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Our renowned new play festival brings you 8 new works by the most exciting playwrights from across the country, writing classically-inspired plays in response to this year’s theme: “Delusions of Grandeur.”

The 2017 Short New Play Festival is made possible by the generous support of

The Noël Coward Foundation.



Monday, July 24, 7:30 pm

Lucille Lortel Theatre

121 Christopher St.


Featuring brand new plays by Arthur Kopit and Dael Orlandersmith

along with Charlotte Ahlin, Uriah Celaya, Justin Halle, Rachel Leopold, Jason Gray Platt, Christian Simonsen​

Directed by Craig Baldwin & Evan Yionoulis​


Featuring Tina Benko, Bill Buell, Robert Clohessy, Emily Donahoe,

Clifton Duncan, Teresa Avia Lim, Joan MacIntosh, Nadine Malouf, 

Howard W. Overshown, Alfredo Narciso, Linda Powell

The Divine Comedy, Part 2 (Thank you, Lucas Hnath) by Arthur Kopit

Midway through the journey of his presidency, Donald Trump found himself lost in a dark and impenetrable sand-trap.

Arthur Kopit is the author of the plays Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So SadIndians (Tony Nominee, Finalist for Pulitzer Prize); Wings (Tony Nominee, Finalist for Pulitzer Prize); End of the World, with Symposium to Follow; a new translation of Ibsen's Ghosts; the book for the musicals Nine and Phantom (both with scores by Maury Yeston); the book for the musical High Society; Road to Nirvana;  BecauseHeCan (originally entitled Y2K); A Dram of Drummhicit (written with Anton Dudley); and numerous one act plays.  Current projects include Discovery of America, a play based on the journals of the Spanish conquistador, Cabeza de Vaca; and two new plays, Secrets of the Rich and The Incurables. Mr. Kopit is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Lark Play Development Center, where he heads the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop.

And I Used to Be a Kind Man by Dael Orlandersmith

An actor, all too conscious of his own aging, recalls the Hamlet audition, and the career, he almost had.

Dael Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman. Her play, The Gimmick, was awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Other plays include Forever, Bones, The Blue Album (with David Cale), Horsedreams, Black N' Blue Boys/Broken Men, Stoop Stories, and Monster. Her works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service.  She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career.  She received a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty's Daughter. Recently, Until the Flood, about the Michael Brown shooting, opened at the St Louis Repertory Theatre. In 2017 her play Lady in Denmark will premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Her play, Until the Flood will open at Rattlestick Theatre and Milwaukee Rep in 2018.

Dido, Queen of Carthage by Charlotte Ahlin

When her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her (via text), grad student Elissa asks herself, "What would Queen Dido do?"

Charlotte Ahlin is a writer, actor, artist, and native New Yorker, with a degree in creative writing from Oberlin College. Currently, she writes for the books section of, and one of her short comics appears in the new science fiction anthology, All the King’s Men. Her one act play, The Summoning, is part of the 2017 SheNYC Summer Theater Festival at the Connelly Theater, and her very short play, Grim, will premiere this July at Dixon Place. Her work has been staged in New York, Ohio, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and Hyderabad, India. Charlotte is also a founder and Associate Artistic Director of Fat Knight Theatre, a nonprofit theatre company with a lot of character.

Rule of Threes by Uriah Celaya

Three sisters, Mariah, Maria and Marie, weave, measure and cut the strings of mortals' fate, until the day Maria starts to question her own.

Uriah Celaya is a 16-year-old Angeleno. He began writing when he was eight—small picture books of the adventures his dog must’ve had while he was at school. Since then, Uriah has had an ever-growing love for literature. His Freshman year, he was enrolled in both a creative writing and an acting class. In collaboration with his teachers, he connected the material he learned, writing a two-person scene for his fellow actors to perform. This project, and his roles in his school’s student written play festival, have inspired Uriah to hone in on the art of writing for a stage. Rule of Threes is his first completed play. In addition to acting in his school’s play festival for two years, Uriah also appeared in a production of Almost, Maine and understudied in a local exposition on the AIDS crisis. He frequents local poetry nights as well.

Delaware, Come Home by Justin Halle

Surrounded by Montana's vast nothing, Orli constructs a precarious antenna in hopes of finding her last true friend, Delaware, the dog.

Justin Halle is a New York City based theater artist obsessed with the grand and the strange. A recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama, Justin studied at the Experimental Theatre Wing in addition to Tisch’s Playwriting in London program. As an actor and musician, Justin has appeared at venues including La MaMa ETC, the Bowery Electric, and Joe’s Pub. Most recently, Justin was featured in the show Shenandoah at the Prague Fringe Festival. Justin’s playwriting has been produced in New York (Triskelion Arts, ABC Sanctuary, NYU Tisch) as well as in London (Jermyn St. Theater). Coming up, he’ll be drumming in the band of a new science fiction musical at the SheNYC Summer Theater Festival. Justin is excited and grateful to be a part of Red Bull Theater’s Short New Play Festival.

The Son by Rachel Leopold

Naucrate, newly freed from bondage, seeks out the father of her long-lost son Icarus to wrestle with the limits of grief, parenthood, and wax wings.

Rachel Leopold writes and works in education technology in Brooklyn. Her full-length plays include Dog People and Shiva, which was selected for the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayLabs series. Rachel has worked as an instructional designer, curriculum developer and product manager in ed tech for the past five years. She’s passionate about her current work at Flocabulary, a company that uses hip-hop to engage and teach content and skills to K-12 students. She has a BA in literature from Columbia University.

Tantalus by Jason Gray Platt

Tantalus, a mortal, dines with the divine in their palace of air and light. By the end of the meal, he will have doomed himself and his line to a violent fate.

Jason Gray Platt - previously with Red Bull Theater: Skull (Less Three and Twenty),  TouchedSleep Now. His work has been developed and produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Flea, Round House Theater, TheatreWorks, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, The Playwrights Realm, Prelude NYC, Page 73, and through residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. He received a Helen Hayes Nomination for The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play in 2013 and was the 2007 runner-up for Princess Grace Award in playwriting. Originally from Arizona, Jason now lives in New York. He is a core writer of The Playwrights’ Center. BA: Vassar; MFA: Columbia.

Ino Leucothea by Christian Simonsen

The gods gather for a meeting on Mt. Olympus, but who invited the minor goddess Leucothea? And what exactly she is goddess of again....?

Christian Simonsen is honored to have one of his scripts in Red Bull Theater's 7th Annual New Short Play Festival. He lives in San Francisco, where several of his plays received staged readings in the San Francisco Olympians Festival, including Cassiopeia, Chronus and Scylla, or Death by the Half-Dozen.  In 2016 his play Eve of the Vertebrates won 1st Place in the Stony Brook University Science Playwriting Competition.  A full production of his play Io Restored recently had its world premiere in London as part of the Off The Cliff Theatre production Metamorphoses, a collection of short plays inspired by the writings of Ovid.  Christian is currently a writer for the San Francisco sketch comedy troupe Killing My Lobster.


Together with Steele Spring Stage Rights we've published three collections featuring the best of our annual Short New Play Festival. This ongoing series features 10-minute plays of heightened language and classical themes by today’s hottest writers, including commissions by established playwrights such as John Guare, David Ives, Regina Taylor, and Anne Washburn, and winning entries by writers such as Mike Anderson, Sam Lahne, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman–-all chosen from a competition that receives nearly 300 submissions each year. In the hands of great playwrights, the 10-minute play is a highly entertaining dramatic form. This collection offers the most delectable of these delightfully compact works – some downright silly, and others powerfully moving.

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