Worldwide Plays Festival

About the Festival

This year, our theme is Home. Every play will take place within a single room of a house. These plays will be performed as an immersive theatre experience, allowing audience members to move from room to room and play to play.

The select group of playwrights represent New York City, Westchester County, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and the cast of professional actors reflects New York City’s diversity, bringing a full range of backgrounds and experiences to the rehearsal room and the stage.

The Worldwide Plays Festival is a vital way in which we foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in our writers. We couldn’t be more excited to help them engage with their communities by creating immediate new works for the stage!

The Festival will take place at TheaterLab, located at 357 West 36th Street, on the 3rd floor.

Monday, May 8th at 6 PM

Younger playwrights

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What if your T-shirts had feelings? What if your cat ran away with your maid? Or, what if you had a time traveling puppy? Bounce from room to room in this wild night which includes talking T-shirts, tormented cats, and a potential sighting of Benjamin Franklin!

T-Shirt Trouble

    by Luca Fortuna, 3rd grade
    Directed by Arielle Lever
    With Stephanie Acevedo, Starr Kirkland, and Mackenzie Knapp

Maids, Snowballs, & Lipstick

    by Dalia Mullens, 4th grade
    Directed by Matt Herzfeld
    With Sheira Stein, Vanessa Malanga, Christopher J. Payseur, and Zahyde Pietri

Time Traveling Puppy

    by Nyla Blake-Soden, 4th grade
    Directed by Emily Hartford
    With Maggie Benedict, Darrell Purcell, Chris Ellis, and Andrew Harriss

Monday, May 8th at 8 PM

Teen playwrights

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The ghost of a mother solves the problems of her bereaved family, a wife comes out of the closet to her husband, teen poets duke it out in a living room, and a daughter learns that a pair of Nikes costs more than just money in this powerhouse night of drama by teen playwrights.

When She's Gone

    by Hannah Schrader
    Directed by Debargo Senyal
    With Dave Chura, Kristin Cantwell, and Joy Donze

Family Dinner

    by Lily Krug, 8th grade
    Directed by Madeline Taylor
    With Christopher J. Payseur and Vanessa Malanga

Matter

    by Annelie Hyatt, 9th grade
    Directed by Kyle Metzger
    With Starr Kirkland and Leslie Marseglia

Shoes

    by Jacqueline Magawa, 10th grade
    Directed by Tayarisha Poe
    With Aurea Tomeski, Molly Gallagher, and Chris Ellis

Tuesday, May 9th at 6 PM

Teen evening

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A Muslim American teen decides whether or not protest, a bizarre garden party ensues, an undocumented Mexican woman decides at what length she will go to stay in America, and a pair of unlikely elderly people find grace is this beautiful, heartfelt, and political night of drama written by teens.

This evening will be reprised on Saturday, May 13th at 4 PM.

Better Days

    by Brittany Achu, Moni Erinle, and Betelihim Haile, 10th grade
    Directed by Dan Kitrosser
    With Maggie Benedict, Christopher J. Payseur, and Trey K. Radu-Blackburn

Newton’s Cradle

    by Stina Trollback, 11th grade
    Directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
    With Starr Kirkland, Aurea Tomeski, and Andrew Harriss

Home of the Brave

    by Arjun Mazumdar
    Directed by Fazeelat Aslam
    With Darrell Purcell, Ali Andre Ali, and Amanda Thickpenny

Sand Through Scarred Fingers

    by Juliette Bellinson, 9th grade
    Directed by Sergio Castillo
    With Stephanie Acevedo, Mackenzie Knapp, and Lillian Andrea de Leon

Tuesday, May 9th at 8 PM

Teen playwrights

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An estranged aunt and nephew come together over the kitchen table, a father reconnects with his daughter in the garage, a young male teen confronts his secret boyfriend at the sink, and a college freshman finds home in her dorm room in this emotional and heartfelt group of plays written by teens.

It's All Relative

    by Maggie Sullivan, 10th grade
    Directed by Katie McHugh
    With Judy Alvarez and Ali Andre Ali

Pedal

    by Sneha Dey, 11th grade
    Directed by Kevin R. Free
    With Sergio Castillo and Tamara Geisler

i wanna laugh till my head is hitting the ground

    by Gary Snowder, 12th grade
    Directed by David Blasher
    With Darrell Purcell and Jovan A. Davis

Home, Sick

    by Cathleen Freedman
    Directed by Kyle Metzger
    With Mary Hickox and Stephanie Acevedo

Wednesday, May 10th at 6 PM

Younger playwrights

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A group of Writopians try to write the best piece ever written, a sleepover truth or dare game goes awry, and a pop star realizes what she really needs in this off the wall and musical night of theater written elementary and middle schoolers.

One Sec

    by Ella Goodman, 4th grade
    Directed by Yael Schick
    With Joris de Graaf, Tammy Geisler, Leslie Marseglia, and Andrew Harriss

Truth or Dare

    by Emily Birman and Isabella Gernandt, 6th grade
    Directed by Katie McHugh
    With Kristin Cantwell, Molly Gallagher, and Julia Schonberg

Shooting Stars

    by Laila Palmer, 7th grade
    Directed by Danielle Sheeler
    With Stephanie Acevedo, Rosie Sawa, and Maddie Sykes

Wednesday, May 10th at 8 PM

Teen playwrights

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A New Year's Eve kiss never happens, two brothers see how different they can be, a sister tries to save her sibling from falling down the road of their parents, and a mother and son live in an underground post-apocalyptic world in this genre bending evening of theater written by teens.

Kiss Me

    by Ibby Weber, 10th grade
    Directed by Jessi D. Hill
    With Joris de Graaf and Stephanie Acevedo

Like Brother, Like Brother

    by Kaley Mamo, 11th grade
    Directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
    With Darrell Purcell and Jovan A. Davis

Habits

    by Kayla Guo, 11th grade
    Directed by Ben Weber
    With Trey K. Radu-Blackburn and Stephanie Acevedo

Scavengers

    by Alec Montgomery, 12th grade
    Directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
    With Aurea Tomeski and Timothy Park.

Thursday, May 11th at 6 PM

Younger playwrights

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A prince wants to learn to fly, a bug falls in love with a bowl of demonic fruit, a talking piano lobs insults at its owner, and a newly-elected autocratic president gets some pushback for not spending enough time with his family in this satirical and magical evening of plays written by elementary schoolers.

These plays will be reprised Friday, May 12th at 6 PM.

The Magic Book

    by Amira McCoade, 2nd grade
    Directed by Dan Kitrosser and Stephanie C. Cunningham
    With Sarah Gens, Miranda Poett, and Alana Tyrell

Suki the Bug

    by Hugh Vickery, 3rd grade
    Directed by Andrew Hunter
    With Alana Tyrell, Avon Haughton, Daniel Perez, and Rafeh Mahmud

Mike and the Talking Piano

    by Nathaniel Shalam
    Directed by Dan Kitrosser and Stephanie C. Cunningham
    With Jordan Cooper, Andrew Hunter, Mead Ryder, and Melissa Maney

Life as President

    by Lila Paul, 4th grade
    Directed by Melissa Maney
    With Sarah Gens, Miranda Poett, and Alana Tyrell

Thursday, May 11th at 8 PM

Teen playwrights

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The absence of a father sparks debate at a family dinner, an ex-girlfriend bursts in on a first date, and a stalled writer is visited by the ghost of his former girlfriend in this dramatic and poignant group of plays written by teens.

These plays will be reprised Friday, May 12th at 8 PM.

Setting the Table

    by Ali Levinson, 10th grade
    Directed by Haley Olmstead
    With Sarah Gens, Daniel Perez, and Melissa Maney

Work it Out

    by Devontea
    Directed by Avon Haughton
    With Tasneem Nathari, Miranda Poett, and Jordan Cooper

Houdini

    by Stephanie Okun, 11th
    Directed by Jesse Meckl
    With Rafeh Mahmud and Haley Olmstead

Friday, May 12th at 6 PM

Younger playwrights

Purchase Tickets!

A prince wants to learn to fly, a bug falls in love with a bowl of demonic fruit, a talking piano lobs insults at its owner, and a newly-elected autocratic president gets some pushback for not spending enough time with his family in this satirical and magical evening of plays written by elementary schoolers.

These plays were first presented Thursday, May 11th at 6 PM.

The Magic Book

    by Amira McCoade, 2nd grade
    Directed by Dan Kitrosser and Stephanie C. Cunningham
    With Sarah Gens, Miranda Poett, and Alana Tyrell

Suki the Bug

    by Hugh Vickery, 3rd grade
    Directed by Andrew Hunter
    With Alana Tyrell, Avon Haughton, Daniel Perez, and Rafeh Mahmud

Mike and the Talking Piano

    by Nathaniel Shalam
    Directed by Dan Kitrosser and Stephanie C. Cunningham
    With Jordan Cooper, Andrew Hunter, Mead Ryder, and Melissa Maney

Life as President

    by Lila Paul, 4th grade
    Directed by Melissa Maney
    With Sarah Gens, Miranda Poett, and Alana Tyrell

Friday, May 12th at 8 PM

Teen playwrights

Purchase Tickets!

The absence of a father sparks debate at a family dinner, an ex-girlfriend bursts in on a first date, and a stalled writer is visited by the ghost of his former girlfriend in this dramatic and poignant group of plays written by teens.

These plays were first presented Thursday, May 11th at 8 PM.

Setting the Table

    by Ali Levinson, 10th grade
    Directed by Haley Olmstead
    With Sarah Gens, Daniel Perez, and Melissa Maney

Work it Out

    by Devontea
    Directed by Avon Haughton
    With Tasneem Nathari, Miranda Poett, and Jordan Cooper

Houdini

    by Stephanie Okun, 11th
    Directed by Jesse Meckl
    With Rafeh Mahmud and Haley Olmstead

Saturday, May 13th at 2 PM

Teen playwrights

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Two wizards are attacked by their archnemesis, a mother waits for news of her soldier son during World War II, two friends reveal the betrayal that led to the death of their third friend, and a high school senior is visited by a time-traveling spirit as he debates whether or not to go to college in this historical and theatrical cycle of plays by teens.

Pie with a Side of Prayer

    by Serena Khanna, 11th grade
    Directed by Robert Gonyo
    With Micahel Benzinger and Stephanie Acevedo

Confessions

    by Isabella Ferreira, 8th grade
    Directed by Stephen Cedars
    With Kristin Cantwell and Maggie Benedict

Memory Minutes

    by Mia Hanssens, 8th grade
    Directed by Dan McCoy
    With Sheira Stein, Harrison Scott, and Leslie Marseglia

All in This Together

    by Yainie Gallego, 9th grade
    Directed by Aaron Rossini
    With Christopher J. Payseur, Rolando Chusan, and Starr Kirkland

Saturday, May 13th at 4 PM

Teen plays

Purchase Tickets!

A Muslim American teen decides whether or not to protest, oddball siblings torment each other as a bizarre garden party ensues, an undocumented Mexican woman decides at what length she will go to stay in America, and an unlikely pair of elderly people find grace in this beautiful, heartfelt, and political night of drama written by teens.

This evening was first presented Tuesday, May 9th at 6 PM.

Better Days

    by Brittany Achu, Moni Erinle, and Betelihim Haile, 10th grade
    Directed by Dan Kitrosser
    With Maggie Benedict, Christopher J. Payseur, and Trey K. Radu-Blackburn

Newton’s Cradle

    by Stina Trollback, 11th grade
    Directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
    With Starr Kirkland, Aurea Tomeski, and Andrew Harriss

Home of the Brave

    by Arjun Mazumdar
    Directed by Fazeelat Aslam
    With Gopal Divan, Ali Andre Ali, and Amanda Thickpenny

Sand Through Scarred Fingers

    by Juliette Bellinson, 9th grade
    Directed by Sergio Castillo
    With Stephanie Acevedo, Mackenzie Knapp, and Lillian Andrea de Leon

Saturday, May 13th at 6 PM

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Preston is male, white, straight and has a pension for cyber bullying substitute teachers and harassing every girl that comes his way. When he is visited by Satan, he instantly changes his ways, but is trying to be the savior of all just as closed minded? HECKBOY is sure to provoke laughter as much as thought in this wildly hilarious original musical.

This play will be reprised Sunday, May 14th at 11 AM.

Heckboy

    by Ali Levinson, Abigail Sylvor Greenberg, Zoe Nelms, and Arjun Mazumdar
    Based on the one act play by
    Directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
    Choreography by Danielle Sheeler
    With Brennan Lowery, Zack Friedman, Mackenzie Knapp, Edward Chin-Lyn, Eileen Hanley, Starr Kirkland, and Stephanie Acevedo

Sunday, May 14th at 11 AM

Purchase Tickets!

Preston is male, white, straight and has a pension for cyber bullying substitute teachers and harassing every girl that comes his way. When he is visited by Satan, he instantly changes his ways, but is trying to be the savior of all just as closed minded? HECKBOY is sure to provoke laughter as much as thought in this wildly hilarious original musical.

This play was first presented Saturday, May 13th at 6 PM.

Heckboy

    by Ali Levinson, Abigail Sylvor Greenberg, Zoe Nelms, and Arjun Mazumdar
    Based on the one act play by
    Directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
    Choreography by Danielle Sheeler
    With Brennan Lowery, Zack Friedman, Mackenzie Knapp, Edward Chin-Lyn, Eileen Hanley, Starr Kirkland, and Stephanie Acevedo

Sunday, May 14th at 1 PM

Award-Winning plays.

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This cycle of award-winning plays includes full productions of plays selected from a competition of playwrights from across the country in High School and Middle School categories. It will also include staged readings of the inaugural Bekah Brunstetter Playwriting Award for a play concerning women's issues, the Writopia Senior Award for a playwright in their senior year of high school for their work over their high school career, and the Madeleine L’Engle Award for an elementary school playwright.

Embarrassment of Riches

    by Anna McNulty
    Winner of The Bekah Brunstetter Playwriting Award for Women in Theater
    Directed by Alexandra Cohl

Diner Play

    by Lizzie McCord
    Winner of The Writopia Senior Award
    Directed by Dan McCoy

Kids in the Storm

    by Nyla Reed
    Winner of The Madeleine L’Engle Award for the Dedication to her craft (Elementary)
    Directed by Danielle Sheeler

Anything and Everything

    by Jena Musmar, Winner of Middle School Contest
    Directed by Kyle Metzger
    With Ali Andre Ali, Isra Elsalihie, and Zahyde Pietri

Home, Sick

    by Cathleen Freedman, Winner of High School Contest
    Directed by Stephen Cedars
    With Stephanie Acevedo and Mary Hickox

Sunday, May 14th at 3 PM

Young Filmmakers; Writopia Lab original Films

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What do a frustrated writer, a dinosaur facing her doom, and a Kylo Ren-a-corn have in common? In this series we will witness the forbidden romance between a puppy and a kitty, a young girl lost in a sea of people, a high schooler who switches bodies with her nemesis, and even magical bananas.

The Box

    Written and Directed by Nate Simon, 9th Grade & Giacomo Cetorelli, 10th Grade
    With Tamara Geisler

Writer's Block

    Written and Directed by Jesse Koblin, 8th Grade & Owen Kerner 8th Grade
    With Christopher J. Payseur

Hazy

    Written by Evelyn Landy, 9th Grade
    Performed by Jesse Eisenberg, Julius Powell, Mallory Muratore, Kelsey Foltz, and Kathryn Metzger

Untitled

    Written and directed by Maxanne Wallace-Segall and Teo Braun
    With Chelsea Grasso

The Puppy and the Kitty: A Romance

    Written by, directed by, and starring:
    Devra Goldhaber, Callie Lovekin, Aadi McKain, and Mary Rousakis

Lost in the City

    Written by, directed by, and starring:
    Callie Lovekin, Mary Rousakis, Aadi McKain, and Devra Goldhaber

Dinosaur and the Apocalypse

    Written by, directed by, and starring:
    Aadi McKain, Devra Goldhaber, Callie Lovekin, and Mary Rousakis

   

Highlights from the Festival

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