Illustration of a laptop, notebook, and pen. Iowa New Play Festival 2022.

Iowa New Play Festival

The first week of May is a special time for us, as we mount our annual Iowa New Play Festival (NPF). The 2022 Iowa New Play Festival will be presented in the Theatre Building again this year and will include four full productions and daily readings. All readings and productions will take place during the month of May.

Link to the Daily Iowan Article about NPF '22

2022 Schedule of Events

2022 Iowa New Play Festival Schedule

2022 Productions

And Then
Written and directed by Jarek Pastor

By Jeremy Geragotelis
Directed by Ann Kreitman

Stars and Stones
By Emma Silverman
Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz

Basically Children
By Charlie O'Leary
Directed by Natalie Villamonte Zito

The Reading Series

I feel closest to you
By Olivia Clement
Directed by Meg Mechelke

I Shall Not Be Moved
By Isaiah Reaves
Directed by Caroline Clay

Man of My Dreams
Written and directed by Valerie Muensterman

Berrigan, or an Island tale
By Christopher Lysik
Directed by Rob Silverman Ascher

Selections from the Undergraduate Playwrights Workshop
By Undergraduate Playwrights

the fog comes on little cat feet
By Amanda Keating
Directed by Meg Mechelke

Mother: Knife
By Derick Edgren Otero
Directed by Margo Skornia


Tickets for Iowa New Play Festival are sold during festival week in the Theatre Building. Click here for more ticketing information.

2022 Festival Guest Artists

Since its inception in the 1970s, the Iowa New Play Festival has brought guest artists to campus to meet with students. Festival guests attend all performances and give feedback to the creative team for each show. The feedback is given in roundtable discussions following each reading and on the morning after each production or workshop. These roundtables help the playwright and his or her collaborators see their work in a professional context.

The 2022 festival guests are Noel Allain, John Baker, Katie Gamelli, Virginia Grise, and Sydné Mahone. Visit our virtual lobby to learn more about these guests.


For more than two decades, Theatre Arts has presented an annual festival centered on producing, reading, and discussing new scripts from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. The Workshop was formally organized in the fall of 1971, although a strong tradition of playwriting has existed at Iowa since the 1920s when the department was under the leadership of E.C. Mabie. From 1923 until his death in 1956, Mabie was strongly dedicated to the writing and production of original plays. The Workshop was one of the first programs established to concentrate solely on playwriting and is one of the most production oriented playwriting programs in the country.

The Iowa New Play Festival is presented during the last week of spring term classes. Four to five plays by MFA playwrights are selected for full productions, most of them directed by MFA directing students and faculty members. Readings of full plays written by the other MFA writers are also presented during the week, as is a selection of work by undergraduate playwrights. Classes in the department are cancelled for the week so everyone may participate. Professional playwrights, directors, and producers from around the country are in residence to see and discuss all aspects of the work.

Many of the plays premiered during the Festival have gone on to win prestigious awards and have productions at professional theatres throughout this country and abroad. Preparing four or five new plays and presenting them in a single week is a monumental undertaking that is only possible by the utilization of the department’s wide-ranging resources in acting, directing, design, dramaturgy, stage management, and technical support. The development of new work through production continues to be a fundamental emphasis of the entire department.

Iowa New Play Festival 2021 was held virtually. Guests included Beth Blickers, Kia Corthron, Cat Filloux, Martine Kei Green-Rogers, Lynde Rosario, and Cori Thomas. The guests responded to following productions and readings.

The Job by Ikram Basra
Blue Whale Variations by Dakota Parobek
Wild, Wonderful by SP O’Brien
Doctor Vysarius by Steven Glavey, music by Jeremy Geragotelis
Gwenevere by Isaiah Reaves
Year of Revue by the Year of Revue team
The Switch by Charlie O’Leary
Still Life by Valerie Muensterman
The arrogance of it by Olivia Clement
Just Above Hades by Emma Silverman
Pins and Needles, or The Circumstance of Falling Forever on Ash Wednesday, 1988 by Jeremy Geragotelis

Iowa New Play Festival 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa New Play Festival 2019 guests included Elissa Adams, Noel Allain, Len Berkman, Christine Scarfuto, Amy Wegener, and Connie Winston. These guests came to Iowa City and responded to the following productions, workshop, and readings.

2PM in Faith, Nebraska by K.T. Peterson
Bell at the Back of Her Throat by Courtney Meaker
Blackberry: A Burial by Eric Marlin
P o l a r i s (a tragedy expansion pack) by Charles Green
Inferno of Eye Candy by Leigh M. Marshall
I Can Help You by SP O'Brien
We All Were Sunflowers by Ikram Basra
Smile Medicine by Dakota Parobek
Park Slope Under Water by Aja Nisenson
Perils of the Flowerbed by Steven Glavey

Iowa New Play Festival 2018 guests included Len Berkman, Bryan Delaney, Julie Felise Dubiner, Tanya Palmer, and Cori Thomas. These guests came to Iowa City and responded to the following productions, workshop, and readings.

Shoe by Marisela Treviño Orta
Lingering by Margot Connolly
The Age of Innocence by Nina Morrison
A Kingdom Jack'd by Scott Bradley
I am Pretty Bird by Leigh M. Marshall
The Wait by Aja Nisenson
You Must Wear a Hat by Courtney Meaker
Hear, Israel! by Charles Green
and come apart by Eric Marlin
Richmond Park by K.T. Peterson
Kant in Vegas by Leigh M. Marshall
Moon Dust by Alysha Oravetz

Iowa New Play Festival 2017 guests included Elissa Adams, Len Berkman, Matthew Maguire, Elsa Menédez, and Jenni Page-White. These guests came to Iowa City and responded to the following productions and readings.

Seed by Scott Bradley
Tough by Margot Connolly
The Pirate Queen by G. Flores
"...among other things..." by Michael Tisdale
Alcira by Marisela Treviño Orta
The Book of Jonah [The Interim Years] by Eric Marlin
Tiny Thin Woman Inside by Courtney Meaker
A Desert Fugue by Charles Green

Iowa New Play Festival 2016 guests included Len Berkman, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Todd Ristau, José Rivera, and Cori Thomas. These guests came to Iowa City and responded to the following productions and readings.

squeeze: A Motel Play by Theresa Giacopasi
Cut & Run by Eric Micha Holmes
Doxxed by Sam Lahne
Great Emergencies by Sean David DeMers
Packing by Scott Bradley
Quiz Out by Margot Connolly
Household or Must be a Duck by Michael Tisdale
Dr. Lovely by Alysha Marie Oravetz
Wolf at the Door by Marisela Treviño Orta
Alcyone by G. Flores

Iowa New Play Festival 2015 guests included Len Berkman, Bryan Delaney, Matthew Maguire, Sydné Mahone, Lisa Rothe. These guests came to Iowa City and responded to the following productions and readings.

Faculty Portrait by Sean David DeMers
Silo Tree by Sam Collier
TRICH by Sarah Cho
Below the Pacific by Ryan Oliveira
Hunting BigFoot by Theresa Giacopasi
Right by Sam Lahne
Binary Star by G. Flores
Boom Boom Town by Alysha Oravetz
Meloman (a music lover) by Michael Tisdale
Cut & Run by Eric Holmes

Iowa New Play Festival 2014 guests included Elissa Adams, Keith Josef Adkins, Len Berkman, and Amy Rose Marsh. These guests came to Iowa City and responded to the following productions, workshops, and readings.

Four Stories by Micah Ariel James
and i will hold you/when you are broken by Lisa Flora Meyers
Swordplay by Ryan Oliveira
Speed of Light by Bella Poynton
Life of the Experiment by Sarah Cho
Phoebe by Sean David DeMers
#julys by Sam Lahne
Still Quiet by Emily Dendinger
Falls for Jodie by Eric Holmes
Suit of Leaves by Sam Collier
Order Now by Theresa Giacopasi


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