Visit the Virtual Lobby

Get more New Play Festival information for past festivals, including the festival dedication, guest artists, productions, reading series and more. Information for 2024 will be added by April 15.

Visit Virtual Lobby

Decades of playwriting + new work

Discover more about New Play Festival, a week-long festival centered on producing, reading, and discussing new scripts from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Discover our history

Productions

Explore the four productions in this year's New Play Festival, written by MFA playwrights Derick Edgren Otero (MFA '24), Leigh M. Marshall (MFA '20), Christopher Lysik (MFA '24), and K.T. Peterson (MFA '20).

Explore Productions

Reading Series

Explore the readings series for this year's New Play Festival. Each day features readings of full plays written by MFA writers, along with a selection of work by undergraduate playwrights.

Explore Reading Series

Ticket Information

Tickets go on sale starting Monday, April 29 at noon, at the Theatre Building box office window. In-person, cash sales only.

There will be NO LATE SEATING for any of the productions. Due to the potential for sold out performances, all non-claimed tickets will be released 10 minutes before curtain time. This includes already purchased tickets.

Productions

UI Students (with ID) – Free, limit 1 ticket per ID
General Admission – $5, cash only

Reading Series

UI Students (with ID) – Free, limit 1 ticket per ID
General Admission – Free, but you must obtain a ticket

This is Only a Test

Tickets are free and will only be available at the door, up to one hour before the performance.

Box Office Hours

Monday, April 29

Noon - 1:30 p.m.
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 30

Noon - 1:30 p.m.
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 2

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, May 3

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Full 2024 Schedule

Welcome Reception and Guest Panel promotional image

Welcome Reception and Guest Panel

Monday, April 29, 2024 11:00am to 12:00pm
Theatre Building
Join us for the Welcome Reception and Guest Panel for the kick-off of Iowa New Play Festival 2024!
Forgottonia promotional image

Forgottonia

Monday, April 29, 2024 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series Forgottonia By Eli Campbell Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz In 1987, the people of Forgottonia, Illinois are on the edge of poverty. In a last-ditch effort to save their town, they enter the Prison Sweepstakes, which would win them a government-funded prison (and all the jobs that come with it). But competing for a prison drags out more than they were bargaining for. Guest Roundtable to follow.
Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties promotional image

Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties

Monday, April 29, 2024 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties By Derick Edgren Otero Directed by Meredith Healy Fourteen-year-old Cora harasses a prominent music critic and his family into changing his scathing review of a country-turned-pop star's most divisive record. When he ignores her demands, an entire fandom works to save their queen's #reputation. Please be advised this production includes hate speech and implied child abuse.
Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties promotional image

Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties

Monday, April 29, 2024 9:00pm to 11:00pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties By Derick Edgren Otero Directed by Meredith Healy Fourteen-year-old Cora harasses a prominent music critic and his family into changing his scathing review of a country-turned-pop star's most divisive record. When he ignores her demands, an entire fandom works to save their queen's #reputation. Please be advised this production includes hate speech and implied child abuse.
Guest Roundtable | Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties  promotional image

Guest Roundtable | Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 10:30am to 11:30am
Theatre Building
A roundtable discussion of Anti-Hero: Revenge of the Swifties by Derick Edgren Otero.
Leeches promotional image

Leeches

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series Leeches By Adrian Enzastiga Directed by Natalie Villamonte Zito Leeches is a full-length play that takes place at an eviction court in an ambiguously Midwest post-pandemic U.S. city. The play explores the process of an eviction, the cycle of poverty, and the corrupt oppression of the American capitalist system: Eviction court is a no man’s land; tenants’ rights are crushed under landlord’s command, and social workers (can) do little to offer a hand...
Spells for Going Forth by Daylight promotional image

Spells for Going Forth by Daylight

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series Spells for Going Forth by Daylight By Leigh M. Marshall Directed by Josh Turner In a world where the Roman Empire meets the 24-hour news cycle, Cleo wakes up in the Egyptian Realm of the Dead without a Book of Life to guide her to Paradise. As she tries to navigate her way through a treacherous afterlife filled with traps and predators, she finds she's able to tap into broadcasts from the living world that indicate her empire is on the brink of...
Spells for Going Forth by Daylight promotional image

Spells for Going Forth by Daylight

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 9:00pm to 11:00pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series Spells for Going Forth by Daylight By Leigh M. Marshall Directed by Josh Turner In a world where the Roman Empire meets the 24-hour news cycle, Cleo wakes up in the Egyptian Realm of the Dead without a Book of Life to guide her to Paradise. As she tries to navigate her way through a treacherous afterlife filled with traps and predators, she finds she's able to tap into broadcasts from the living world that indicate her empire is on the brink of...
Guest Roundtable | Spells for Going Forth by Daylight promotional image

Guest Roundtable | Spells for Going Forth by Daylight

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 10:30am to 11:30am
Theatre Building
A roundtable discussion of Spells for Going Forth by Daylight by Leigh M. Marshall.
Guest Roundtable | American Rusałki promotional image

Guest Roundtable | American Rusałki

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 10:30am to 11:30am
Theatre Building
A roundtable discussion of American Rusałki: a play with music by Christopher Lysik.
And the Past Remains promotional image

And the Past Remains

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series And the Past Remains By Poonam Dhir Directed by Johanna Kasimow An exploration of kinship, commitment and recollection. Using non-linear etches in time and a series of shared moments, the story of a family and a childhood unfolds. A dramatic event grounds this vulnerable account. Through memory, witnessing and intimate encounters, And the Past Remains explores ideas of duty, devotion and belief. Guest Roundtable to follow.
Well Spoken promotional image

Well Spoken

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series Well Spoken By Alex Lead Directed by Søren Olsen An elderly gay moving out west rummages a nearby playground for a missing chunk of his brain. With the gate closing in two hours, he must convince the audience to watch his upcoming television show before he either loses too much blood or misses the plane. Whichever comes first. Performed by the author, Well Spoken is a meditation on the black diaspora, the queer diaspora, and ancestry. Guest Roundtable...
The Words of Ants promotional image

The Words of Ants

Thursday, May 2, 2024 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series The Words of Ants By Xiaoyan Kang Directed by Nina Morrison The visit of an uninvited woman changes Y's life forever. As the last natural inheritor, Y embarks upon a journey to preserve an almost extinct language, but at what cost? Guest Roundtable to follow.
Selections from the Undergraduate Playwrights Workshop promotional image

Selections from the Undergraduate Playwrights Workshop

Thursday, May 2, 2024 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series Selections from the Undergraduate Playwrights Workshop
American Rusałki promotional image

American Rusałki

Thursday, May 2, 2024 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series American Rusałki a play with music By Christopher Lysik Directed by Kayla Adams Set in 1800s, rural New England, a small town on the outskirts of a forest find themselves at the center of a storm—facing consequences from a sin that plagued the lands long ago. As several townspeople find themselves facing terrible obstacles, they will soon discover exactly what they're willing to do for those they love.
American Rusałki promotional image

American Rusałki

Thursday, May 2, 2024 9:00pm to 11:00pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series American Rusałki a play with music By Christopher Lysik Directed by Kayla Adams Set in 1800s, rural New England, a small town on the outskirts of a forest find themselves at the center of a storm—facing consequences from a sin that plagued the lands long ago. As several townspeople find themselves facing terrible obstacles, they will soon discover exactly what they're willing to do for those they love.
birdWatching promotional image

birdWatching

Friday, May 3, 2024 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series birdWatching By Cianon Jones A nature documentary. Guest Roundtable to follow.
Razor Creek: a folk-rock, sci-fi musical promotional image

Razor Creek: a folk-rock, sci-fi musical

Friday, May 3, 2024 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series Razor Creek: a folk-rock, sci-fi musical Book & Lyrics by K.T. Peterson Music by K.T. Peterson and Paige Scott Directed and Choreographed by Michael C. Flores Razor Creek is a rock concert in coal-mining country, Kentucky. It is 1935, and residents get on best they can; fighting the devil, cracking jokes, staying alive, but when Razor Creek experiences an out-of-the-ordinary hardship, like the disappearance of a beloved invalid woman in town...
Razor Creek: a folk-rock, sci-fi musical promotional image

Razor Creek: a folk-rock, sci-fi musical

Friday, May 3, 2024 9:00pm to 11:00pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Production Series Razor Creek: a folk-rock, sci-fi musical Book & Lyrics by K.T. Peterson Music by K.T. Peterson and Paige Scott Directed and Choreographed by Michael C. Flores Razor Creek is a rock concert in coal-mining country, Kentucky. It is 1935, and residents get on best they can; fighting the devil, cracking jokes, staying alive, but when Razor Creek experiences an out-of-the-ordinary hardship, like the disappearance of a beloved invalid woman in town...
No Gun Salute for Ofeke promotional image

No Gun Salute for Ofeke

Saturday, May 4, 2024 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Theatre Building
Iowa New Play Festival – Reading Series No Gun Salute for Ofeke By Sixtus Igbokwe Directed by Patrick Adu After his fourth and final attempt to be admitted into the Ikenga masquerade cult, Ofeke gives up his quest for true manhood which the cult confers on its subjects. His resignation from the pursuit is accompanied by a detest for it, for in his words, “They failed, not I.” But his sudden discovery of a personal secret of the cult leader, Obosi, offers Ofeke a real bargaining voice, but...
This is Only a Test promotional image

This is Only a Test

Saturday, May 4, 2024 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Theatre Building
Join us for This is Only a Test, a standup comedy showcase.

Funding for the Iowa New Play Festival is provided by The David and Jean Schaal Fund for Theatre Arts.