Proudly announcing our 2015 Conference Playwrights. 
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Dear Friends,

This announcement of PlayPenn’s  2015 Conference Playwrights marks the beginning of concentrated work toward supporting the development of six wonderful plays this summer in Philadelphia.  For PlayPenn's staff, a host of artists from around the country and the city of Philadelphia, it also marks the beginning, and in some cases the continuation, of relationships with six talented playwrights. Simultaneously, this moment underscores the end of a long, elaborate evaluation process that involved scores of artists from Philadelphia's professional theatre community along with many leaders in the new play field from across the country.  

There is a thrill in bringing writers from afar with whom, in some cases PlayPenn has history, into proximity with those who are local and yet others who are new to us. Equally exciting is the atmosphere that is created when experience comes into contact with inexperience, youth with age, and geographical, gender and racial diversity coalesce into what always becomes a community defined by the experience of the Conference.  

Collaborative teams are being formed, casting will soon begin.  Ultimately, close to 100 artists will gather in Philadelphia in July for the work and play around which we spend our year preparing. We are all deeply engaged in the logistics of helping to bring six new plays closer to production readiness for theaters in Philadelphia, the region and the nation.  

We hope you’ll make it a priority to join us this summer in Philadelphia for public readings of six plays that we believe will soon find their way onto stages locally, regionally, nationally, and beyond.   


Paul Meshejian
Artistic Director


James Ijames


Gus wants to be a famous visual artist. Vanessa wants to be a working actor. When these two cross paths both of their assumptions about art and being an artist are dismantled. In this modern Frankenstein story, Gus’ desire to be acquired by a major contemporary art museum inspires him to hire a woman to claim his work to meet the museum’s demand for “new perspectives.” This plays spins out of control as it explores issues of race, gender, sexuality, and art.

David Jacobi


Jonas is home alone. His drug addict father has disappeared. Hattie, a former professional wrestler who has fallen on hard times, shows up out of the blue to rob the place. Stuck together in a home in the middle in the New Mexico desert, Jonas and Hattie wrestle with truth, lies, and each other. When the Exterminator arrives, Jonas and Hattie soon realize that the only allies they have may be each other. Widower explores what happens when villains turn into heroes, enemies turn into allies, and loss is transformed into something approximating.

Genne Murphy


Dee is caring for her ailing grandmother, Rita, when she hears a mysterious noise in the abandoned glass factory behind her house. She discovers a lost girl her own age with amnesia – who happens to be 30 feet tall. Dee and the giantess try to figure out who she is, where she came from and their deepening connection to one another. Giantess is a play about complicated bodies, identities, choices, and fate.

Eric Pfeffinger

Human Error

Madelyn and Keenan are NPR-listenin', latte-sippin', blue-state liberals, and Heather and Jim are NRA-cardholdin' truck-drivin' red-state conservatives.  They might never have met if an error at the fertility clinic hadn't led to Madelyn's embryo being accidentally implanted in Heather's uterus.  Now the four of them face spending nine months as the awkwardest of families, trying to find a way to bring this child into the world without killing one another first.  A comedy about tribalism, comfort zones and in vitro technology.

JT Rogers



1993. The world watches the impossible: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, standing together in the White House Rose Garden, signing the first ever peace agreement between Israel and the PLO. How were the negotiations kept secret? Why were they held in a castle in the middle of Norway? And who on earth are these mysterious negotiators? Oslo is a darkly funny, sweeping drama about a band of women and men struggling together—and fighting each other—as they seek to change the world.

Ellen Struve

Prince Max's Trewly Awful Trip to the Desolat Interior

As naturalist Prince Maximilian du Wied and watercolorist Karl Bodmer set out to observe life along the upper Missouri River in 1832, they delve deeper than they intend into the desolate interior that is theheart of America.  This is a wildly inaccurate representation of an actual trip involving people(s), language, guns, art, nature, whiskey, astronomy, coffee and talking ghost bears.

2015 Finalists

We also congratulate the following playwrights who were among our 2015 Conference finalists:

Colony Collapse by Stefanie Zadravec

Good Day by Diana Lynn Small

Good Men Wanted by Kevin Armento

Let Me Count the Ways by Martín Zimmerman

Queen by Madhuri Shekar

Stutter by Philip Dawkins

The Arsonists by Jacqueline Goldfinger

The Great Barrier by Mat Smart

This service continues to reach playwrights across the country who are looking for an experienced eye to assist them on a work in progress. You can find information about the process and rave reviews from writers on our website. 

This service offers the opportunity for playwrights working on grant, fellowship, and graduate school applications to receive personalized feedback on application material from award winning playwright and New Dramatists resident, Stefanie Zadravec.  Find more information on our website.

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PlayPenn's work in service to new plays, playwrights, and the American theatre is only possible through the generosity of our donors. Please partner with us by making a tax-deductible contribution in support of our artists today. Explore ways to give.

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PlayPenn is an artist-driven organization dedicated to improving the way in which new plays are developed. Employing an ever-evolving process, PlayPenn creates a relaxed tension within which playwrights can engage in risk-taking, boundary-pushing work free from the pressures of commercial consideration. Read more about our mission and history

Questions? Contact: info@playpenn.org

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