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New Play Festival

2023 New Play Fest Season

Join us for the 28th season of the Tennessee Stage Company New Play Festival! Running through the month of March, our festival this year includes three digital table readings followed by a talkback session with the playwright, cast, and crew.

Check out the Live tab on our Facebook page @TNStageCo for another way to catch these wonderful broadcasts.

Laws of the Universe:

  • Friday March 3rd, 7:30 pm EST Laws of the Universe by Suzanne Trauth

A second marriage, family secrets, and a looming situation at work threatens to bring everything out into the open. Will Stella’s future be a black hole, or a whole new galaxy

Cuba Libre:

  • Friday March 10th, 7:30 pm EST Cuba Libre by Jeanette Brown 

It’s the late 1950’s and Cuba is on the brink of a revolution but still a playground for the American rich and famous. Imagine a night with Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Hemingway having a drink at the bar…

A Lovely Day To Kill Your Spouse

  • Friday March 17th, 7:30 pm EST A Lovely Day to Kill Your Spouse by Lindsey Brown

Have you ever seen a Rom-Com, but the Romance is the backstabby kind, and the Comedy is the Dark kind? Yeaahhh…This is like that.

“A Lovely Day To Kill Your Spouse” by Lindsey Brown shoves off as a romantic boat ride for the wealthy couple, Graham and Gloria… but we soon realize a storm is brewing below the surface. Cue the knives, sharks, family relations, blood, poison, theft, lies, stilettos, and yachts– and you’ve got a perfectly lovely day….for murder.

Previous Events in the 2023 Festival:

Full Production: Amazing Graces by Lea McMahan

January 27th-February 12th, 2023 | Theatre Knoxville Downtown | Tickets: $18 |

First produced in March 2020, the play was forced to close its opening weekend due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Join us as we bring back this thrilling production that manages to be touching and humorous, all while keeping you on the edge of your seat.

It’s a weekend getaway in a 2-bedroom rental cabin in the Smoky Mountains, and the five Grace cousins have already had enough laughter, a little too much wine, a few too many snarky comments, and a lifetime of petty family grievances– and it’s only Friday. Now the lights are out, everyone is asleep, and there’s a knock on the door– and that’s just intermission. When outside violence threatens to tear open the festering wounds of the past, one family must come to heed their Grandmother’s greatest lesson:
“…one of these days, you’re going to figure out that family is the most important thing in this old life.”

THE CAST (In order of appearance)

Ruby: Susan Jackson

Melissa: Stephanie Quist
Janet: Donna Wood
Lillian: Deanna Surber
Finley: Mary Alice Scott
Mandy Jo: Ashley Guthrie-Baker

Jesse: Casey Cain
Brad: Gray Casterline


Director: Allison Crye
Co-Director: Leigh Hruby Assistant Stage Managers:
Madison Mansouri | Colette Quist Leigh Hruby | Gray Casterline Stage Management & Technical Direction: H. Caitlin Corbitt Producers:
Tom Parkhill | Deanna Surber | H. Caitlin Corbitt
Poster Art: Arri Lemons

Staged Reading: High Ground by Greg Congleton

February 4th, 2023 | 2 pm EST | Theatre Knoxville Downtown | Free Admission


Robert: Kevin Collins
Lucy: Raine Palmer
Val: Liz Burling
Frank: Jackson Ahern
James: Kensey Johnson
Grace: Nancy Duckles
Dr. Sam Bradshaw: Barry Wallace


Director: Laura Beth Wells
Assistant Director: Madison Mansouri
Stage Manager: Madison Mansouri
Board Operator: H. Caitlin Corbitt

Tennessee Stage Company’s New Play Festival Overview

Our Festival takes place in 4 parts:

Play Selection

Each year, we accept play submissions for our festival starting in the winter of the following year. A group of vetted volunteers reads, rates, and comments on the submissions. From these submissions, 3 to 5 scripts are chosen to move forward to the festival, beginning with the public table readings/digital table readings.

Our submission process has undergone quite the overhaul in recent years. Following the smashing success of our nationwide cast of 30+ performers over 5 different digital productions, our play submissions went from perhaps 30 a year to over 200. While we are estatic at receiving so many wonderful scripts, our selection committee is completely volunteer. If you are interested in reading new scripts, please email or for more information.

At this current time, play submissions are closed for 2023. Submissions for the 2024 season will open in the second quarter of the year.

Table Readings

Each year, we choose from the best scripts submitted to us by writers from across the country. We read the selected plays at public table readings and include a discussion session with the audience, actors, director and the playwright, if available. Since Spring of 2021, we have utilized online tools such as Zoom, live broadcasting on social media, and Webinars On Demand to reach a wider audience for these readings.

Stage Readings

The writers then have the chance to use the feedback to improve their plays. We select promising new scripts to bring back as staged readings. These productions are given free to the audience and include a discussion session with the audience, actors, director and the playwright, if available

Full Productions

Finally, the staged readings then have the chance to become full productions in future festivals. Each year, produce one or more full productions depending on available cast, venue space, and scripts available.

And here is a list of our World Premieres

Thank you to our partners and sponsors

This season’s projects are being supported in whole or in part by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee, the City of Knoxville, and Knox County by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Arts & Culture Alliance.

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