Boston University New Play Initiative (NPI)

The BU New Play Initiative (NPI) expresses our commitment to the School’s participation in the development of new work. This special initiative provides playwrights, directors, designers, and actors with a variety of developmental options to support the collaborative creation of new work for the theatre. Students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists are given the opportunity to utilize the creativity of the rehearsal room to develop their plays, which are then presented through workshop productions. But the life of these new plays doesn’t end on the BU stages. Many New Play Initiative productions are often later fully produced by member companies of our Professional Theatre Initiative.

New Works Festival

Curated by School of Theatre faculty member Kirsten Greenidge, the annual New Works Festival features readings from the work of emerging School of Theatre playwrights.

2019

Join the School of Theatre for our 3rd New Works Festival where six new works will be presented in workshop-style script-in-hand readings!

“Jewels 1” Miller Studio Theatre 352
March 21-24, 2019

FABRIC
By Jo Cosio Mercado (CFA’21)
Directed by Kate Bergstrom

From the playwright: “In an unnamed contemporary city that is not unlike New York stands Verona, a lone ballroom. This grand cathedral of the gays hosts extravagant competitions where two households, much alike in dignity, throw shade, bitchslap, and vogue the house down to snatch the crown. Verona provides a feisty haven for otherwise disenfranchised queer people of color to celebrate themselves. But when two foreign faces step up to walk and stake their claim in the ballroom scene, Verona’s inhabitants are forced to tackle questions of inheritance, appropriation, otherness, and the safety of the fabric of their community.”

Reading Date Thursday, March 21 @7:30 PM

AMPUTEES
By Quentin Nguyen-Duy (CFA’20)
Directed by Michael Hisamoto (CFA’16)

From the playwright: “Three Asian boys in a house. No shoes. Mom lives somewhere else. One boy is trying to write a play about his dad. Chinese New Year is coming up. Exploring generational trauma in relation to the Vietnam war — with humor. And how our relationships to ourselves and our families are impacted by events that happened to our ancestors. Also lookin’ at the commonality of mental illnesses among the descendants of war refugees — again, with an eye towards the the funny side of things.”

Reading Date Friday, March 22 @7:30PM

ANA UNANG PINA AT KAALAMANG-BAYAN
By Michael A.  Rosegrant (CFA’21)
Directed by Sarah Shin (CFA’18)

From the playwright: ” ‘A mixed-performance by a mixed performer’. The play’s title in English is The First Pineapple and Other Folktales, and it employs different mediums/forms of storytelling (poetry, food, music, rap, drag show, puppetry, and of course, theatre) to tell stories of identity, family, and history.”

Reading Date Saturday, March 23 @ 2PM

ON ONE SMALL FLOWER
By Jackie Collet (CFA’19)
Directed by Sarah Shin (CFA’19)

From the playwright: “A young woman must face her past mistakes and audience is asked to help her determine her fate.”

Reading Date Saturday, March 23 @ 7:30 PM

are you ready to smash white things?
By Ireon Roach (CFA’21)
Directed by Mackenzie Cala (CFA’18)

From the playwright: “A Memory play about another mad woman locked away in an attic. As her Father the Doctor’s party wages on downstairs we explore the inner-workings of her blood. We are introduced to Esther and her hyper-poetic reality’s displacement at The Party.”

Reading Date Sunday, March 24 @Noon

SUNJATA
By Khadija Bangoura (CFA’21)
Directed by Ingrid Oslund
Consultant: Michael Ofori (CFA’18)

From the playwright: A reimagining of an African folktale.

Reading Date Sunday, March 24 @ 3 PM

Festival Dramaturg: Kristin Leahey
Creative Producer: Grace Georgiadi (CFA ’19)

2018

The Month of April by Lily Hargis (CFA’18)
Panties by Molly Greville (CFA’18)
Not ( ) Enough by Isabella Pelz (CFA’18)
Tritone Paradox by Sam Noble (CFA’19)
The Hunchback of Camden Maine by Annalise Cain (CFA’18)

2017

If You Give A Kid A Sucker by Annalise Cain (CFA’18)
Downtown by Kyle Chua (CFA’18)
Nasty Puss: A Collection of Work by Rachel Lager (CFA’17)
In Love and War by Dev Blair (CFA’19)

Productions and Production History

The School of Theatre strives to produce a full production of at least one world premiere play each season, written by an undergraduate student or recent alum. Every other year, we partner with the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and BU’s MFA Playwriting program to co-produce the thesis work of the graduating cohort of MFA Playwriting students, directed by current MFA Directing students, in an exciting collaboration. See our full history, below: