New Plays New Jersey is a project designed to support, nurture, and showcase the new play development community in New Jersey, with an eye towards creating a semi-formal network of New Jersey theatres that will coordinate their work on new plays, support each other’s efforts, and promote the idea that New Jersey plays an important role in New Play Development in the United States.
NPNJ consists of a series of five concert readings of new works by New Jersey writers presented by the New Jersey Theatres who support them. These readings will be presented on an annual basis, during the NJ Theatre Alliance Stages Festival with WTNJ producing the event.
Check back soon for reading dates and times!
Click on each reading for more information.
At a bed and breakfast perched above the Saanich Inlet, a young woman shows up to marry the perfect man, but her plans are thrown off course when a physics professor on the verge of turning forty decides to go back in time to see how her life has gone askew.
Karen JP Howes’ work has been commissioned and produced by professional theaters across the country. She is the recipient of The National Science Play Award, The Maxum Mazumdor Full Length Award, a finalist for the Henley Rose Competition, semi-finalist for Humanitas, winner of dozens of full length and one act play competitions, and she has developed work with The Academy, The Skylight, and Ensemble Theater. She is also the recipient of several grants, and has worked as a teacher, TV writer, novelist and published journalist. She is trained in using theater to help at-risk teens and has developed original plays with several schools and organizations. She holds a BA in Philosophy from William and Mary and an MFA in Creative Writing.
Karen is a 38 year old philosophy professor with a rare chromosomal disorder that makes her look like she’s in her early teens. As a result, she has trouble meeting men – until her alcoholic sister Joanna decides to set her up on a date with the local pedophile. The real problem is, she likes him. Meanwhile, Joanna is navigating her own relationship troubles with a boyfriend who won’t commit. In this dark comedy, two sisters search for love and decide just how much they’re willing to settle for.
Lia Romeo’s plays have been produced or developed at 59E59, Project Y Theatre Company, Abingdon Theatre, the Lark Theatre, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Unicorn Theatre, HotCity Theatre, Orlando Shakes, New Jersey Rep, Forward Flux Productions, and elsewhere. Nominee: ATCA/Steinberg Award, L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Finalist: O’Neill, Heideman Award. BA: Princeton, MFA: Rutgers.
In May 1903, two men camped for three nights in Yosemite. Teddy Roosevelt wanted to “drop politics absolutely.” John Muir wanted to “do some forest good, talking around the fire. The difficulty was both men wanted to do all the talking. John and Teddy in the Mountains is the story of two great men trying to figure out what the hell to do with all this natural American land, even though by the time they asked the question, most of it was already gone.
Ben Clawson is the author of numerous full-length and one-act plays that have had professional productions, readings and workshops in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. and New Orleans. His full-length plays include Spilling Stuff and Breaking Things, Bootstraps, Omnivores, The Dangers of Electric Lighting, and Tilt the Unlit Candle. He has also written several evenings of short comedies including The Virilogy, We’ll See Tomorrow, Cave/Men, Things that Happen in Bars, New.Tricks, and Attention Span of a Fly which reopened the historic Paramount Theater in Asbury Park in Summer 2007. He has written commissioned works for the Luna Stage Company, The Montclair State University School of the Arts, and the Contagious Drama Theatre Workshop.
Why do we have kids? Mike is a loving father, happy with his marriage, his two-year old son and his life in general. But as his wife Carolyn mentions casually that she thinks it’s time they have a second, he begins asking this question. He likes the idea of a playmate for his son, and he wants to make his wife happy. But still: why? Why do we do this to ourselves? And while Carolyn is at first patient, the search for an answer becomes a problem of its own. The question takes Mike and Carolyn back to childhood, to the mysteries and awkwardness of puberty and dating, through the loss of his father.
James is thrilled to be working again on the New Plays NJ Project. His first play Creep won the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 10 Minute play contest. Recent productions include At Liberty Hall, produced by Premiere Stages at Kean University in 2014, 2nd place, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild 2015 Youth Play Competition; and A Great War, a Barrymore-recommended production (directed by his father!) in the 2015 Philly Fringe.
Betsy Barnes, 45, a successful corporate exec, is concerned about her 17 year old son Josh. A high school senior, Josh is doing poorly in school and doesn’t seem to show an interest in anything but graphic novels and video games. Betsy is concerned that he won’t be able to get into a good college, and will end up being “one of life’s losers”, like his father, her ex-husband.
She decides that the only hope is getting him a spot on the high school basketball team. She herself was a basketball star in college — a scholarship got her through U. of Ky — and he must have inherited some of her talent. She sets out to mold the very-resistant Josh into a basketball player. But when illness strikes the family, Betsy learns that she might not be the one with all the answers after all.
Home Court is about what it means to be “successful” in our modern society, and how parents and teens can learn from each other.
Maryanne Melloan Woods is a playwright, screenwriter and educator whose plays have been produced throughout the U. S. As a tv writer/producer, Maryanne has written shows for networks incuding Showtime, NBC, ABC, Fox, the WB, Nickelodeon and ABC Family. Her latest play, The Newscaster’s Mother, was given a staged reading by PTNJ last May.