Loading Events

October 16 - October 20

Festival of New Theatre

The Festival of New Theatre is a celebration of the theatrical imagination, an exciting glimpse into the creative process, and YOUR opportunity to contribute to the future of theatre in Rochester and around the world. During the Festival, you’re invited to take a glimpse into the writers’ studios as they work on new ideas, tell new stories and explore new forms. Your part in it all is crucial – writers can’t fully understand the impact of their work without hearing an audience’s response. And because the readings of new plays are presented concert-style – with actors at music stands, facing the audience – the budget for the set, costumes and other effects is limited only by your imagination! Take a look at what we have in store this year:

This Year’s Lineup

Tuesday, October 8 at 7PM

by Carolyn E. Kourofsky

Solitude is inspired by the true story of Edith Bone, a doctor and journalist who is unjustly accused of being a British spy in 1949 Hungary. In solitary confinement for seven years, how will she survive?


Friday, October 11 at 7 PM

Rochester Bake-Off

Now in its sixth year! A creative experiment, the outcome of which can never be predicted! Geva will present a challenge to Rochester-area playwrights to create a short piece in just three days, inspired by a uniquely Rochester experience.


Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 at 3PM

Young Writers Showcase

Five short plays written by Rochester area teens, including Told You So by Jessi Opett; It’s Cold Here by Sophia Milazzo; Semifinals by Mina Stevens; Caprice by Bella Callari; and Letters by Heather Hillman.


Wednesday, October 16 at 7PM 

The Sea and the Stars 
by Harrison David Rivers

Simon is a lifeguard. Finn is terrified of water. Both are adrift, with broken hearts, returning to the tiny beach town of Jupiter and to families who need them. A play about love, karaoke, and the sea.


Friday, October 18 at 7PM 

Lulu in Rochester 
by Allison Gregory

Inspired by real-life, Lulu in Rochester follows the fascinating partnership between famously reclusive silent-film star Louise Brooks and acclaimed Eastman Museum film curator James Card. When James persuades his irreverent idol to move to Rochester and watch her celebrated films for the first time, Louise must confront the myths and perceptions that have shaped her life, and shed light on the mystery of why ‘Lulu’ inexplicably disappeared at the height of her fame.


Sunday, October 20 at 7 PM 

by Universes

An audiovisual immersive theatrical experience by UNIVERSES, one of the nation’s premiere theatre ensembles. Africantic identifies, maps, deconstructs and reconstructs the musical DNA chains that bind us. From the complexities of spiritual ancestral rhythms and chant, across the middle passage into the Americas (where African deities entangle, to this day, in a delicate and vicious dance with Catholic Saints), from work songs and field hollers all the way to today’s music, Africantic explores the importance of music and the social movements that have shaped us. Africantic roots run deep.

Event Navigation


Harrison David Rivers is the winner of the 2018 Relentless Award for his play the bandaged place (New York Stage & Film). His produced plays include: When Last We Flew (GLAAD Media Award, NYFringe Excellence in Playwriting Award, NYFringe, Diversionary Theatre, TheatreLAB, Real Live Theatre), Sweet (AUDELCO nomination for Best Play, National Black Theatre), And She Would Stand Like This (20% Theatre Company, The Movement Theatre Company), Where Storms Are Born (Berkshire Theatre Award nomination for Best New Play, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Williamstown Theatre Festival), A Crack in the Sky (History Theatre), Five Points (MN Theatre Award for Exceptional New Work, Lavender Magazine citation for Outstanding New Playwriting, BroadwayWorld Minneapolis Award for Best New Work, Inclusion in MinnPost’s year-end “Best” List, Theatre Latte Da) This Bitter Earth (MN Theatre Award for Exceptional New Work, Lavender Magazine citation for Outstanding New Playwriting, Joseph Jefferson Award Recommendation, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Penumbra, About Face) and To Let Go and Fall (Theatre Latte Da). Harrison was named a Runner-up for the 2018 Artist of the Year by the Star Tribune and a 2017 Artist of the Year by City Pages. He has received McKnight and Many Voices Jerome Fellowships, a Van Lier Fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship, a Rudolph William Rosati Visiting Writer Fellowship at Duke University, a Bogliasco Fellowship and New York Stage & Film’s Founders’ Award. He was the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Harrison is an alum of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers’ Group, Interstate 73, NAMT and The Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab. He is a NYTW Usual Suspect and a member of the Playwright Center’s Board of Directors. BA: Kenyon College. MFA: Columbia School of the Arts.


Mikael Burke is a Chicago-based director, deviser, and educator. A Jeff-nominated director and Princess Grace Award winner in Theatre, Mikael’s most recently worked with Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Jackelope Theatre Company, About Face Theatre, First Floor Theater, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and The Story Theatre in Chicago, and regionally with Asolo Repertory Theatre, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. A former Victory Gardens Theatre Director’s Inclusion Initiative Fellow, he recently served as Northlight Theatre’s inaugural Artistic Fellow and also serves as Head of the Directing Concentration of the Summer High School Training Program of the Theatre School at DePaul University, is an adjunct faculty member of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and a faculty member in the Theatre division of the National High School Institute (Cherubs) at Northwestern University. Recent directing credits include The Shipment by Young Jean Lee, At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen by Terry Guest; Beauty and the Beast by Lucy Kirkwood & Katie Mitchell; This Bitter Earth by Harrison David Rivers; Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm. The Theatre School at DePaul University, Chicago, IL (MFA Directing). mklburke.com


Allison Gregory’s plays have been produced all over the country, and she has received commissions, grants, and development from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, The Kennedy Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Skirball-Kenis Foundation, ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, New Harmony Project, National New Play Network, Northwest Playwright’s Alliance, LATC, Amphibian Stage Productions, Theatre Lab@FAU, and Austin Scriptworks. Her work has been the recipient of the Julie Harris Playwriting Award, South Coast Repertory’s Playwright’s Award (Forcing Hyacinths), Garland & Dramalogue Award (Fall Off Night, Breathing Room), Seattle Times Best New Play Award (Burning Bridget Cleary). Not Medea (O’Neill & BAPF finalist), and Wild Horses (O’Neill semi-finalist) received National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere productions across the country. Motherland (O’Neill finalist, American Blues Blue Ink Award finalist, Harriet Lake Playfest selection) was selected for NNPN’s Showcase of New Plays. She currently has workshops of Darling Boud, Hen, Henderson, Honks, Woomling, Love Naunce at the Playwright’s Center, Banff Playwright’s Lab, and Launch Pad at UC Santa Barbara. Allison also writes for young audiences; plays include Go Dog. Go!, adapted from the P.D. Eastman book, co-written with Steven Dietz; Even Steven Goes to War (“Zoni” Best New Script Award; AATE and UPRP awards; Kennedy Center New Visions/New Voices selection); Peter and the Wolf (Seattle Times Best New Play Award; National tour), Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!, and Junie B. is Not A Crook (over 200 professional productions), adapted from the beloved book series by Barbara Park. Ronia: the Robber’s Daughter, adapted from Astrid Lindgren’s story, premiered at Teatr Pinokio in Poland this year. Her adaptation of Judy Moody, a seven-theatre commission, will be produced at all seven theatres in ’17-18. Allison is a 2017-20 Core Member of the Playwright’s Center, and an alumni of LATC’S Wordsmiths and Hedgebrook. She splits her time between Seattle and Austin, where she is the co-founder of the Marthas, a playwright collective. Her plays are published by Playscripts, Smith & Krauss, Dramatic Publishing, and Rain City Press.


Jessica Kubzansky is the Artistic Director of Boston Court Pasadena, and is also an award-winning director working nationally, specializing in innovative new works and re-envisioned classics. For Boston Court elsewhere, Jessica has directed Luis Alfaro’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (at The Getty Villa) and Sheila Callaghan’s Everything You Touch (Rattlestick at the Cherry Lane, NYC). At Boston Court, the world premieres of Kit Steinkellner’s Ladies, Sarah B. Mantell’s Everything That Never Happened, Stefanie Zadravec’s Colony Collapse,  Everything You Touch, R II (Kubzansky’s three-person adaptation of Richard II), Michael Elyanow’s The Children, Jordan Harrison’s Futura, Laura Schellhardt’s Courting Vampires, Salamone/ McIntyre’s Gulls, Mickey Birnbaum’s Bleed Rail, Carlos Murillo’s Unfinished American Highwayscape #9&32, Jean-Claude Van Itallie’s Light, Cody Henderson’s Cold/Tender. Plus: Camino Real, and Mother Courage. Recently elsewhere: Othello (A Noise Within), Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths (Arena Stage), Sofia Alvarez’s Amos & Boris, Aditi Kapil’s Orange (South Coast Rep), Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird (ACT Theatre Seattle). Upcoming, The Father with Alfred Molina at the Pasadena Playhouse, and Sarah B. Mantell’s Everything That Never Happened at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Kubzansky has received numerous awards and honors, among them the Los Angeles’ Drama Critics’ Circle’s Margaret Harford Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatre.


Carolyn Kourofsky was named a 2016 fellow in Playwriting / Screenwriting by the New York Foundation for the Arts and has attended the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive. Her short plays Survival of the Season and Shoplifting 101 have appeared in previous Regional Writers Showcases, and her full-length play Misdirection received a developmental reading through a collaboration of Writers & Books and Geva Theatre. She created the short play What Happens in Vegas as part of the Rochester Fringe Festival/Writers & Books 24-Hour Plays event. Kourofsky is an alumna of St. Lawrence University and received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She and her husband Kevin live in Webster.


Jean Gordon Ryon serves as Literary Associate/Dramaturg at Geva Theatre Center where, among other duties, she produces the Regional Writers Showcase and the Young Writers Showcase. She has been the dramaturg on many productions over the past nineteen years, including 1776, The Underpants, Almost Maine, The Music Man, Perfect Wedding, Little Shop of Horrors, Spamalot, In the Heights, Steel Magnolias, Million Dollar Quartet, and Geva’s current production of A Christmas Carol. Ms. Ryon holds a degree in drama from Tufts University and a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College. Her most recent directing credits in the community include The Royal Family and A Streetcar Named Desire for Screen Plays, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth for Rochester Community Players: Shakespeare Program, and Philadelphia, Here I Come, Closing Time, The Field, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night for Rochester Community Players: Irish Program. Ms. Ryon is also the Artistic Director of The Geriactors, a traveling troupe of mature performers.


UNIVERSES is a national Ensemble Theater Company, of multi-disciplined writers, and performers of color specializing in the fusion of theatre, poetry, dance, jazz, hip hop, politics, down home blues, and Spanish boleros to create moving, challenging, and entertaining works for the stage. In their 20+ years, UNIVERSES has performed at venues throughout the United States and toured extensively worldwide. Their work invites and attracts generations of all ages of theatre-crafters, theatre-goers, and new-comers, and breaks the traditional theatrical bounds to create its own brand–revolutionizing American theatre.