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2017 Readings

Hear workshopped drafts of new scripts from some of the most creative voices in theatre.

Last Night and the Night Before by Donnetta Lavinia Grays

When Monique and her 10-year-old daughter Samantha show up unexpectedly on her sister’s Brooklyn doorstep, it’s the beginning of the end for Rachel and her partner Nadima’s orderly New York lifestyle. Monique is on the run from deep trouble, and her husband Reggie is nowhere to be seen. The family’s deep Southern roots have a long reach, and they grab hold of Rachel’s life stronger than she could have ever imagined. The play was featured in the 2015 National New Play Network's National Showcase of New Plays and won the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest the same year.


Donnetta Lavinia Grays

Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ plays include Last Night and the Night Before (2015 NNPN New Play Showcase. 2015 Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award. 2014 O’Neill Playwrights Conference Semifinalist) and The Review (2013 O’Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist) among others. Developed work with The Labyrinth Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Portland Stage Company, Naked Angels and Classical Theater of Harlem among others. 2016-2018 Time Warner Foundation WP Theater Playwrights Lab Member. Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award inaugural recipient.



Blind Date by Rogelio Martinez
Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company

Before the advent of Match.com and eHarmony, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev try to build a relationship old school when they sit down to open up channels between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Though members of their cabinets try their hardest to keep them on track, the leaders steer the conversation to pop culture and films. While the men chip away at the mistrust between their countries, Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev play out a passive-aggressive tango that mirrors their husbands’ negotiations in this conclusion to Martinez’s Cold War trilogy where “edgy comedy and sudden sorrow intertwine” (American Theatre).


Martinez, Rogelio

Rogelio Martinez is the winner of the first ever Mid-Career Fellowship at the Lark Theater Company. Ping Pong, his play about Nixon, Mao, and the hippie that brought the two together, was produced as part of the Public Studio series at The Public. The play will be published this fall. His play Born in East Berlin has just been translated into both Romanian and Hungarian. Both Ping Pong and Born in East Berlin were first developed at the Lark. When Tang Met Laika (Sloan Grant/Denver Center/Perry Mansfield) was produced at the Denver Center. Rogelio is an alumnus of New Dramatists.


Human Error by Eric Pfeffinger

Madelyn and Keenan are NPR-listening, latte-sipping, blue-state liberals, while Heather and Jim are NRA-cardholding, truck-driving, red-state conservatives. After an unfortunate mix-up by their blundering fertility doctor, Heather is mistakenly impregnated with the wrong child. Now the two couples face sharing an uproarious nine-month’s odyssey of culture shock, clashing values, changing attitudes and unlikely – but heartfelt – friendships. American Theatre has said, “Pfeffinger’s social conscience is matched by his amazing comic sensibilities” and his new play is no different.


Eric Pfeffinger

Eric Pfeffinger’s work has been seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre Center, Phoenix Theatre, InterAct Theatre Company, Blue Room Theatre, Imagination Stage, Childsplay, Source Festival, City Theatre of Miami, Bloomington Playwrights Project. Developed new work with: PlayPenn, Page 73, the Lark Playwrights Week, Chicago Dramatists. Other: Member, Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild of America East.



Hanussen by Robert Schenkkan
Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company

In 1930s Berlin, the brilliant “mentalist” Eric Jan Hanussen captivates German audiences with his ability to read minds and his uncanny predictions of the future. His reputation brings him to the attention of avid occultist Adolph Hitler. While his star seems to be on the rise, the consequences of his next major prediction (and his own true identity) may break his spell. A new drama from Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. Based on true events.


Schenkkan, Robert

Robert Schenkkan is a Pulitzer Prize, Tony, and WGA Award winner and three-time Emmy-nominated writer. Author of fifteen plays: All the Way, The Great Society, Hanussen, Shadowplay, By the Waters of Babylon, Handler, A Single Shard, Devil and Daniel Webster, Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates, Final Passages, The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune, Heaven on Earth, Tachinoki, The Dream Thief, and The Kentucky Cycle; a collection of one-act plays, Conversations with the Spanish Lady; and a musical, The 12. Film: Hacksaw Ridge, The Quiet American. TV: “All The Way,” “The Pacific,” “The Andromeda Strain,” “Crazy Horse” and “Spartacus.”


Manford From Half Court, or The Great Leap by Lauren Yee
Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company

When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for a “friendship” game in the post-Cultural Revolution 1980s, both countries try to tease out the politics behind this newly popular sport. Cultures clash as the Chinese coach tries to pick up moves from the Americans and Chinese American player Manford spies on his opponents. Inspired by events in her own father’s life, Yee “applies a devilishly keen satiric eye to… her generation (and its parents)” (San Francisco Chronicle).


Yee, Lauren

Lauren Yee’s plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm, PlayPenn), Hookman (Encore Theatre, Company One), In a Word (SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theatre), King of the Yees (Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Festival), Samsara (Victory Gardens, O’Neill Conference) and The Tiger Among Us (MAP Fund, Mu). Member of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab. Current commissions: Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, South Coast Rep, and Trinity Rep. King of the Yees will premiere at the Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas later this year. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD.



World Premieres

Watch fully-fleshed productions of plays previously seen at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit.

The Book of Will
The Book of Will

Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without two of his friends, we would have lost Shakespeare’s plays forever! A hilarious, heartfelt story of the characters behind the stories we know so well. 
Commissioned by DCPA Theatre Company

Learn More
Two Degrees
Two Degrees

Emma, a climate change scientist, is invited to share her findings at a Senate hearing that could define her career and her cause. But if she can’t overcome her tumultuous inner struggle, her dedication and sacrifices may not be enough. 

Learn More


Current Commissioned Playwrights

The DCPA is currently commissioning new work from:

  • A.C.E.
  • Anne Garcia-Romero
  • Kimber Lee
  • Rogelio Martinez
  • Kemp Powers
  • Robert Schenkkan
  • Eric Schmiedl
  • Regina Taylor
  • Lauren Yee
Untitled Document

Building on the DCPA Theatre Company’s rich history of producing new work, including the world premieres of renowned productions such as Quilters and The Laramie Project, the Colorado New Play Summit was established in 2006, doubling down on the DCPA’s commitment to new play development.

In our nearly 40 seasons, we’ve produced more than 135 world premieres, presented readings of 160 new works and commissioned 24 playwrights. Each year, we ask leading playwrights to develop ideas for new plays and many are read at our Colorado New Play Summit, receive full productions on our stage and go on to other theatres across the nation. 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 have gotten their start on the Summit stages – 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

2016 Summit

  • American Mariachi (D) 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                     
  • 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

In its 35 seasons, the Theatre Company has produced more than 135 world premieres, read 160 new works and commissioned 24 playwrights. Learn more about how you can support our exciting commitment to new play development.