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2018 Detroit New Works Festival Finalists Announced!

Congratulations to the five playwrights who will be joining us in Detroit this spring!

The DNWF has been rescheduled one weekend earlier, to April 27-28!

The 2018 DNWF Semifinalists are:

Gifted and Talented
by Sonya Sobieski
New York, NY

Middle-class mom Shana is thrilled that her daughter tested into the most prestigious public school in the city... until she joins the PTA. Gifted and Talented is the behind-the-scenes struggle of a public school to survive shrinking government funding--as well as the large personalities of its increasingly indispensable volunteers.

About the playwright: 

MFA from Brooklyn College. Her full-length comedy, Perils of Human Discourse, premiered at Buffalo, NY’s Alleyway Theatre in 2016 and was featured in Centenary Stage Company’s 2016 Women Playwrights Festival. Affiliated artist with Obie Award-winning New Georges, who commissioned and premiered Commedia dell Smartass, subsequently produced by Serious Play! in Northampton, MA and published by indie theater now. In development: Love Hate Potion No. 9 (semifinalist, 2016 Inkslinger Playwriting Competition) and The Unfortunate Squirrel (a musical; readings produced by Woodshed Collective and The Flying Carpet Theater Company). Other NYC: one-acts and one-act musicals produced by EBE Ensemble, Clubbed Thumb, Vital Theatre, and Prospect Theater. Published in Smith & Kraus’s The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2013 and The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2016. Sonya works as the New Play Advocate for New Georges and has taught playwriting/dramaturgy at Hunter College and the New York University School of Professional Studies. BA from Smith College.
The Growing Stone
by Peter Snoad
Jamaica Plain, MA

Matt Barnett harbors a dark family secret from his childhood. Returning home years later when his mother is dying, Matt seeks truth and healing – and finds a future he never expected. A play about love, pain, redemption, loyalty, aboriginal wisdom, and hope in the stars.

About the playwright

My work as a playwright draws on my experience of two cultures: the U.K., where I was born and raised, and the U.S., where I have lived since 1977 (I’m a dual citizen.) My plays have been staged throughout the U.S., and in Canada, the U.K., Australia and Singapore. Honors include: The Stanley Drama Award and the Arthur W. Stone New Play Award; nominations for Best New Play (Small Stage) by the Independent Reviewers of New England and 2015 Best New Work by ArtsImpulse; and playwriting fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I have twice won the New Play Festival of Centre Stage–South Carolina. From 2013-2015, I was Visiting Playwright at Hibernian Hall, a multicultural performing arts and culture center in Roxbury, MA, that produced four of my full-length plays. I’m a proud member of The Dramatists Guild of America.
by Kristian O'Hare
San Francisco, CA

Under the influence of nettle-infused cocktails, two men, celebrating their 10th anniversary, embark on a rousing journey through the city of San Francisco. From foraged haute cuisine to bathhouse poetry to hipster threesomes, these men must confront their true feelings about love and loyalty in a city (and within a culture) that bucks heteronormative culture, by celebrating alternatives to traditional love and commitment.

About the playwright

Kristian O’Hare earned his Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in playwriting at Western Michigan University in 2009. He received his Masters degree in English with an emphasis in playwriting from Boston University, where he worked with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. 

His plays have been produced or developed by the Whole Art Theatre (Kalamazoo), Ruckus Theatre (Chicago), Ringwald Theatre (Detroit), The Dramatists Guild Footlights Series (San Francisco), Ivy Theatre Company (NYC), Great Plains Theatre Conference (Omaha), Sanguine Theatre Company (NYC), Headlands Center of the Arts (Sausalito), and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. His plays have also been semifinalists at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference (2010 and 2012), Bay Area Playwrights Festival (2010), and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference (2013). Critically acclaimed scripts include "The Gay American" (Ruckus Theatre, Chicago) and "Like Poetry" (New York International Fringe Festival), which was called "a highly promising production...beautifully structured, with an impressive blend of poignancy and humor" by the New York Times.
by Rachel Bublitz
Salt Lake City, UT

Lucy, a freshman in college, is torn between her excitement about the new people in her life and having to leave her old life and loves behind. As she struggles to find a balance between the new and the old, a sexual encounter leaves her confused and concerned that she may have been a victim of rape. The play moves back and forth through time and space as Lucy tries to piece together the unraveling interactions between herself and the two young men she’s torn between, illuminating the events behind her uncertainty and sparking questions regarding consent.

About the playwright

Rachel Bublitz is an award winning and internationally produced playwright. Her play “Of Serpents & Sea Spray” was commissioned and produced by San Francisco’s Custom Made Theatre and received a second production with This is Water Theatre. “Ripped” was a 2017 finalist for ATHE’s Excellence In Playwriting Award. “Let’s Fix Andy” is having a workshop production in the summer of 2018 with the Wyoming Theater Festival. Her ten­minute play “Really Adult” is a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 2017 Heideman Award. Rachel has also worked with Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco Playhouse, PlayGround, Dramatists Guild of America, Salt Lake Acting Company, and Plan­B Theatre. She has an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. When she isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her two viking like children and learning about weather in her new home of Salt Lake City. For more, visit 

by Avery Sharpe
Decatur, GA

WOKE is a story that follows two young men who are best friends. Even though one is black and the other is white, they have always lived and loved each other like family. However, after the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, they both arduously discover how to navigate their different world viewpoints with justice, patience, and love. Through family, romance, and their own friendship, they painstakingly and comically explore what it truly means to be woke.

About the playwright:

Avery Sharpe is an actor and recently a playwright based in Atlanta, GA. After studying Theatre and Spanish at Kennesaw State University, he has spent the last three years performing regularly as a stage, TV/film, and voiceover artist in Atlanta. However, in October of 2017 he decided to try his hand as a writer, which has brought him a few early successes such a being featured in a variety of New Play Festivals and Competitions including this one in Detroit. Recently, he has been named the winner of the 2018 Essential Theatre Playwriting Contest Award, which will culminate in the world premiere production of Woke in Atlanta in Summer 2018. While Woke marks his debut as a playwright, it likely will not be his last venture within the world of authorship. He has discovered a passion for creating stories that echo the beautiful complexity of humanity, which is why he is excited to continue to pursue playwriting in the future. 


See you in Detroit on April 27-28!

The Detroit New Works Festival is proudly produced by Outvisible Theatre Company in Allen Park, Michigan.
Copyright © 2018 Outvisible Theatre Company, All rights reserved.

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