New Year/New Plays Festival coming to Palm Beach Dramaworks

Start the new year off with a first look at new plays! Palm Beach Dramaworks is hosting the first-ever New Year/New Plays Festival over the weekend of January 4-6, when five plays will receive readings on PBD’s mainstage. Saturday’s program will also include a discussion, “Regional Theatre and the Development of New American Plays,” featuring panelists of industry professionals from major organizations.

“I am very excited about the Festival and I hope audiences will share my enthusiasm for this invaluable event,” said PBD Producing Artistic Director William Hayes. “From the time this company was founded, one of my goals was for PBD to be an incubator of new plays and a producer of world premieres. I knew that could only happen after we were well-established and thriving, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, in the fall of 2014, we launched The Dramaworkshop. We made the call for submissions, and the response from playwrights around the country was inspiring. The number of submissions has grown every year, underscoring the need for The Dramaworkshop and the New Year/New Plays Festival. Simply put, new work is vital to the future of theatre.”

The Plays:

Red, White, Black and Blue by Michael McKeever
A national tragedy sets the stage as Lenora Waters finds herself about to become the first black female president of the United States amid cut-throat opposition and demons from her family’s past. Part political thriller, part jet-black satire, Red, White, Black and Blue examines the upside-down world of American politics and one woman’s struggle to secure her place at the top, without losing her humanity.

Drift by William Francis Hoffman
A crumbling family history. An orphaned piano prodigy left to wander the streets alone. His older brothers at violent ends over competing tales about their father’s tragic death. Set in 1957 Chicago, in the lofted annex of a forgotten church and on the steel girders of a skyscraper under construction, Drift offers a concussive and heart-wrenching glimpse of a family trying desperately to uncover who they are.

With by Carter W. Lewis
Minnie and Clifford devolve into a world of hilarious, but ultimately heartbreaking, minutiae as they navigate a blizzard, a dead son, a rat in the kitchen, and a half-decorated Christmas tree, hoping to find the last strains of dignity in their final days together. With delves into the contempt and comfort of two lives devoted to each other and entwined forever.

The Captives by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich
A gripping and darkly comic story of a death-row inmate and the closeted artist who’s painting his last meal. But he wants a stay of execution — not a final meal — setting in motion a social media frenzy and a series of life-altering events for the painter, the prison warden, and the man about to die. The Captives rattles the cages we find ourselves in and unflinchingly asks who or what is holding us there.

Ordinary Americans by Joseph McDonough
In the early 1950s, Gertrude Berg and Philip Loeb, the pioneering stars of television’s groundbreaking sitcom, The Goldbergs , heroically struggle to save their show, their careers, and their friendship in the face of McCarthyism, anti-Semitism, and the political climate of the country. Based on actual events,Ordinary Americans reveals the double-edged sword between speaking out and staying silent.

The Schedule:

Friday, January 4*
3pm – Red, White, Black and Blue by Michael McKeever
5pm – Dinner break
7pm – Drift by William Francis Hoffman

Saturday, January 5*
1pm – Panel Discussion: “Regional Theatre and the Development of New American Plays”**
3pm – With by Carter W. Lewis
5pm – Dinner break
7pm – The Captives by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich

Sunday, January 6
12:30pm – Lunch with the artists at Leila Restaurant***
3pm – Ordinary Americans by Joseph McDonough
6pm – Champagne Toast**


$50 – All three days * $25 – All day $15 – Per play
**The panel discussion and champagne toast are free with a ticket to any play
***$25 – Lunch at Leila

For more information, visit, or contact the Palm Beach Dramaworks box office at (561) 514-40