Enjoy the best stories and perspectives from the theatre world today. News Center
Close News Center

The DCPA Theatre Company pushed our commitment to new play development to the next level when we established the Colorado New Play Summit in 2006. Year after year, stories that got their start at the Summit are brought to life as full productions across the country. As we continue to see plays like The Book of Will, The Legend of Georgia McBride, The Whale, and FADE find new fans on our stages and beyond, we become even more excited to see what fresh ideas the next Summit will bring.

In our nearly 40 seasons, we’ve produced more than 135 world premieres, presented readings of 160 new works and commissioned 24 playwrights. By commissioning plays, we underwrite the important work required of playwrights, invest in the future of the American theatre and keep our finger on the pulse of contemporary writing.

Dozens of plays got their start as a Summit reading – discover the plays we have commissioned, premiered or otherwise developed here since the beginning of the Colorado New Play Summit.

Title in bold = Commissioned by the DCPA Theatre Company
WP = Became fully produced at the DCPA as a World Premiere production
D = Received other development with another theatre company
* = Subsequent productions outside the DCPA

2017 Summit

  • Last Night and the Night Before (D) by Donnetta Lavinia Grays
  • Blind Date by Rogelio Martinez
  • Human Error (WP 2018) by Eric Pfeffinger
  • Hanussen by Robert Schenkkan
  • The Great Leap (WP 2018) by Lauren Yee

2016 Summit

  • American Mariachi (WP 2018) by Jose Cruz Gonzalez
  • The Book of Will (WP 2017)* by Lauren Gunderson
  • Two Degrees (WP 2017)* Tira Palmquist
  • Midwinter by Mat Smart

2015 Summit (10th Anniversary)

  • The There There by Jason Gray Platt
  • The Nest (WP 2016) by Theresa Rebeck
  • FADE (WP 2016)* by Tanya Saracho
  • Holy Laughter (D) by Catherine Trieschmann

2014 Summit

  • Benediction (WP 2015) by Eric Schmiedl, based on the novel by Kent Haruf
  • The Comparables by Laura Schellhardt
  • Appoggiatura (WP 2015)* by James Still
  • Zenith (D) by Kristen Greenidge
  • Victory Jones and the Incredible One Woman Band (D) by Idris Goodwin

2013 Summit

  • The Vast In-Between (D) by Laura Eason
  • The Legend of Georgia McBride (WP 2014)* by Matthew Lopez
  • The Most Deserving (WP 2013)* by Catherine Trieschman
  • black odyssey (WP 2014) by Marcus Gardley
  • Just Like Us (WP 2013)* by Karen Zacarias

2012 Summit

  • Ed, Downloaded (WP 2013)* by Michael Mitnick
  • Homefree (D) by Lisa Loomer
  • Grace, or the Art of Climbing (WP 2013) by Lauren Feldman
  • The Hand of God (D) by Richard Dresser
  • Sense and Sensibility The Musical (WP 2013), Book/Lyrics by - Jeffrey Haddow, Music by Neal Hampton

2011 Summit

  • Great Wall Story (WP 2012) by Lloyd Suh
  • Cecilia Marie (D)* by Octavio Solis
  • Two Things You Don't Talk About at Dinner (WP 2012) by Lisa Loomer
  • The Whale (WP 2012)* by Samuel D. Hunter
  • An Extraordinary Demonstration of Nikola Tesla's Most Recent Discoveries by Buntport Theatre

2010 Summit

  • The House of the Spirits (Produced 2009) by Caridad Svich
  • Map of Heaven (WP 2011) by Michele Lowe
  • The Catch (WP 2011) by Ken Weitzman
  • Civilization (All You Can Eat) (D)* by Jason Grote

2009 Summit

  • When Tang Met Laika (WP 2010) by Rogelio Martinez
  • Flooded (D) by Julie Marie Myatt
  • Eventide (WP 2010) by Eric Schmiedl, based on the novel by Kent Haruf
  • Take Me to the River (D) by Constance Congdon
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown (WP 2014), Music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, book and additional lyrics by Dick Scanlan

2008 Summit

  • Inana (WP 2009)* by Michele Lowe
  • Shooting Star (D)* by Steven Dietz
  • Perilous Night (D) by Lee Blessing
  • Dusty and the Big Bad World (WP 2009)* by Cusi Cram

2007 Summit

  • Shadow of Himself (D) by Neal Bell
  • Visitors' Guide to Arivaca by Evangeline Ordaz
  • Plainsong (WP 2008) by Eric Schmiedl, based on the novel by Kent Haruf
  • Our House (WP 2008)* by Theresa Rebeck

2006 Summit

  • 1001 (WP 2007) by Jason Grote
  • Good on Paper (D) by Michele Lowe
  • Augusta (D) by Richard Dresser

2018 Readings

Hear workshopped drafts of new scripts from some of the most exciting writers in theatre today.

Mama Metallica by Sigrid Gilmer

Budding playwright Sterling Milburn has always been overshadowed by her fabulous mother Louise. Even when she’s holed up in a care facility with Parkinson’s, Louise finds a way to steal the spotlight. But with the overly critical eyes of Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams to fuel her rebellion and the frenetic energy of Metallica to help find her voice, Sterling sets out to write a story that is finally her own. As unfortunate histories mesh with hilarious interludes, Sterling must face the truth: her pain, her joys and her life will forever be shaped by and linked to the woman who raised her. Sigrid Gilmer’s “wonderfully impudent sense of humor” (USA Today) shines in this joyfully irreverent black comedy that entwines issues of identity with pop culture icons for a truly unique (and head-banging) experience.

Sigrid Gilmer

Sigrid Gilmer makes black comedies that are historically bent, totally perverse, joyfully irreverent and concerned with issues of identity, pop culture and contemporary American society. Sigrid burst onto the national theatre scene with her play Harry and the Thief, an action film/historical/time travel play about a thief who is blackmailed into traveling back in time to deliver a cache of arms to Harriet Tubman. It has since been produced across the country, including runs at the Pavement Group (Chicago), the Know Theatre (Cincinnati), and the Skylight Theatre (LA). Additional select works include Slavey (Clubbed Thumb), Seed: A Weird Act of Faith, It’s All Bueno (Cornerstone Theater Company), Frilly, and White 3: Manifestdestinyland. Sigrid is also on the writing team of the acclaimed Black Women: State of the Union. Sigrid is a winner of the Map Fund Creative Exploration Grant, the James Irving Foundation Fellowship and is a USA Ford Fellow in Theatre. Sigrid has an MFA in Writing for Performance from Cal Arts, where she was mentored by Suzan-Lori Parks. She resides in Los Angeles.

The Couches by David Jacobi
Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company

Ethan Couch has lived in a bubble of pampered privilege for his entire life, so when he’s convicted of killing four people while driving drunk, he and his mother Tonya flee to a resort in Mexico rather than face the consequences. In this self-imposed state of limbo, Ethan pays hotel clerk Daniel $1000 to be his friend and help maintain the facade of his prior life. But as the unlikely pair drink, sing, and stumble through the night, delusions of how the world works melt away as quickly as their cash flow. David Jacobi draws from the infamous 2013 “affluenza” court case to weave a surreal story of recklessness and reflection.

David Jacobi

David Jacobi’s plays have been performed throughout the U.S. and in China, including the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, FringeNYC and Penghao Theatre. His work has been developed at Ojai Playwrights Conference, Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival, RISK IS THIS, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Kennedy Center MFA Playwright’s Workshop, SLC Playwrights Lab and PlayPenn. He is a winner of the Holland New Voices Award, Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences Award, a Relentless Award semifinalist, and has been nominated for the Weissburger. David was the 2015 Shank Fellow at Pig Iron Theatre Company, and is currently under commission from the Denver Center and South Coast Rep. He received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from Purchase College and an MFA from UC San Diego. 


Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue by Kemp Powers
Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company

Even though they share the same DNA, twins Steven and Bernard have lived drastically different lives. The big reason? One is plagued by racism because of his dark skin while the other passes as white. Steven spent his childhood fitting in with fellow classmates and is now a successful attorney. Though he was an extraordinarily bright student who had his eyes on outer space, Bernard’s future is as dismal as the Challenger Space Shuttle that once inspired him. As he prepares for trial and potential jail time, Bernard must face his childhood bully behind the judge’s bench and confront his brother’s advantages. Following his DCPA audience favorite One Night in Miami…, Kemp Powers’ piercing meditation on race and privilege targets the circumstances that can change a child’s destiny.
Kemp Powers

 Kemp Powers’ plays include One Night in Miami… (Donmar Warehouse, Denver Center, Baltimore Center Stage, Rogue Machine; 2017 Olivier nominee for Best New Play, three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards, four NAACP Theatre awards, LA Weekly Theater award), Little Black Shadows (South Coast Repertory) and The Two Reds (The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory). His work has been developed at Denver Center Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. In television and film, he was most recently a writer for “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access) and is currently adapting his play One Night in Miami… into a feature film. He has toured nationally as a storyteller for the Peabody Award-winning series, "The Moth," and was one of the 50 storytellers selected for publication in their New York Times-bestselling book, The Moth: 50 True Stories (Hyperion Press). Powers is a founding member of The Temblors, a producing playwrights collective based in Los Angeles, where he resides.

Celia, A Slave by Barbara Seyda

In 1855, 19-year-old African American slave Celia was convicted of killing her master and hanged. Her story became known as a notorious failure of justice in American history, but to truly understand its significance, look to the people of Calloway County who experienced it all. Using oral histories and official records as her guide, playwright Barbara Seyda investigates the event with a tapestry of interviews with the dead. This stunningly evocative play illuminates the brutal realities of female slave life in the pre-Civil War South as it resurrects a panorama of real people on stage. The piece won the Yale Drama Series playwriting competition in its current form.

Barbara Seyda

Barbara Seyda is a playwright, editor, designer and theatre artist. She has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.F.A. from Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University. She has been a freelance editor for the Southwest Center, Rio Nuevo Press and the University of Arizona Press with a focus on native art, culture, history, ethnography and oral traditions of the American Southwest. She taught at Pratt Institute, The New School for Social Research, Rutgers University and University of Arizona's Continuing Education Program. Her publications include Nomads of a Desert City (University of Arizona Press) and Women in Love (Bulfinch, imprint of Little, Brown & Company). Her debut play Celia, A Slave was selected by Nicholas Wright, former Associate Director of London's Royal Court and won the Yale Drama Prize in 2015. The first public staged reading was at Lincoln Center under the direction of Niegel Smith and the script was published by Yale University Press in 2016. Celia opened The Rogue Theatre's 2017 season to rave reviews by PBS and NPR. She will reexamine the structure of Celia at the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. Her new plays include An Unnatural History and Life in a Jar.

2018 World Premieres

Join the first-ever audience of three fully-produced plays

American Mariachi

American Mariachi

Lucha and Boli are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band, but they’ll have to fight a male-dominated music genre and pressure from their families to get it done. This humorous, heartwarming story about music’s power to heal and connect includes gorgeous live mariachi music.

Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company; Featured reading in the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit
Learn More

Zoey's Perfect Wedding

Zoey’s Perfect Wedding

Disaster after disaster follow one unfortunate bride down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner. Watch in awe as this wildly funny fiasco destroys her expectations with the realities of commitment, fidelity and growing up.
Learn More

The Great Leap

The Great Leap

When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium.

Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company; Featured reading in the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit
Learn More

Current Commissioned Playwrights

The DCPA is currently commissioning new work from:
Anne Garcia-Romero
Aleshea Harris
David Jacobi
Kimber Lee
Tony Meneses
Mary Kathryn Nagle
Max Posner
Kemp Powers
Regina Taylor
Mfoniso Udofia

In its 38 seasons, the Theatre Company has produced more than 137 World Premieres, read 165 new works and commissioned 39 playwrights. Learn more about how you can support our exciting commitment to new play development.