Playwrights Leonard Madrid, Kimber Lee, Kirsten Potter, and James Ijames in a collage.

DCPA Theatre Company Announces Playwrights for the 16th Annual Colorado New Play Summit

Playwrights Leonard Madrid, Kimber Lee, Kirsten Potter, and James Ijames in a collage.

(top to bottom) Playwrights Leonard Madrid, Kimber Lee, Kirsten Potter, and James Ijames.


The DCPA Theatre Company is proud to announce playwrights, dates, and details for the 2022 Colorado New Play Summit. The 16th annual festival will take place over two weekends, February 25-26 and March 4-6, and feature readings of new plays by James Ijames, Kimber Lee, Leonard Madrid, and Kirsten Potter. The festival will also feature world premiere productions from the 2019 Colorado New Play Summit by Beaufield Berry, and Neyla Pekarek and Karen Hartman.

“As we celebrate the return of the Colorado New Play Summit, it is exciting to look back at the many playwrights whose work we heard for the first time and celebrate where they are now, from playwright Matthew Lopez to Lauren Yee,” said Chris Coleman, Artistic Director of the DCPA Theatre Company. “The Colorado New Play Summit allows audiences to get a front row seat into the developmental process of new work as we collaborate with some of the nation’s most exciting playwrights.”

Hailed as a “must-see stop for new-play development” by American Theatre, the Colorado New Play Summit is the DCPA’s signature festival dedicated to supporting playwrights and developing new work. Participating playwrights, including those commissioned by the Theatre Company, are given two weeks with professional directors, actors, and dramaturgs to workshop new plays. Industry professionals and the public are invited to meet the artists, experience staged readings, and provide feedback on the work as it is being developed.

Since its founding, the Summit has introduced 64 new plays, over half of which returned to the stage as full Theatre Company productions. Among the Summit world premieres are Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride, Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will, Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, José Cruz González’s American Mariachi, Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ Last Night and the Night Before, Tanya Saracho’s FADE, Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, Theresa Rebeck’s The Nest, Karen Zacarías’ Just Like Us, and Dick Scanlan’s reimagined version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.



Where We’ve Been by James Ijames | Reading
Eric is a gay Black man. Erica is a straight Black woman. Over six tumultuous decades, they confront heartache, trauma and the slow passage of time with the power of classic R&B, gritty humor and fabulous fashions. The result is a surreal celebration of Black LGBTQ culture and the miracle of friendship. 

saturday by Kimber Lee | DCPA Theatre Company Commission | Reading
Tilly has come home to take Ora fishing. Drifting in a boat on a mountain lake, the women laugh and argue their way across currents of time and memory that carry them backward and forward as they push against theoretical questions of love and try to touch the human truth under everything.

Cebollas by Leonard Madrid | Reading
A bizarre turn of events forces three sisters to take an unexpected road trip from Albuquerque to Denver. Along the way, they bicker, laugh, sing and discover hidden truths about one another that fundamentally changes — and strengthens — their relationship. Latina culture and the immutable bond of sisterhood take center stage in this absurdist comedy.

Rubicon by Kirsten Potter | Reading
Based on a true story, Rubicon tracks the early career of one of history’s most effective spies. Set in the years leading up to World War II, the story follows Elizabeth “Betty” Thorpe as she transitions from a Society wife and mother to a steely, seductive agent for British and American intelligence. Filled to the brim with intrigue and wit, the work is an engaging portrait of an unsung heroine and the sacrifices she makes to change the course of the war.


In the Upper Room by Beaufield Berry

Directed by Gregg T. Daniel

World Premiere | Developed at the 2019 Colorado New Play Summit

Meet the Berrys, a multi-generational Black family living under one roof in the 1970s. Their lives orbit around Rose, a strong-willed matriarch whose superstitions and secrets drive her relatives nuts. Fed up, the aunties, in-laws, and granddaughters of the household make their own plans to break away so they can finally live in peace. But by standing their ground, they may lose what has held them together all along.

Loyalty, spirituality, and colorism are all at play in this dramatic dark comedy, based on the real family history of playwright and novelist Beaufield Berry.


Rattlesnake Kate 

Music and Lyrics by Neyla Pekarek

Book by Karen Hartman
Directed by Chris Coleman

World Premiere

DCPA Theatre Company Commission | Developed at the 2019 Colorado New Play Summit

A new musical celebrating the true story of a Colorado woman the world wasn’t ready for. Around 100 years ago near Greeley, Colorado, frontierswoman Kate Slaughterback fought tooth, nail, and rifle to save her son, killing 140 rattlesnakes in one quick-thinking and courageous battle.

After the infamous showdown, “Rattlesnake Kate” became a global sensation. But her battles were far from over: To find a love that would last. To be treated as an equal. To forge a future for herself and for other women like her.

Discover the inspirational true story that is larger than life and stranger than fiction in this vibrant new musical by Neyla Pekarek (former member of the Grammy-nominated folk-rock band The Lumineers) and playwright Karen Hartman.


The 16thannual Colorado New Play Summit

Launch Weekend: February 25-26, 2022

Festival Weekend: March 4-6, 2022

Launch Weekend events, À La Carte packages, all-inclusive Festival Weekend packages including 4 play readings, 2 world premieres, plus meals, and special events are on sale now.

Details and packages available at: