2018-2019 Play Lab

Staged readings of new plays

Fresh from our playwright/dramaturg/director incubator program

Recommended for adults & teens

Tickets or reservations not required


Saturday, February 23 | 2:00 pm


Written by Ernesta Jefferson

Directed by Terrence Spivey

Dramaturgy by David Todd

Synopsis: Thiz Girlz Lyfe tells the story of Nasheema Morgan, an exotic dancer in present-day Cleveland, Ohio. Nasheema appears to have everything she needs: a house, a handsome man, and a loving daughter. But beneath that facade, things are spiraling out of control. Nasheema’s husband expresses his anger with violence and belittling. The party scene that she turns to puts her daughter at greater risk. Nasheema can only deal with so much before she must find a way out.

Wednesday, March 27 | 7:00 pm

The Demon on the Mountaintop

Written by Robert M.K. Daniels

Directed by Tyson Douglas Rand

Dramaturgy by Greg A. Smith

Synopsis: The Demon on the Mountaintop is a contemporary fairy tale for adults. The town of Valleytop sits at the foot of a mountain, above which a Demon resides. The Demon’s only pleasure is derived from cursing the town below. Every generation, the people of Valleytop send up a young woman…not so the Demon will stop, but so he’ll curse them less than he otherwise would. Now, a young woman named Lydia refuses to become a sacrifice, and puts her town as well as the nearby Mountainbottom at risk. Lydia must negotiate not only with a Demon, but with a ‘hero’ named Billy Ray who’s sent by Mountainbottom to save the day. Lydia must stop the Demon, end the curse, and fend off Billy Ray’s advances.

Friday, April 5 | 7:00 pm

The Cardinal

Written by Caroline Knecht

Directed by Erik Andrews

Dramaturgy by Lenora Inez Brown

Synopsis: The Cardinal is about a holiday dinner gone awry. It’s a story of legends, legacies, and the complicated bonds that tie family members together (or don’t). The entirety of the play takes place in four rooms of one house: the dining room, the front porch, the bathroom, and the basement. All scenes transpire on Thanksgiving 2016 in Ohio.