BAC Debuts New Playwright Festival  


By Kristin Boza 

Theater fans are looking forward to the inaugural New Playwright Festival, July 26 to Aug. 1 at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. 

Playwrights from all over the world entered the competition with 11 new works chosen by jury members Melda Beaty, Carly Bishop, Morgan Cooper, and Scott Sowinski. The plays will be performed at live readings in the BAC’s Wilcanic Studio Theatre or outside in their Courtyard.  

“This is the first year for the New Playwright’s Festival,” said Carly Bishop, BAC Artistic Director. “I recognized that there was not an opportunity on the far South Side for playwrights to have their plays read and potentially workshopped and produced by professional theatres. We created the festival to give these artists a much-needed outlet. It is our hope that the festival will thrive and that the Beverly Arts Center can begin to give artists a home to incubate their new theatrical works.” 

Bishop and her team put out a call for one-act of full-length unpublished theatrical works in any style; 77 submissions were received.  

“We hired jurors to read the works and use a rubric to rank them,” she said. “The selected plays are being rehearsed by a director and professional actors for a staged reading during the festival.” 

Judges will attend the staged readings for the second part of the competition. The audience will also be invited to provide their opinions by casting votes for each performance they attend. The play that receives the highest scores will be performed in a fully-staged production at the BAC in August 2022. 

Festival Line Up 

Mon., July 26, 7 p.m. “One in Four” by Alison Zaleski Racine; Tues., July 27, 7 p.m. “Arabia! Arabia!” by Alexander Utz; Weds., July 28, 7 p.m. “Snowglobes, Tattoos, Scars That Look Like Trees” by Maria Welser; Thurs., July 29, 7 p.m. “Burning House” by Joe Nelms; Fri., July 30, 7 p.m. “The Sometimes Inaccurate (but Mostly Accurate) History of the World,” a one-act play  by Kristina Newcomb and Isabella Van Houze,  and “The Mockingbird’s Nest,” a one-act play by Craig Bailey; Sat., July 31, 3 p.m. “Death by Word,” a one-act play by Alison R. Cook; and “Passing Notes,” a one-act play by Joe Cameron; Sat., July 31, 7 p.m. “Finding Neil Patrick Harris” by Donna Hoke; Sun., Aug. 1, 3 p.m. “The Poet in White” by Hope Campbell; and Sun., Aug. 1, 7 p.m. “Grey” by Kirsten Benjamin.  

Tickets are $8 per staged reading and are available for purchase at 


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