Theatre NOVA announces its Michigan Playwrights Festival


Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s professional theatre with an exclusive focus on new plays and playwrights, presents their semi-annual Michigan Playwrights Festival, now in its third year. Six new plays by Michigan playwrights will be presented in the fall, and an additional five plays and playwrights will be given readings next summer.

Theatre NOVA focuses on new plays and new playwrights and is dedicated to working with new and local playwrights to help them develop their craft and to offer brand new plays for audiences. The theatre created the Michigan Playwrights Festival to nurture Michigan playwrights and to develop full-length plays for future seasons.

They recently produced “Clutter,” an original script by Michigan playwright Brian Cox, as a result of its staged reading at a previous festival. “Clutter” was lauded by audiences and critics and earned two Wilde Award awards, including Best New Script. In the previous year, “Irrational” by R. MacKenzie Lewis and David Wells was given a full production and also received a Wilde award for Best New Script. Other plays that began as staged readings at Theatre NOVA and have gone on to full productions are “Katherine” by Kim Carney, “Spin” by Emilio Rodriguez, and “Bird” by Kristin Hanratty. “Resisting” by David Wells and “Mrs. Fifty Bakes a Pie” by Linda Ramsay-Detherage also benefitted from readings at a Michigan Playwrights Festival and will have their world premieres in the current Theatre NOVA season.

Schedule of the Fall Michigan Playwrights Festival:

“Same” by Ron Riekki, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 at 8:00 pm
When a professor for a course in Islam in the Public Sphere misses a class session, the students in the course begin questioning the truths of their own political beliefs. In their discussion, the Great Lakes emerges as the central narrative to this confusing new Trumped-up world. Directed by Emilio Rodriguez.

“Chasing Clouds” by Michael Herman, Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 8:00 pm
In a world where silver linings are collected and sold, two elderly “cloud farmers” struggle to hold on to their farm and their relationship as their monthly deadline approaches. But when Earl Cooper falls victim to a tragic accident, this month might be their last. Directed by D. B. Schroeder.

“Walls” by Jill Halpern, Thursday, Oct. 12 at 8:00 pm
Emotional, cultural and physical walls begin to crumble as two very different women room together behind a Zen retreat’s tall front wall. From a pilgrimage to “red voter country,” a father-daughter homecoming, a surprise visit from an undocumented immigrant boy, and a blossoming relationship emerges a story of what’s possible when we dare to venture beyond our walls into the realm of our shared humanity. Directed by Brian Cox.

“The After-Party” by Kim Carney, Friday, Oct. 13 at 8:00 pm
Yvette is a sexy 50-something. Allen is a geeky 30-something. When she brings him home after the office Christmas party, he gets way more than he ever hoped (or bargained) for. Directed by Carrie Sayer.

“Mama’s Moon Machine” by Linda Ramsay-Detherage, Saturday, Oct. 14 at 8:00 pm
It’s September 11, 2001 and 99-year-old Clementine Pascal is dying in a New York City hospital. As she descends deeper into unconsciousness, her reality blurs, and she is brought back to her home in Queens in the year 1921 to relive the day she accidentally dropped a flowerpot on her mother’s head and changed everything. Directed by Adriane Galea.

“RETCON or Actually It’s a Play About Ethics in Superhero Journalism” by Joe Zarrow, Sunday, Oct. 15 at 2:00 pm
A beloved comic book superheroine is finally getting her own feature film, but some fans are very unhappy with the casting. A universe-hopping play about geek culture, race, and keeping your story straight. Directed by Krista Schafer Ewbank.

Theatre NOVA’s summer festival July 25-29, 2018, will feature five more plays by Michigan playwrights. It will include “Sex and Innocence” by Emilio Rodriguez, “Dirt” by Kristin Andrea Hanratty, “Hollywood Lies” by Jackie Sue Salter, “Multiple Family Dwelling” by James Hindman, and “Dirty Glass” by Micealaya Moses, with specific days and times to be announced at a later date.

The Fall Michigan Playwrights Festival will run October 10-15, 2017 at Theatre NOVA (410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor), a downtown performance space. Show times are 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Theatre NOVA features free parking for patrons, as well as quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops.

Tickets are $10 for each reading, while festival passes good for all six readings are $35. Theatre NOVA continues its commitment to make theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them for all readings. For tickets or more info, visit, call 734-635-8450 (Tuesdays through Fridays from noon until 3pm), or buy them in person at the box office one hour before show time.

Theatre NOVA is Ann Arbor’s resident professional theatre company. Its mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and new playwrights in a diverse and expanding audience, and to provide resources and outlets for playwrights to develop their craft, by importing, exporting, and developing new plays and playwrights.



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