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Confluence New Play Festival

Mar 18 — Mar 27, 2022
3333 Washington

The Festival launched the Confluence Regional Writers Project in 2018 to invest in promising and underrepresented writers in the bi-state area – and to help elevate their unique voices into the national conversation. The yearlong program offers playwrights a safe space to take risks on a new work via a generous stipend, guided mentorship and a supportive cohort of fellow playwrights.

The second Confluence New Play Festival took place over two weekends (March 18-20 & 25-26) and included six staged readings from the 2020 and 2021 playwright cohorts and a writing workshop.

THE PLAYS

Brontë Sister House Party by Courtney Bailey (St. Louis, MO)
The Brontë sisters — Charlotte, Emily, and Anne — of Victorian literary fame are trapped in a time loop where they are doomed to throw a fabulous house party every night for eternity. Directed by Lucy Cashion

See a full production at Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble in August.


Can’t Unsee by Elizabeth Archer (Chicago, IL)
Having failed to “make it” as an artist in NYC, Tiffany moves back in with her mother, Sharon, who lost her job and her boyfriend. Tiffany finds work as a Contract Content Moderator for Facebook and soon delves deeper into the chaos and despair of life both on- and off-line. Meanwhile, Sharon becomes increasingly shut-in, only watching “her YouTube programs” and gearing up for the coming end-times war. Directed by Sam Hayes.


FEEBLEMINDED by Melda Beaty (Chicago, IL)
On a sweltering southern day in 1965, North Carolina’s Eugenics Board played God. After a brutal rape, they deemed sixteen-year-old Laine feebleminded and unfit to bear anymore children for the “good of society.” She, and a disproportionate number of poor, black girls and women, suffered coerced sterilizations because the law of the land said so, but when The Spirits of Laine’s ancestors appear, North Carolina learns that they played God with the wrong one. Directed by Tiffany Fulson


Feminine Energy by Myah Gary (Carbondale, IL)
In this comedy, three long-time friends navigate their fertility, their relationships, and their womanhood. Directed by Jacqueline Thompson


HOMES by Delaney Piggins (St. Louis, MO)
HOMES is a story about the rebellion against climate inaction. Based on the long-ago buried ghost town of Singapore, Michigan, HOMES asks how modern young people reconcile with the generations before them to face the climate crisis with a little help from the mythological and natural world. Directed by Jess Shoemaker


Tolstoy’s Resurrection by Rob Maesaka (St. Louis, MO)
As the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy lies dying in a remote railway station in Astopovo, his wife of almost 50 years is forbidden to sit by his side. Before he passes and history is written, Sonya Tolstoy takes advantage of one final opportunity to set the record straight. Directed by Adam Flores.

Read the virtual playbill.

MEET THE NEXT COHORT

In February, three new playwrights were selected to take part in the 2022-2023 Confluence Regional Writers Project Learn more about each of the candidates and the year-long program here.

  • e.k. Doolin (Edwardsville, IL)
  • Hanna Kime (Chicago, IL)
  • Novid Parsi (St. Louis, MO)

The inaugural Confluence Regional Writers Project was generously funded by Sondra & Dorsey Ellis.

Special Thanks to Confluence Program Director

Nancy Bell