Palm Beach Dramaworks

Fourth Annual (and Second Virtual)
New Year/New Plays Festival
February 2 - 6


West Palm Beach, Fla.- (Monday, January 24, 2022) - The New Year/New Plays Festival, one of Palm Beach Dramaworks’ most popular annual events, will take place online from February 2 - 6, with readings of five intriguing plays that are still in development. Hosted by The Dramaworkshop, the festival provides an opportunity for playwrights to hear their words performed by gifted professionals and to receive feedback from viewers as they continue to refine their work. 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.
The plays are The Science of Leaving Omaha by Carter W. Lewis (7:30pm Wednesday, February 2), Dark Skinned Pavement by TJ Young (7:30pm Thursday, February 3), Past Midnight: A Visit with Larry and Viv by Donna Hoke (7:30pm Friday, February 4), The Chisera by Paula Cizmar (7:30pm Saturday, February 5), and how it feels to fall from the sky by Dominic Finocchiaro (2pm Sunday, February 6). There is also a Playwrights Forum on Saturday afternoon (noon – 1:30pm).

Each play was first presented 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 Producing Artistic Director William Hayes and The Dramaworkshop Manager Bruce Linser, who take audience feedback, among other factors, into account. The plays continue to develop under the auspices of The Dramaworkshop leading up to the festival. 
“Although the necessary Covid protocols make it impossible for us to stage the festival live in the theatre this year, we’ve come to appreciate the intimacy of the Zoom reading format for new plays: it allows us to simply focus on the words, the stories, and the relationships between the characters,” said Linser.  
“The online platform also enables us to work with a diverse and expanding group of artists – playwrights, directors, and actors – who are new to the PBD family. And when we offered the festival online last season for the first time, we discovered that we were attracting audiences from all over the country.” 
Tickets for the festival are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at [email protected], or by calling the box office
at 561.514.4042 x2. Use ticket promo code NYNP50 for the five-play package discount, or ticket promo code NYNP30 for the two-play package discount. Tickets for the Playwrights Forum are free, but reservations are required.

The executive producers of the New Year/New Plays Festival are Diane & Mark Perlberg. Penny Bank and Marsha & Stephen Rabb are the producers, and Sandra & Bernie Meyer are the associate producers.  
The Plays:  

By Carter W. Lewis
Directed by Margaret M. Ledford
Wednesday, February 2 at 7:30pm
Iris feels trapped in her job at a crematory and wants to get out of Omaha. When Baker breaks into the funeral home to say goodbye to his recently deceased wife, he and Iris find themselves trying to understand the dismantling of their working-class lives before their pasts, and the police, catch up with them.  
Cast: Catherine Boynton, Elijah Moseley, and Jackie Rivera

By TJ Young
Directed by Gabe Moses
Thursday, February 3 at 7:30pm
When Harpo’s daycare business is threatened, she and her husband are introduced to Dwaylan – a man who can save her from being shut down. But what Dwaylan wants in return might be more than Harpo is willing to give, as the memory of the one child she couldn't protect comes flooding back.
Cast: Rita Cole, Rachel D. Pate, Brandon J. Pierce, Zion Preston, and
Charles Reese

By Donna Hoke
Directed by Mark Perlberg
Friday, February 4 at 7:30pm
Summoned by Vivien Leigh's final companion, Jack Merivale, Sir Laurence Olivier rushes to the apartment where his former wife has been recovering from tuberculosis. Viv and Larry's love story was as legendary as their careers – until devastating mental illness tore them apart. Is it too late for them to make amends?  
Cast: William Parry and Maureen Silliman

Saturday, February 5, noon – 1:30pm
By Paula Cizmar
Directed by Emilie Beck
Saturday, February 5, 7:30pm
Set in the Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra in both 1903 and the present, an early environmental writer and a contemporary scientist confront the questions: What actually constitutes “being green?” And how do we advance the rights of one group without harming another?
Cast: Romi Dias, Liza Fernandez, Steven Sean Garland, Jason Grasl, Dinah Lenney, Erin Ruth Walker, and Leianna Weaver
how it feels to fall from the sky
Directed by Bruce Linser
Sunday, February 6, 2pm
After witnessing a woman plummet from the sky, five strangers in New York form a support group to process what they have seen. A melancholic dramedy about loneliness, loss, and the unending possibility of salvation through human connection.  
Cast: Ben Beckley, Pat Bowie, Reynaldo Piniella, Casey Sacco, and Kristina Wong
The Playwrights:
Carter W. Lewis is playwright-in-residence at Washington University. Previously, he was literary manager and playwright-in-residence for the Geva Theatre Center in New York. Carter was also co-founder and resident playwright for Upstart Stage in Berkeley, CA. He is the winner of several national playwriting awards, including the Julie Harris Playwright Award, State Theatre of Austin Best New Play, the Cincinnati Playhouse Rosenthal New Play Prize (1996 and 2001), New Dramatists’ Arnold Weissberger Playwrighting Award, Playwrights’ Center Jerome Residency, and the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Award (2003). He is also a two-time nominee for the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award (now the American Theatre Critics/ Steinberg New Play Award and Citations). His published works include Art Control, No-Preying, A Geometric Digression of the Species, Soft Click of a Switch, An Asian Jockey in Our Midst, and The One-Eyed Man is King. Among his other works are Golf with Alan Shepard, Picasso Does My Maps, Women Who Steal, Men on the Take, American Storm by Integrity Out of Molly Brown, Kid Peculiar, Ordinary Nation, Evie’s Waltz, The Storytelling Ability of a Boy, The Cha Cha of a Camel Spider, The Hummingbird Wars, and With. His plays have been produced from coast to coast. Carter lives in St. Louis with his dog, Vivian.
TJ Young is a Texas-born playwright and dramaturg based in Pittsburgh, where he serves as co-representative for the Dramatists Guild – Pittsburgh Region. His plays include No. 6, Lyon’s Den, Dark Skinned Pavement, Ruby’s Baby Blue, Hell is Empty, Cupid, Sperm Donor Wanted, The Inseparables, and The Frontlines. His 10-minute plays are Before the Fire, Effie, Rock the Cradle, Lilies, Hallmark, and Stuffed. TJ was the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Ken Ludwig Playwriting Scholarship in 2017, and the 2019 Spotlight Artist of Throughline Theatre Company in Pittsburgh. He received his MFA in dramatic writing from Texas State University, is a teaching artist with City Theatre in Pittsburgh, and worked with Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh. TJ is also the National Playwriting Program vice chair for Region 2 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He is a partner at subTEXT Dramaturgy Solutions and with the groundbreaking Entertainment Engineering Collective.  
Donna Hoke is a playwright whose work has been seen in 47 states and on five continents. Her plays include Brilliant Works of Art (Kilroys List), Elevator Girl (O’Neill, Princess Grace, and Austin Film Festival awards finalist), Safe (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical contests), and Teach (Gulfshore New Works Festival winner). Donna has been nominated for the Primus, Blackburn, and Laura Pels prizes, and is a three-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play (Seeds, Sons & Lovers, Once in My Lifetime). She has received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop Hearts of Stone, and, in its final three years, Artvoice named her Buffalo's Best Writer: she was the only woman to ever receive that designation. Donna is also an ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions, a blogger, a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor, and a children's and trivia book author.
Paula Cizmar is an award-winning playwright/librettist whose plays include Antigone X (Cal Rep) and The Vig (Inglewood-90303), an audio play currently airing on season two of Antaeus Theatre Company’s Zip Code Plays. She is part of Climate Change Theatre Action 2021 with her short play The Pageant, and she created the multimedia environmental justice documentary project Sacrifice Zone: Los Angeles, which is entering phase two of development and production. Paula is one of the writers of the site-specific The Hotel Play (Playwrights Arena) and Seven (LA Theatre Works, and 30+ productions in 22 languages). She wrote the libretto for Invisible (LA Opera’s Eurydice Found festival, West Edge Opera’s Snapshot festival), and Firecrackers (commissioned by White Snake Opera), music composed by Guang Yang. Cizmar and Yang also won the Pittsburgh Festival Opera Music That Matters competition for Minerva’s Owl. Paula is one of five inaugural members of Boston Court Playwrights.
Dominic Finocchiaro Full-length plays include angel's share, brother brother, brut, complex, The Found Dog Ribbon Dance, Gold Person, how it feels to fall from the sky, The Lucky Ladies, mother’s son, and Trees in their youth. His writing has been produced and developed around the country, including at Roundabout Theatre Company, The New Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Echo Theater Company, the Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, the Lark Play Development Center, National New Play Network, Portland Center Stage, the Flea Theater, the Kennedy Center, PlayPenn, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Dixon Place, and The Amoralists. MacDowell Fellow and Ucross Fellow. BA from Reed College, MFA from Columbia University. Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at the Juilliard School. 
For more information, visit or contact the box office at (561) 514-4042

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.

Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and select Sundays at 7pm. Matinee performances are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm. Post-performance discussions follow Wednesday matinee and Sunday evening performances. Individual tickets are $79, with specially priced preview tickets at $59 and opening night tickets at $94. Student tickets are available for $15, and Pay Your Age tickets are available for those 18-40. Tickets for educators are half price with proper ID (other restrictions apply). Group rates for 20 or more and subscription packages for four or five plays are also available. Tickets can be purchased through the box office, in person or by phone (561.514.4042 ext 2), and online 24 hours a day at   
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
For press photos of New Year/New Plays Festival

Jennifer Sardone-Shiner
Marketing Consultant
(561) 891-7278