Playhouse On The Square Announces National Playwriting Finalists

Learn more about the staged readings for the 2022 NewWorks@TheWorks competition.

By: Nov. 30, 2022
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Playhouse On The Square Announces National Playwriting Finalists

Playhouse on the Square, in partnership with Reading Series Sponsor Jeffrey Mayhew and Super Sponsor Dr. Thomas Ratliff, has announced the staged readings for the 2022 NewWorks@TheWorks competition.

Presented in-person and streaming live via, the four readings will take place on the Playhouse on the Square main stage, December 4th, 6th,13th, and 15th at 7:00 pm. Each night's reading will be hosted by Director of NewWorks, Jordan Nichols.

An open forum, moderated by Nichols, will begin following each night's reading. Visit to purchase tickets. To stream the readings, visit

The NewWorks@TheWorks Playwriting Competition provides an outlet for new playwrights to showcase their work and have a chance to see their play produced on a professional level. A panel of local directors, actors, and designers review all submitted scripts and select finalists to receive staged readings. After the readings have been presented, two plays are chosen and will receive world premieres in an upcoming season at Playhouse on the Square's third performance space, TheatreWorks@theSquare. The playwright(s) of each play will be flown to Memphis to take part in rehearsals and development of the new work. Along with these fully mounted productions, the winning playwrights will each be awarded a prize of $750.

The 2022-2023 finalists and performance nights are as follows:


by Angela J. Davis

Directed by Meghan Lisi Lewis

Sunday, December 4th at 7:00pm

Court case that first recognized a right to sexual privacy, and fusing magic realism, docudrama, and comedic truth, Griswold mines the spirit and drive of the overlooked 65-year-old woman whose actions set the Griswold case in motion, the extraordinary events leading to establishment of the right of sexual privacy, and the essential link between sexual privacy and personal dignity.

Greater Illinois

by Steven Strafford

Directed by Claire D. Kolheim

Tuesday, December 6th at 7:00 pm

Multiple timeliness, a woman standing her ground, a gay man terrified for his life, the ghosts that haunt them, and what lengths we'll go to seek justice. Greater Illinois tells two stories interwoven that examine the intersections of fear, race, homophobia, and The Greater Illinois Council, a government agency insistent on "making a brighter tomorrow today," no matter the human cost. Greater Illinois is the story of who chooses fight, flight, or freeze and what happens when they choose.

Righteous Among Us

by Amy Tofte

Directed by Jaclyn Suffel

Sunday, December 13 at 7:00 pm

A researcher at a civil rights museum collects oral histories about families who saved Jews during the Holocaust. When she uncovers one hero family's legend may be a lie, she must not only shatter the myth but also come to terms with her own need to find heroes. A comforting lie is confronted by an uncomfortable truth.

Don't Hydroplane

by Bryan Curtis

Directed by Cleavon Meabon

Tuesday, December 15 at 7:00 pm

After the announcement of the death of Hybernia Bell, an 88-year-old cake maker and three-time widow. What starts as a typical attempt to bury a loved one in a tasteful manner hits a little snag when sisters learn their mother will no longer fit in the casket, she prepaid for 35 years ago. It's a story about a family trying to figure how to bury their matriarch without killing each other in the process.

NewWorks@TheWorks readings will be live on the Playhouse on the Square main stage and streamed via Visit for tickets to one or all four readings. A $5 donation will be required to purchase tickets to this event.