Flyer Guide: TheatreSquared’s New Play Festival

Want to check out some new plays from four emerging playwrights from the region? Are you an emerging playwright? Do you like cats? Want to win $1000?

Ignore the cats thing.

TheatreSquared’s New Play Festival is back for its second year next week at Nadine Baum Studios in Fayetteville next weekend, and for just $25 (a festival pass), you can see four new plays by emerging playwrights, hear readings from new work by five young playwrights, and you could watch or compete in a 24-hour play-off competition where teams of five will write, direct, rehearse, and perform ten minute plays in a span of 24 hours for a $1000 prize.

There will be very few (if any) cats there. Sorry.

The three-day festival starts on May 21 and runs through the 23rd at Nadine Baum Studios here in Fayetteville.

Here’s what we know:

The Plays

The new play lineup includes: The Fall of the House by Robert Ford; Dream Date by Dan Borengasser; Tell Martha Not to Moan by Clinnesha D. Sibley; and, in a new revision, Sundown Town, a play with music in two acts by Kevin D. Cohea.

Dream Date, by Dan Borengasser, begins with a man and a woman at a table on an empty stage – but who are they, what do they want, and what’s their relationship? In this clever and delightfully confusing new comedy, the characters know just as much about their given circumstances as the audience. Directed by T2 co-founder Morgan Hicks and performed at 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 21.

The Fall of the House, an unpublished work by Robert Ford, has been in development for over a decade and was recently produced by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. This time- and mind-bending play brings together magic, betrayal, forbidden love, tragic accidents, secret documents and familial bonds spanning from the last years of Edgar Allan Poe to the present. Directed by T2 Associate Artistic Director Amy Herzberg and performed at 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 21.

Tell Martha Not to Moan, by Clinnesha D. Sibley, takes place in a family home in Detroit, 2007. As the presidential election campaign plays out on the national stage and the 40th Commemoration of the Detroit Riot is marked, a series of flashbacks brings us back to a different era. With compelling dialogue and complex relationships, Tell Martha Not to Moan is a glimpse into the changing world as viewed from one African American home. Directed by Janet Cleveland, winner of the Detroit Free Press Best Director Award, and performed at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 22.

Sundown Town, by Kevin D. Cohea, returns to the Arkansas New Play Fest for a second year of continued development. Commissioned by TheatreSquared, the play is the story of a small town in Arkansas in 1918 where tourists and churchgoers are welcome, but African Americans must leave before dark. An involving and energetic theatrical fable, Sundown Town interweaves more than a dozen traditional gospel and bluegrass songs with rich storytelling. Directed by Kevin Christopher Fox (“Sterling” in TheatreSquared’s Mauritius, 2010) and performed at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, May 22.

The Arkansas Young Playwrights Showcase

As part of Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere Festival and in partnership with the University of Arkansas Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative, TheatreSquared presents, for the second year, the Arkansas Young Playwrights Showcase. Students from across the region have been invited to submit scripts exploring the importance of the natural world and sustainability in our daily lives. Five will be selected for public readings at the Arkansas New Play Fest. Public readings will take place at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 22.

24-Hour Play-Off

Five people. One prop. One line. 24-Hours. Go!

TheatreSquared is partnering with Fayetteville-based Ceramic Cow Productions to present the fourth Northwest Arkansas 24-Hour Play-Off. Teams of five artists will be given a prop, and an opening line to begin, and will write, rehearse, and perform a new ten-minute play within the space of 24 hours.

Artists from throughout the region are invited to participate by completing an application at The public performance and judging will take place at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, May 23, and the winner will receive a $1,000 prize.

The Schedule

Friday, May 21
5:15 p.m. – Opening Reception
6:00 p.m. – Dream Date by Dan Borengasser
8:00 p.m. – The Fall of the House by Robert Ford

Saturday, May 22
2:00 p.m. – Arkansas Young Playwrights Showcase
6:00 p.m. – Tell Martha Not to Moan by Clinnesha Dillon Sibley
8:00 p.m. – Sundown Town by Kevin D. Cohea

Sunday, May 23
6:00 p.m. – The 24 Hour Play-Off (Performances & Judging)


Tickets are $7 (one staged reading performance), $10 (24 Hour Play-Off), and $25 (Festival Pass), and are available at