattan Theatre Club’s Sloane Series. She has taught and/or directed for Lincoln Center Theatre’s Education and Outreach program, Brooklyn College, Theatre for a New Audience, Dartmouth, NYU-Tisch, and Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. Upcoming: Fractured Shakespeare for Lincoln Center’s Education and Outreach program, and Proof at TheatreSquared.