PlayLabs Festival
PlayLabs Festival

photo by Paula Keller

PlayLabs Festival

PlayLabs is one of the nation’s most comprehensive new play festivals.

During the festival, playwrights partner with a team of artistic collaborators of their choosing for an extended workshop including two public readings with time for rewrites in between. The festival also features a showcase of scenes by our playwriting fellows.

Each year, we fly in a number of The Regulars partners to join in this premiere new play incubation program. These connections help move PlayLabs plays more quickly into production.

The PlayLabs festival has become a must-attend event for theater leaders across the country as well as fans near and far. And with the ability to view filmed readings online, more people than ever can experience these vibrant stories.


The 2023–24 PlayLabs Festival will feature:

Esther Perel Ruined My Life
by Mathilde Dratwa 

Aaron wants to spice things up in the bedroom while Andrea is preoccupied with a potential lice outbreak at their son’s school. Then Aaron's proposal of an open relationship upends their marriage and leads Andrea to a mid-life coming-of-age. Erotic and thoughtful, Esther Perel Ruined My Life bravely explores oft-unspoken questions about love and desire post-childbirth and an approach to partnership that embraces our human capacity to continually evolve, grow, and change.

In person readings Sunday, April 14 and Friday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Watch online May 6–12


Pirates Steal
by Peter Gil-Sheridan

A pair of pirates, Pegleg and Legup ponder pain, trauma, and the greatest complexities of life while sailing the high seas. Snap to Penny, Pancho, and Morgan, teenagers on the schoolyard switching from being the worst of enemies to the best of friends in an adolescent instant. Penny learns new truths about her family, Morgan prepares for an incalculable loss, and Pancho writes about it all for his dearest friends. Pirates Steal is an irreverent and poignant look into the lives of three teenagers and their moms as they navigate loss, identity, and growing up.

In person readings Monday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 at 12:00 p.m.
Watch online May 6–12


by Benjamin Benne 

It’s Christmas Eve in Southern California and Rosie’s family gathers in her newly-renovated kitchen to make chuchitos. Her grandchildren are eager to learn and document every part of the recipe for this traditional Guatemalan dish she has prepared her entire life. But Rosie’s cooking has more to do with intuition than metrics, and recording and remembering are entirely different things. An expansive and lyrical intergenerational story that spans nearly two decades, Fantasma explores how we preserve our culture, how we assimilate, and the cost of what we leave behind.

In person readings Tuesday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 at 8:00 p.m.
Watch online May 6–12


PlayLabs Festival Fellows Showcase

This year's showcase will feature scenes-in-progress by our Jerome, Many Voices, and McKnight fellows.

In person reading Sunday, April 21 at 12:00 p.m.


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