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MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2023

Enjoy eight world premieres in one night. This in-person event is the latest installment of our renowned annual new play festival. The evening will bring you works by some of the most exciting writers from across the country, penning classically inspired ten-minute plays. This year's festival will include new commissioned plays by Craig Lucas (Reckless, Prelude to a Kiss) and by Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire) alongside six plays from up-and-coming playwrights selected through an open submission process. The premieres will be directed by Nadia Guevara and Ibi Owolabi.  

This year’s theme? FORBIDDEN LOVE  


Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival has generated over 4,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting nearly 100 of them in a one-night-only Festival performance with some of New York’s finest actors and directors. In its first twelve years, the commissioned playwrights have included Larissa FastHorse, Marcus Gardley, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Jeremy O. Harris, David Ives, Dael Orlandersmith, Theresa Rebeck, José Rivera, Anne Washburn, Doug Wright, and winning entries by writers such as Anchuli Felicia King, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman. Stage Rights has published a 5-volume collection of the plays from the first 10 years of Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival as RED BULL SHORTS.  

Craig Lucas wrote the plays Blue Window, Change Agent, The Dying Gaul, God’s Heart, I Was Most Alive With You, The Lying Lesson, Missing Persons, Reckless, Prayer for My Enemy, Ode to Joy, Prelude to a Kiss, The Singing Forest, Small Tragedy, Stranger; the books for the musicals Amélie, An American in Paris, The Light in the Piazza, Marry Me A Little, Three Postcards; the screenplays for Blue Window, Longtime Companion, Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, The Dying Gaul, Secret Lives of Dentists; the opera libretti for Orpheus in Love and Two Boys; and the ballet libretto for Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella. He directed the world premieres of The Light in the Piazza, I Was Most Alive With You, Ode to Joy, Change Agent & This Thing of Darkness (co-authored with David Schulner) as well as Harry Kondoleon’s plays Saved or Destroyed & Play Yourself & the movies "The Dying Gaul" & "Birds of America". He received the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, Drama Desk, Obie, L.A. Drama Critics, Laura Pels/PEN Mid-career, LAMBDA Literary, Hull-Warriner, Sundance Audience, Flora Roberts, Madge Evans-Sidney Kingsley & the Steinberg/ACTA Best Play & the Hermitage Greenfield Prize among many other awards and honors.

Heather Raffo is a singular and outstanding voice in the American theater whose work has been championed by the New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world”. Having helped forge a new genre of Arab American theater, she’s spent her career writing and embodying stories of Iraq: from the lives and dreams of Iraqi women in her seminal work 9 Parts of Desire (2003), to the suicidal ideation of an Iraq war veteran in the opera Fallujah (2012), to the restless longings of an Iraqi refugee architect, in Noura (2018).  A multi award-winning writer and actor, she’s toured nationally and internationally: from The Kennedy Center to The Aspen Ideas Festival and from London’s House of Commons to the U.S. Islamic World Forum. Her newly released anthology (2021), Heather Raffo’s Iraq Plays: The Things That Can’t Be Said, brings together two decades of her most groundbreaking contributions to the American theater and speaks to the bravery required to be at the forefront of a movement. Raffo’s most current work seeks to expand across genres: In March 2023, a film of 9 Parts of Desire is set to be released on PBS to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War, and her latest, The Migration Play Cycle: A New Theatrical Platform, her most ambitious theatrical imagining in scale and scope, situates themes around migration and the global economy and aims to be the first ever-evolving, multi-locational, theatrical platform.  Being raised in the Midwest and the daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, Raffo has committed her artistic practice to working across all kinds of borders: on mainstages and in rural communities; with the military and in the Middle East; in swing states and in refugee facilities, as she helps to shape cultural and national conversations in the decades since 9/11.


Nadia Guevara (she/her) Directing credits include: Fefu and Her Friends (American University Guest Director), N (Keegan Theatre), Palabras de encanto: Tales of Borikén (The Academy for Classical Acting at Shakespeare Theatre and George Washington University), Little Women (Johns Hopkins University Barnstormers), Guadalupe in the Guest Room and Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans: A Salsa Fairy Tale (NVA), El encuentro (Old Globe Arts Engagement). Readings: Madre de Dios (Round House Theatre National Capital New Play Fest), L’HÔTEL (Fulton Theatre Stories in Diversity Playwriting Fest), Azul (San Diego Repertory Theatre Latinx New Play Festival). Associate/Assistant Director: Show Way (Kennedy Center, dir. Schele Williams), Daphne’s Dive (Signature Theatre, dir. Paige Hernandez), Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie: Starring Indigo Blume (Kennedy Center, dir. Lili-Anne Brown), Put Your House In Order (La Jolla Playhouse, dir. Lili-Anne Brown). Proud recipient of the 2022-2024 Drama League Stage Directing Fellowship. 


Ibi Owolabi (she/her) is an Atlanta-based director. Her work has been seen at 7 Stages, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, Theatre Emory, The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, and the DC Black Theatre Festival. Ibi graduated from Georgia Southern with a degree in theatre, and was awarded the SDC Fellowship her sophomore year. Post-graduation, she moved to Actor’s Express for a directing internship, and then went on to become the Kenny Leon Fellow at the Alliance Theatre. Ibi directed several Zoom productions, including Well-Intentioned White People, Good Bad People, White-Ish, Stew, and Faith. Ibi’s recent in-person productions include These Shining Lives at USC, The Bluest Eye at Synchronicity Theatre, and Intimate Apparel at Actor’s Express. She is also a producer for Weird Sisters Theatre Project, a mixed media production company by women, for everyone.

Together with Stage Rights we've published five 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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