Audience: You Are Invited


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From September through July, New Dramatists hosts new play readings, musical readings, gatherings with playwrights, and presentations of culminating work from weeklong writer-driven Creativity Fund projects. Highlights of our season calendar include the New Playwright Welcome every September, the PlayTime new play development studio each December, the Composer-Librettist Studio in late winter, and the After Seven Festival for outgoing writers each June. Check back here at our website for real-time updates on what is happening in the building and please join our mailing list to receive our monthly calendar listing of events.

See what is coming up at New Dramatists on our Events page.




Annual Events

New Playwright Welcome


We celebrate each writer's admission into residency here at New Dramatists with the New Playwright Welcome. This rite of passage is an evening of excerpts from each of their plays and a tribute to each new writer (usually given by a fellow New Dramatists playwright). The writers are also given a welcome grant that is underwritten by the Laura Pels Foundation in honor of New Dramatists board member George C. Wolfe.



PlayTime is a two-week long in-house retreat for five New Dramatists resident playwrights to work intensely with a company of collaborators on a new play. At the conclusion of the two-weeks audiences are invited to view public readings of all or some of the plays prior to a closed response session with the artistic company that is moderated by each individual playwright.

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Composer-Librettist Studio


The annual Composer-Librettist Studio, in partnership with Nautilus Music-Theater, brings together five New Dramatists residents with five composers and five performers to develop brand-new works of musical theatre while exploring the form and learning about collaboration. At the end of the sixteen-day Studio, each playwright has worked with each composer on a project and the resulting 25 new music-theatre pieces are performed for an audience.

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After Seven Festival


The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, in honor of Barbara Barondess MacLean, underwrites New Dramatists’ yearly festival of readings by those playwrights completing their seven-year residencies. Each day of the festival, we mark the playwrights passages into alumni status with a public tributes, readings, and receptions. This celebration is attended by a supportive community of fellow New Dramatists writers, collaborating artists, and the public.


Special Events

Nocturnal Commissions


Nocturnal Commissions is a marathon evening of instant theatre, New Dramatists style. First, the opportunity to commission new plays by New Dramatists resident and alumni playwrights is auctioned to the highest bidder; second, the writer and their winning bidder meet for a lightning-fast commission; third, each writer has about 20 minutes to create a new short theatre piece, monologue, or song; fourth, the plays are rehearsed upstairs while the audience has dinner downstairs; and last, all the evening’s commissioned pieces are presented by a first-rate company of actors and directors.

Annual Spring Luncheon


Each spring, New Dramatists hosts a gala luncheon to salute an individual who has made an outstanding artistic contribution to the American theatre, while simultaneously raising funds to support the ongoing work of the organization. For over fifty years, the New Dramatists Spring Luncheon has distinguished itself from similar events by establishing a tradition of great entertainment and collegiality among theatre artists and supporters from Broadway to the beltway. The event is held at the Marriott Marquis and is packed by generations of stars and playwrights as well as those of us who love and honor them. Past luncheon honorees have included Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Neil Simon, Stephen Sondheim, Gwen Verdon, August Wilson, Terrence McNally, Arthur Miller, George C. Wolfe, Chita Rivera, Edward Albee, Harvey Fierstein, and Horton Foote.