Palm Beach Dramaworks


Fifth Annual 

New Year/New Plays Festival

January 6-8, 2023 

(Monday, October 3, 2022) West Palm Beach, Fla. – Palm Beach Dramaworks will ring in 2023 with one of its most popular events, the New Year/New Plays Festival, which runs from January 6-8 and features readings of five fascinating plays that are still in development. The fifth annual festival marks the first time since 2020 that the program will be presented live, onstage, in front of an audience at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre. Hosted by The Dramaworkshop, the festival provides an invaluable opportunity for playwrights to hear their words performed by gifted professionals and to receive feedback from viewers. The goal of The Dramaworkshop in general, and the festival in particular, is to cultivate significant new work for PBD’s mainstage and theatres across the country. Since the 2017-18 season, PBD has produced five world premieres that were nurtured in The Dramaworkshop. Carter W. Lewis' The Science of Leaving Omaha, to be performed this season, will be the sixth.

The plays chosen for the 2023 festival are The Messenger by Jenny Connell Davis (3pm Friday, January 6); The Virgin Queen Entertains Her Fool by Michael Hollinger (7pm Friday, January 6); The Islanders by Carey Crim (3pm Saturday, January 7); Dangerous Instruments by Gina Montet (7pm Saturday, January 7); and Crossing Ebenezer Creek, previously known as Untitled Lincoln Play to Drama(in the)works audiences, by Bill Cain (3pm Sunday, January 8). There will also be a Playwrights Forum at 1pm on Saturday, January 7, which is free with a ticket to any play.  

The Messenger was commissioned by Producing Artistic Director William Hayes, who was introduced to Davis’ work a few years back when her play, As I See It, was submitted to The Dramaworkshop and was subsequently part of the 2020 festival. The four other plays were first presented last season by PBD’s Drama(in the)works series, which features readings of plays in process. The most promising readings are selected for the festival by Hayes and The Dramaworkshop Manager Bruce Linser, who take audience feedback, among other factors, into account. All five plays continue to develop under the auspices of The Dramaworkshop leading up to the festival. 

“We are thrilled that the festival is returning to the theatre,” said Linser. “Although the Zoom presentations the past two years were quite effective, there is nothing like artists and audiences sharing the same space. There’s an energy and a sense of community that you just can’t get virtually. Actors feed off audiences, and playwrights get a better sense of what’s working well and what might need some polishing by listening both to the actors and to the audience response.” 

Tickets for the festival are on sale now, and can be purchased online at, or by calling the box office at 561.514.4042 x2. Tickets are $20 per play, or $75 for all five plays by using the code FESTIVAL. Although tickets for the Playwrights Forum are free, reservations are required.

The New Year/New Plays Festival is sponsored by the Maurer Family Foundation. Diane & Mark Perlberg are the executive producers, Marsha & Stephen Rabb are the producers, and Penny Bank and Sandra & Bernie Meyer are the associate producers.

The Plays:  


By Jenny Connell Davis

Friday, January 6 at 3pm

Inspired by the life of Hungarian Holocaust survivor Georgia Gabor, this play in four monologues is a meditation on how our stories can protect or expose us, and on the connections between past, present, and future.


By Michael Hollinger

Friday, January 6 at 7pm

Adalia, Virgin Queen of the Realm and Mother of Us All, is dying, and must name her successor before it’s too late. But she’d rather spend her final hours enjoying the distractions of her Fool. Meanwhile, her niece and nephew have both assembled armies to storm the castle, each hoping to grab the crown as it falls. Clearly, the clock is ticking -- what’s a woman to do?  


By Carey Crim

Saturday, January 7 at 3pm

Anna lives a small and quiet life on Beaver Island, Michigan. She has few friends and likes it that way. Her carefully controlled world is turned upside-down by the arrival of a charming but secretive new neighbor, Dutch. For different reasons, Dutch and Anna have each been thrown away by mainstream society. Can their connection survive the revelations that must inevitably come with true intimacy?   


By Gina Montet

Saturday, January 7 at 7pm

Laura, a young single mother, would do anything for her gifted son, Daniel. Scholarships to elite private schools are the golden ticket for her little genius, but when Daniel's brilliant mind becomes violent, she finds herself battling a broken system. Laura must confront a mother's darkest fears as she desperately races to help her son before he becomes the next horrifying headline.       


By Bill Cain

Sunday, January 8 at 3pm

Set in 1865 on the eve of President Lincoln’s assassination and in 1894 during the Pullman Strike in Chicago, the play explores the ideas of legacy, accountability, and how American history was written – and continues to repeat itself – through man’s obsession with money, power, and who controls the narrative.

The Playwrights: 

JENNY CONNELL DAVIS Plays include Matinicus: A Lighthouse Play, Anton Chekhov is a Tasty SnackGoddess of Mercy, and Scientific Method. Her work has been produced or developed at Chance Theater, the O’Neill, the Playwrights’ Center, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, ACT Seattle, Asolo Repertory Theatre, New York Stage and Film, The Gift Theatre, and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, among others. She currently has film and TV projects in development with Amazon, Iconoclast/Anonymous Content, and Baobab Studios. Jenny has an MFA from UT Austin, is a former member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and an Affiliated Writer with the Playwrights’ Center. She is a proud member of Chicago’s Gift Theatre Company and ScriptWorks in Central Texas, and an inaugural member of the Hyde Park Playwrights Group in Austin, where she currently resides.  

MICHAEL HOLLINGER Plays include Under the Skin, Opus, Ghost-Writer, Red Herring, Incorruptible, An Empty Plate in the Café Du Grand Boeuf, and the musical TouchTones (with composer Robert Maggio), all of which premiered at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company and have variously been produced around the U.S., in New York City, and abroad (London, Paris, Tokyo, Athens, Poland, and Slovenia). Plays premiered elsewhere include Mr. Dickens’ Hat at Chicago’s Northlight Theatre, Hope and Gravity at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre, Cyrano (translated and co-adapted with Aaron Posner) at Washington’s Folger Theatre, Sing the Body Electric at Philadelphia’s Theatre Exile, and the musical A Wonderful Noise (written with Vance Lehmkuhl) at Creede Rep. Awards include an ATCA/Steinberg New Play Citation, two Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards, an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award, four Barrymore Awards, nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner awards, and multiple fellowships from the Independence Foundation and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Michael is a Professor of Theatre at Villanova University, artistic director of Villanova Theatre, and a proud alumnus of New Dramatists. 

CAREY CRIM is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her work has been developed and/or produced at Park Theatre (London), Purple Rose Theatre Company, Rubicon Theatre Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Shakespeare & Company, Barter Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre, The Public Theatre (Maine), Gulfshore Playhouse, Broken Watch Theatre Company, and many more. Her plays Morning After Grace and Distance Learning are published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW). Paint Night was chosen for the 2020 Kilroys List and is scheduled for production in 2023. Her film Wake is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, starring comedian Jo Koy. The Islanders is her newest work. Carey is represented by Mark Orsini at Bret Adams Ltd. and Brandy Rivers at Industry Entertainment; she is developing the one-hour television drama #Blessed with the latter. Carey is a graduate of Northwestern University.

GINA MONTET A graduate of the University of Miami, Gina Montet has been active in South Florida theatre for over 20 years as a writer, director, and actor. Among her many successful works are her environmental education and literacy incentive plays for young audiences, which have been touring Florida since 2000 and continue to entertain and educate tens of thousands of students throughout the state each year. Gina’s plays have been produced and developed by several theatre organizations, including Theatre Lab at FAU, City Theatre, PBD, Fantasy Theatre Factory at Sandrell Rivers Theater, the Playwrights’ Center (Minneapolis), Mangrove Creative Collective, The Greenhouse at Florida International University, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs Playwright Development Program, and the Center for Performing Arts Minneapolis. An experienced educator, Gina shares her talents with several schools and theatre programs in Miami, where she teaches theatre arts and film production.  

BILL CAIN is the author of Equivocation, which premiered at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has since had numerous productions, including Manhattan Theatre Club and the Geffen Playhouse (Ovation Award for Best Play); 9 Circles (Marin Theatre, Sheen Center); How to Write a New Book for the Bible (Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep); Stand-Up Tragedy (Mark Taper Forum, five Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards; Arena Stage, four Helen Hayes Awards; Hartford Stage; Broadway). He has twice received the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. Bill was the creator, writer, and producer of the ABC television series Nothing Sacred, which received a Writers Guild Award and a Peabody Award. He was also the founder of Boston Shakespeare, where he directed the entire Shakespeare canon. Bill is the author of two books available from Orbis Books: The Diary of Jesus Christ and The Book of Cain (out soon). Ojai Playwrights Conference has developed nearly his entire canon of work, and many of his plays are available from Dramatists Play Service.

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Palm Beach Dramaworks is a professional, nonprofit theatre company founded in 2000 and located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Each season, the award-winning company produces five mainstage shows and offers a wide variety of programs for students at the theatre, in schools, and online. Committed to fostering the future of theatre, PBD has become a hub for playwrights in Florida and around the country to nurture their work through initiatives including Drama(in the)works and the annual New Year/New Plays Festival. PBD is a member of Theatre Communications Group, Florida Professional Theatres Association, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, or visit

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Jennifer Sardone-Shiner

Marketing Consultant

(561) 891-7278

Palm Beach Dramaworks - 201 Clematis Street West Palm Beach FL 33401 - 561.514.4042